An Asian American pastor in Illinois was reinstated to ministry in spite of doubts on his character due to sexual abuse accusations.
Through the Presbyterian Church in America's ruling body, Korean Central Presbytery (KCP), Min Joshua Chung, the founder of the Covenant Fellowship Church (CFC) in Champaign-Urbana, was restored to his post as a minister in April this year.
Chung reportedly abused a number of congregants at CFC. WBEZ Chicago also uncovered about an Instagram account created last May which grew to become a platform for sexual assault survivors, exposing the abuses that have been happening in the church for almost thirty years.
According to The Roys Report (TRR), a group of whistleblowers submitted a report to the KCP in November 2020, accusing Chung with various incidents of sexual assaults.
But after receiving the findings and recommendations from its investigation team, the KCP decided to restore Chung to his post. The group said that though the was guilty, what he did was already enough for his reinstatement and that his hiatus from preaching was also enough to discipline him for the sin.
"Regarding recovery, the pastor reconciled with his victim, and regarding his relationship with God, he recognized his sin before God and relies on the blood of Christ. We judge that his relationship with God is restored as we consider the grace of God. We remind him to abide by the BCO (Book of Church Order), and we believe that he should return to ministry," Sungwoo Nam of KCP stated.
However, nine elders objected to the decision and asked for Chung's suspension. They called for the rescission of the ruling in July but fell short of votes when only 22 individuals sided with the move, out of 35, with 12 who went against it and one abstention. The motion requires two-thirds vote.
But TRR said that the ruling may still be appealed to the Standing Judicial Commission of the PCA's General Assembly.
"MC (Min Chung) is anointed by God, God only exists at CFC and there is no other place like CFC. Since there is no room in the culture for open candor, exchange of perspectives, and helpful permissive dissension, there is only a cycle of abuse that continues at all levels of leadership," Dan Lee, a whistleblower, revealed.
CFC has already disassociated with Chung on May 27 and hired the services of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE) to investigate the pastor. The congregation also sought to evaluate the health of the church through The Center Consulting Group (CCG). But TRR disclosed that CCG's senior consultant, Charles Zimmerman, has ties with Chung.
A couple of other organizations have also severed their associations with the CFC founder. These include the SOLA Network, a group of Asian American pastors, and the Joshua Generation, a high school ministry that the minister also founded.