The Calvary Chapel flock was dealt another heavy blow this week after the current leadership removed all of former pastor Bob Coy's sermons, podcasts, and other media content from its website. Coy resigned Sunday afternoon, citing a "moral failure," and alleged extramarital affairs.
The church members' reaction was swift and nearly unanimous-- an overwhelming majority of the posts on the church's Facebook page demonstrate that parishioners want the media content restored.
"Leadership removal? Of course," Charles Jocson wrote on Facebook. "Media removal? Did God remove Psalms from the Bible after David's sin? Either way please consider or at least take vote of the 20,000 plus as what to do with media."
Eileen Lola Ralph also lamented the associate pastors' decision.
"I am extremely disappointed in my church leaders," she posted. "To completely erase pastor Bob's existence to the church is disgraceful. I know God is not happy with this decision to cut him off. Pastor Bob has a gift. And I hope he recovers that he may be a blessing in a pastoral role once again."
Hundreds of Facebook comments on the matter echo the same message: The church's removal of the sermons give the devil the victory by making spiritual teachings inaccessible to those who need it.
"Please I am begging you to restore Pastor Bob's messages in th[e] archive," wrote Patti Kay. "I understand the gravity of what has happened here. We are all hurt by this. I pray for the Church, for our former Pastor and for his family. This is devastating. But we will survive and learn and grow in Christ.
"I do not like the way pastor Bob is being treated by the powers that be at CC. I feel like he is being treated as if he never existed and has been cast out. What about grace and forgiveness, mercy and healing? He is our brother."
Calvary Chapel leadership responded to the outcry in a statement published Monday night. Web Pastor Dan Hickling stated that the media removal was to protect Coy, his family, and the church from further media scrutiny during this difficult time.
"Unfortunately, not everyone, during circumstances like these comes to the website with a heart to learn more about the Bible," Hickling wrote on the church's blog. "We've discerned the need to guard against those who would inappropriately misuse this content when time and space is needed for the Coy family to properly heal."
Hickling also asked for prayers as the leadership deals with difficult decisions in the coming weeks.
"Please be patient with us as we seek God's wisdom and guidance on how to best restore the content that we know He has used and can continue to use to make disciples. Also, please pray for our church leadership to hear the Good Shepherd's voice with great clarity and certainty in this decision making process," Hickling wrote.
Former pastor Bob Coy and his wife Diane led a 30-year ministry that grew to include satellite locations in Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, West Boca, Plantation, Hollywood, and the Keys. The congregation consists of approximately 20,000 members.