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My Appeal to the SGM Pastors for a Church Court in Order to Avoid a Civil Court

The Report to the Board of Directors of Sovereign Grace Ministries by Ted Kober and Ed Keinath utterly failed to address 1,200 pages of evidence I carefully produced over the last 28 months.

For example, I asked Ted to denounce the Three Panel Review done last December and expose Bryce Thomas, the SGM Board, and others.  Ted ignored all my appeals and left this profound example of abuse and injustice out of his report. He makes reference to the review but does not speak against the review.  

From: Brent Detwiler  
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2012 2:36 PM
To: Ted Kober
Cc: Degar Keinath; Ken Sande
Subject: Need to Condemn Panel
Importance: High

Hello Ted,

I know you are putting on the final touches.  Here are two blog posts [56 Panel Report on Brent Detwiler’s Dismissal57 Try This Twelve Step Program] I ask you to incorporate (at least in summary) in your report and a couple emails to Bryce I never sent you.  I trust you will cite Bryce for helping to devise such an evil process as the three panel reviews last December.  I can’t put into words how devastating my experience was with the panel [Mark Prater, Warren Boettcher, Ron Boomsma] regarding my dismissal from ministry.  A narrow question about C.J. was used to write a damming report about me without any due process.  It was all done behind my back once again.  It all happened deceitfully.  The report was evil and based upon false witnesses that went entirely unchallenged.  I had no idea what was happening.  I was provided no information and given no opportunity to defend.  It was another manipulative blindside. 

That experience was one more example of how C.J., Dave and the Board were willing to abuse me, put into place a corrupt strategy, deny me all rights to remedy, and avoid all accountability in the process.  Every rule of jurisprudence was violated.  This must be condemned by you in the report.

Stand strong in the grace of God.



I also asked Ted to press the SGM Board for an independent Church Court.  He doesn’t even mention this request in his report.

From: Brent Detwiler  
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2012 5:16 PM
To: Ted Kober 
Subject: Church Court 


Please push for the church court in your report.  I’d like to avoid a civil court.



As a result of Ted’s dereliction, I sought to contact Dave Harvey in order to set up a meeting with the interim Board and the men on the three panels to voice my grievances.  Dave Harvey did not respond.

As a result of Dave’s unwillingness to talk with me, I appealed to all the pastors of SGM on Monday.  I wrote the following letter and provided all the information below.  I gave Dave, the interim Board and the new Board five days to answer my appeal for a Church Court.  I don’t know how many pastors contacted SGM.  I do know their appeal was  denied once again.  No one has contacted me.  

That means Dave, the interim Board and the new Board have rejected my appeal to meet in private regarding the Three Panel Review and they have also rejected my request for an outside Church Court to be assembled so my charges against C.J. and others can finally be heard and evaluated by honorable men in an unbiased setting using the well-known rules of evidence.  

The Ambassadors of Reconciliation Report does not deal with the evidence.  It avoids the evidence.  It leaves out the evidence.  I have no recourse but to consider further actions including the use of civil courts.  I’ve begun to consult with lawyers.  I’ve attempted every other remedy under the sun.  Throughout this process, I’ve asked for one thing – a thorough, just, and unbiased hearing of the evidence – all promised to me countless times. 

I am NOT considering legal action because I am bitter, greedy, or have to prove myself.  No, I am considering it for the good of SGM, et al.  Yes, you read that right!  I am looking into a lawsuit for the good of SGM and others.  Here’s why.

The SGM Board has never acknowledged any wrong doing to me or the movement.  C.J. made one, one sentence confession to SGM in writing.  His repudiated all other statements and supported their removal from the SGM website.  The Three Panel Review never reviewed 95% of my allegations and I was forbidden from participating in 2 of the 3 panels.  The AoR Report avoided 1,200 pages of evidence.  In short, the deceit and cunning of C.J., Dave and the interim Board prevented the just hearing of charges and the opportunity to defend against false witnesses.  I hope to use a civil court to rectify these injustices.

