Church reveals abuse claims against Chris Rice
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 10/16/20, 04:14 pm
Pastor Rob Cunningham of Tates Creek Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Ky., on Thursday released a statement saying a young man called and told him prominent Christian musician Chris Rice sexually assaulted him multiple times. “I have wept at the thought of a high school student being exposed to this alleged abuse because of their involvement at the church I love and pastor,” Cunningham said. He said the church’s elders voted to hire GRACE, a firm that investigated sexual abuse allegations against former pastor Brad Waller in 2019, to address the accusations. GRACE is a nonprofit that specializes in helping churches respond to abuse claims.
What do we know? Tates Creek hired Rice, a Dove Award winner, to lead worship at youth and college retreats as an independent contractor several times between 1995 and 2003. Cunningham said Rice, a friend of Waller, “developed close relationships with multiple students” during that time, including the accuser. Cunningham contacted the police immediately after receiving the call and knew of no one at the church who knew about the abuse at the time, he said. Rice had not responded publicly to the allegations as of Friday afternoon.
Dig deeper: Read a report by Marvin Olasky, Sophia Lee, and Emily Belz on sexual abuse in churches. In it, Rachael Denhollander holds up Tates Creek’s response to the allegations against Waller as a model for other churches.
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Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.