This is part of my commitment to seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.  God does not will corruption.  He wills justice.  God does not will deceit.  He wills truth.  No one has been willing to hold SGM, AoR, or individuals like Bob Kauflin, Gene Emerson, Mickey Connolly, Eric Kircher, and Ray Mulligan accountable.  Courts serve this purpose by the decree of God (Romans 13:1-7) for believers and unbelievers.  This lack of accountability is to the detriment of these organizations and individuals.  My motive is redemptive, it is not vengeful.  Change will not occur unless truth is vindicated, falsehood condemned, accountability implemented, and consequences introduced.    

As it stands the following ethical reality is true in the sight of God.  Proverbs 17:15  Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent — the Lord detests them both. 

The nature of God, the teaching of Scripture, the good of former friends, and the well-being of the gospel have been, and are, my sincere motivations.


[Beginning of Correspondence to All SGM Pastors]

April 23, 2012

To All SGM Pastors,

Urgent.  Please read immediately.

On July 6-7, 2011, I sent you Response Regarding Friendship and DoctrineA Final AppealConcluding Remarks, and The Untold Story.  This became necessary for eight reasons.

  1. C.J.’s deceitful explanation for his leave of absence.
  2. The favoritism shown C.J. by the Sovereign Grace Board.
  3. The failure of the Covenant Life Pastors to enforce 1 Timothy 5:19-21.
  4. Making me out to be the only witness against C.J.
  5. The necessity of telling the Church (Matthew 18:15-17).
  6. The denial of sin problems in Sovereign Grace Ministries.
  7. The deceit of Dave Harvey and the Sovereign Grace Board.
  8. The need to speak against evil.

See “Eight Reasons Why Sending Out the Documents Was Not Slander but Necessary” for a much fuller explanation. 

I am appealing to you again.  The interim Board comprised of Dave Harvey, Jeff Purswell, John Loftness, Mickey Connolly, Craig Cabaniss, Steve Shank, Mark Prater, Pete Greasley, Aron Osborne, and Rick Gamache, have denied me justice since they took office on July 13, 2011.  My charges against C.J. and other agents of SGM have not been given a hearing.  I’ve been given no remedy for my grievances.

Therefore, I ask each one of you to intercede on my behalf and petition the new Board to agree this week to the use an outside church court as outlined below.  I beg your immediate assistance!  This request does not differ from what was originally and repeatedly promised to me by C.J., Dave, Jeff and Joshua from July 2010 to July 2011.  In reality, I am simply asking you to hold them accountable to their word so additional action need not be taken.   

Yesterday I wrote the interim Board, new Board, and Panelists.  I copied the CLC pastors, AoR representatives, Ken Sande, and Chip Grange (legal counsel for SGM).


From: Brent Detwiler  
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2012 6:05 PM
To: Aron Osborne; C. J. Mahaney; Craig Cabaniss; Dave Harvey; Jeff Purswell; Mark Prater; Mickey Connolly; Pete Greasley; Rick Gamache; Steve Shank; Andrew Mahr; Bob Kauflin; Gary Ricucci; Tommy Hill; Al Pino; Ian McConnell; John Loftness; Ken Mellinger; Paul Buckley; Phil Sasser; Brian Brookins; Mark Alderton; Ron Boomsma; Steve Teter; Warren Boettche
Cc: Adam Malcolm; Ben Wikner; Bob Schickler; Braden Greer; Corby Megorden; Dave Brewer; Don DeVries; Eric Sheffer; Eric Simmons; Grant Layman; Issac Hydoski; Jamie Leach; Joe Lee; Jon Smith; Joshua Harris; Kenneth Maresco; Mark Mitchell; Matt Maka; Robin Boisvert; Bryce Thomas; Edgar Keinath; Ken Sande; Ted Kober; Chip Grange
Subject: RE: Sovereign Grace Relocation Annoucement

I have sent the SGM Board and the CLC pastors everything I’ve ever written over the last two years.  That’s because I don’t hide my words and I’ve welcomed their feedback.  I’ve repeatedly asked C.J., Dave and the Board to correct any inaccuracies.  I’ve written them for specific clarifications.  I’ve asked them countless questions.  I’ve confronted their lies and deceit.  In short, I’ve done my best to walk in the light and interact with them.  The offer stands.  I want any factual errors I am guilty of corrected with evidence.  If those factual errors prove I have judged anyone; I will repent, ask your forgiveness and write a public retraction.  I’ve done this before.  I’ll do it as many times as necessary.  I’ve only wanted the truth.  That is why I have pursued input from the Board and CLC. 

Someday soon, I hope the Board will fulfill its promise and allow me to share my charges against C.J. and others in a just setting with honorable men.  Someday soon I also hope they will grant my request to defend against my wrongful termination in July 2009.  To date, they have forbid me from expressing my grievances in both cases even though I was promised the opportunity to do so.  I also want to defend against the libelous report written by Mark Prater, Warren Boettcher and Ron Boomsma in December 2011.

All of you have believed false witnesses against me and let them go unexamined against my protest.  You have slandered me in private conversations to hundreds, if not thousands, of people.  For example, see In My Own Defense.  You are hypocrites.  Furthermore, the SGM Board has frequently and intentionally lied about me on the SGM website.  I have brought this to their attention in each case but they’ve been utterly unresponsive to my appeals.    

Specifically and recently, Bryce Thomas and the interim Board put together the three panel review in December.  It constituted a great travesty of justice and a horrible abuse of power.  I pleaded with Ted Kober to include this in his report.  He did not do so.  I’ve asked to meet with Ted in private.  He refuses to write, call or meet.  I’ve also contacted Bryce Thomas and asked to meet with him in private.  He too has refused to write, call or meet.  Both men show no willingness to hear their sins or pursue reconciliation with me.

On Thursday of this past week, I sent the following email to the interim Board and Panelists.  Additional correspondence follows.  Please appeal to the new Board for a righteous hearing of my charges and grievances by an outside church court. 

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2012 8:31 AM
To: Aron Osborne; C. J. Mahaney; Craig Cabaniss; Dave Harvey; Jeff Purswell; Mark Prater; Mickey Connolly; Pete Greasley; Rick Gamache; Steve Shank; Brian Brookins; Ken Mellinger; Mark Alderton; Ron Boomsma; Steve Teter; Warren Boettcher
Subject: Go to Your Brother If He Sins Against You (Matthew 18:5)
Importance: High

All of you grievously sinned against me in the three panel review.  I would like to meet with you as a group in private as soon as possible so I can tell you your sins and appeal for your repentance.  Please let me know where and when we can do this meeting.

Thank you


That same morning I followed up with a phone call to Dave.  I attempted to talk with him directly.  He was in a meeting so I left a detailed message with his assistant, Aaron Mayfield.  In that message, I repeated my demand to meet with the men listed above.  I also expressed a willingness to meet with Dave alone.  I asked that Dave call me back the same day.  I have not heard from him nor has he written me.

On January 29 of this year [see correspondence below], I wrote Tommy Hill and copied the interim Board and CLC pastors asking that an outside church court be constituted to hear my charges in order to avoid the use of a civil court.  The Board was unwilling to provide an answer and directed me to its lawyers.  I asked Ted Kober to recommend an independent church court in his report since AoR never heard or tried my charges.  He ignored the matter altogether and thereby showed an unwillingness to help me pursue justice.  My cry to the Board and Ted fell upon deaf ears.

I want to be reconciled to C.J., Dave Harvey, Bob Kauflin, Mickey Connolly, Gene Emerson, et al., but the first step must be the hearing of my charges.  All attempts to do so have been blocked by the interim Board.  Why must it be first?  Because it was promised first!  You are welcome to confront my perceived or actual sins but this must follow an extensive process of working through my writings where I carefully and fairly document your sins against me.  You have denied due process at every turn and refused to allow for a hearing of my grievances.  For example, I was not even allowed to participate in two of the three panels last December.  See Try This 12 Step Program on for Size.

I will be taking further action if C.J., Dave and the interim Board don’t express a whole heartedly willingness this week to arrange for a hearing of my grievance, offenses, and charges before men trained in jurisprudence and outside of SGM.  Don’t respond to this request if your motivation is to avoid a potential lawsuit or other adverse consequences.  Respond with contrition. 

Once again, I request an objective church court because Ted Kober, Ed Keinath and AoR never heard my charges and refused to address in their report my most serious charges and the super abundance of evidence against C.J. and SGM.   Some parts of the AoR report are good.  Some parts are bad.  Many critical parts that should have been included are entirely missing.  That is unacceptable.  A $400,000 study over nine months should have covered all the evidence.  The report is biased and largely focused on the wrong issues.

The new Board should act immediately and call a church court so I can present my grievances.


[Additional Correspondence Included for All SGM Pastors]

From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2012 2:11 PM
To: Tommy Hill 
Cc: Warren Boettcher; Ron Boomsma; Phil Sasser; Wayne Brooks; Ted Kober; Edgar Keinath; Bryce Thomas; Ken Sande; Bob Kauflin; Aron Osborne; C. J. Mahaney; Craig Cabaniss; Dave Harvey; Jeff Purswell; John Loftness; Mark Prater; Mickey Connolly; Pete Greasley; Rick Gamache; Steve Shank; Andrew Mahr; Gary Ricucci; Tony Reinke; Adam Malcolm; Ben Wikner; Bob Schickler; Braden Greer; Corby Megorden; Dave Brewer; Don DeVries; Eric Sheffer; Eric Simmons; Grant Layman; Greg Somerville; Issac Hydoski; Jamie Leach; Joe Lee; Jon Smith; Joshua Harris; Kenneth Maresco; Mark Mitchell; Matt Maka; Robin Boisvert
Subject: Court Proceedings and Compensatory Reparations

Hi Tommy,

I am writing you as the Comptroller of SGM.

The SGM Board (old and interim) has expressed absolutely no wrong doing for their repeated abuses of me over the last 7 years.  Along with C.J, both promised a fair hearing of all my charges against C.J. and other agents of SGM.  Instead a most unjust hearing was carried out behind my back.  The recent report by Warren Boettcher, Ron Boomsma, and Mark Prater defamed my character once again with no remedy. 

I agreed to participate in the panel hearing in order to address a question related to C.J.s influence in my dismissal.  These three men, with your full support, produced a report condemning me just like Bob Kauflin, Phil Sasser, and Wayne Brooks did in July 2009 without any due process.  This is criminal.  It is similar to Dave’s posting on July 13, 2011 which was libelous in a biblical and legal sense.  So too hisletter to the SGM pastors on June 11, 2011.

In contradistinction, I have always posted rebuttals or corrections you have provided me for anything I’ve written.  I’ve repeatedly asked you to correct any matter of fact.  You’ve basically refused.  I’ve confronted you on slander and asked to you provide support for your libelous comments.  You have not responded or answered hard questions.  Though I’ve repeatedly asked, you have provided no defense of yourself.   

I am asking for two actions by the SGM Board because you have acted deceitfully, destructively and illegally over the last two years.  

  1. An open trial of my charges against C.J., the SGM Board, and the agents of SGM.  Such a trial has been denied me. 
  2. Compensatory damages for back wages, pain and suffering, defamation of character, and the destruction of my livelihood with no redress [cf. Exodus 21:12-23:9]. 

This is permissible in Scripture.  1 Corinthians 6 does not apply.  It deals with “cheating” between two individuals and is minor in nature.  We are talking about corruption that is widespread.  Furthermore, the three panel approach was a bogus enterprise.  No one I know in SGM will do justice.  Therefore, a church court or civic court must entertain my charges.  Biblical and civil laws apply to my pursuit of justice and compensatory reparations.  If you wish, I am glad to send you a treatise I wrote on 1 Corinthians 6.

You have blocked all efforts for a just and objective hearing of charges.  Some criminal.  You have repeatedly denied me due process despite many appeals and protestations against your efforts to cover up the harm done to me and others.  You have contributed to the destruction of people’s lives, industry, and finances.  If you take no action to make things right this could turn into a class action law suit.  You have violated the law in relation to others also.

I am open to trying my charges in a church court or civil court.  I am not talking about mediation services like Peacemakers or Ambassadors of Reconciliation.  A church court must be comprised of legal experts who have no history with SGM and are authorize to award damages and publish legal opinions.  I am glad to work with Ken Sande in setting up the terms and conditions.  Or we can proceed with a trial before a civil magistrate.  I am happy for you to defend against my charges.  I’ve pleaded for you to do so.  Instead, you came up with the unethical three panel contrivance.

You have transgressed Scripture but you have also transgressed the laws of the Land.  You must be held accountable in court since you are unwilling to hold yourself accountable in SGM.




From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2012 2:07 PM
To: Tommy Hill
Cc: Chip Grange; Warren Boettcher; Ron Boomsma; Phil Sasser; Wayne Brooks; Aron Osborne; C. J. Mahaney; Craig Cabaniss; Dave Harvey; Jeff Purswell; John Loftness; Mark Prater; Mickey Connolly; Pete Greasley; Rick Gamache; Steve Shank; Bryce Thomas; Edgar Keinath; Ken Sande; Ted Kober; Andrew Mahr; Bob Kauflin; Gary Ricucci; Tony Reinke; Adam Malcolm; Ben Wikner; Bob Schickler; Braden Greer; Corby Megorden; Dave Brewer; Don DeVries; Eric Sheffer; Eric Simmons; Grant Layman; Greg Somerville; Issac Hydoski; Jamie Leach; Joe Lee; Jon Smith; Joshua Harris; Kenneth Maresco; Mark Mitchell; Matt Maka; Robin Boisvert
Subject: RE: Court Proceedings and Compensatory Reparations
Importance: High

Hello Tommy,

When will I hear back from you on behalf of the SGM Board regarding my January 29th appeal for a just proceeding? 

Specifically, has the Board accepted or rejected my request for a church court?  That is preferable to a civil court dealing with 1) tortuous interference with contract; 2) negligent and/or intentional infliction of emotional distress; 3) defamation (which includes both libel and slander) and 4) wrongful termination.

Here is my justification for civil intervention if you refuse to allow for a church court conducted by Christians who are legal experts.

For the last seven years I have taken the approach of 1 Corinthian 6:7, “Why not rather be wrong?  Why not rather be cheated?”  In context, however, this passage regards “trivial cases” (i.e., cheating a brother) not the destruction of one’s livelihood and reputation through oppressive and unjust means on a corporate level by SGM agents.  My grievance is not against C.J. as such (i.e., “one brother goes to law against another”) but the systemic problems that exist in an organization that has ruined the lives and ministries of many pastors.  This must end.

Moreover, the SGM Board has broken its promise to use outside arbitrators in adjudicating these matters.  Instead they resolved to use insiders contrary to every promise.  The three panels were rigged with biased board members and favorably disposed pastors.  Furthermore, the rules of engagement for the three panels were exceedingly biased – even wicked.  There was no hope for justice.  Under such circumstances one can reasonably argue that the civil court system is a legitimate alternative when all other remedies have been pursued. 

Scripture forbids me from taking revenge but God promises to avenge his holiness in punishing evil doers through civil magistrates.  “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (Rom 12:19)  Paul has a high view of the judicial system in Romans 13:1-6 for such remedies.  Pursuing justice in a court setting is not “revenge.”  It is honorable and just.  We pay taxes for these services.  Laws prohibiting discrimination and injustice in the workplace are pleasing to God.  Courts are the servants of God in applying these laws.  They punish evildoers.

If it were a simple matter of personal conflict arising between two brothers because one has been cheated then 1 Corinthians 6:1-7 applies.  That is the context of the passage.  Such relatively minor matters should be settled in the church.  Surely there must be someone “wise enough to judge a dispute” of this magnitude.  The text does not apply when there is a widespread disregard for God’s law and civil law by a nationally known non-profit corporation that needs to be held accountable for their actions.  As a legal entity, accountability for a non-profit goes beyond the church to the state.

Laws have been broken and due process forbidden.  My dismissal in July 2009 was achieved by deceitful and unjust means.  The exact same approach was taken by the December 2011 panel.  They took a hearing dealing with C.J. and used it to gather “evidence” (i.e., false witnesses) against me.  Then they wrote a wicked report condemning me with the full support of Bryce Thomas and the SGM Board.  This was in direct violation of the terms laid down for the hearing. 

“A subcommittee of 3 members of the Sovereign Grace Ministries family consisting of one Board Member and 2 Senior Pastors would like to listen to information (and review if written) that you may have concerning this issue:  ‘Did CJ Mahaney wrongly influence the process of Brent Detwiler’s dismissal from his church in Mooresville, NC?”  Given this is the issue this subcommittee is addressing, you will be asked for information that pertains to this issue only.  And we ask that you likewise direct the information that you share--to this issue only." (Bryce Thomas, November 18, 2011)

If the SGM Board has any decency, any respect for God’s law, any love for our Lord Jesus; they will finally allow for a just, impartial, and thorough hearing by leaders outside of SGM.  I am willing to have Chip Grange (your legal counsel), Ken Sande and Ted Kober choose the judges and lawyers that preside.  Anything less underscores the commitment of the SGM Board to cover up the evidence, deceive others, slander and deny due me process, and show C.J. favoritism beyond comprehension.  I cannot allow this to happen.   


From: Tommy Hill
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2012 2:37 PM
To: Brent Detwiler
Subject: RE: Court Proceedings and Compensatory Reparations

Dear Brent,

We have received your email sent last weekend and have referred it to legal counsel since you have alleged unspecified illegality [Untrue.  I specifically cite 1) tortuous interference with contract; 2) negligent and/or intentional infliction of emotional distress; 3) defamation (which includes both libel and slander) and 4) wrongful termination] over the last two years and asked for damages.  If you have questions, you may, of course, have your counsel contact our attorneys at Gammon and Grange. 

On the personal and relational front, we continue to hope and pray for full reconciliation and look forward to the day when we can sit down and resolve our differences in a God-glorifying manner.



From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2012 4:28 PM
To: Tommy Hill 
Cc: Chip Grange; Aron Osborne; C. J. Mahaney; Craig Cabaniss; Dave Harvey; Jeff Purswell; John Loftness; Mark Prater; Mickey Connolly; Pete Greasley; Rick Gamache; Steve Shank; Andrew Mahr; Bob Kauflin; Gary Ricucci; Tony Reinke; Adam Malcolm; Ben Wikner; Bob Schickler; Braden Greer; Corby Megorden; Dave Brewer; Don DeVries; Eric Sheffer; Eric Simmons; Grant Layman; Issac Hydoski; Jamie Leach; Joe Lee; Jon Smith; Joshua Harris; Kenneth Maresco; Mark Mitchell; Matt Maka; Robin Boisvert; Bryce Thomas; Edgar Keinath; Ken Sande; Ted Kober
Subject: RE: Court Proceedings and Compensatory Reparations

It is not for Gammon and Grange to decide on the question of a church court.  That is the Board’s decision.

I am far more interested in a just hearing than damages.  Why?  Because the Board has broken every promise made to me over the last two years.  First, you killed a thorough evaluation of C.J. and SGM by outside evaluators.  Second, you killed my counterproposal involving Ken Sande.  Third, you killed the adjudication hearing using SGM insiders regarding all charges against C.J.  Fourth, you put together a three panel hearing that was corrupt and imposed it upon me with no discussion.  Those are the indisputable facts.

Tommy, the Board is not interested in a God glorifying hearing and ruling on “differences” that could lead to reconciliation.  They are determined to never allow my charges see the light of day before an open and unbiased group of evaluators following the rules of evidence.  They have avoided an authentic hearing and judging of charges like the plague.  The SGM Board has blocked justice at every turn.  That is the real issue.  Stand up to them.    


From: Brent Detwiler 
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2012 10:20 AM
To: Chip Grange; Tommy Hill
Subject: Church Court

Hello Tommy and Chip,

What have you decided about setting up a church court in which I can present my charges and you can make a defense?  You are also welcome to presses charges against me, against which I am happy to defend.  I have nothing to hide and nothing to fear. 

Would you please provide me an answer so I can decide how to proceed.

Thank you.


[End of Appeal and Correspondence to All SGM Pastors]


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