In December 2013, I wrote law enforcement about Charles Schmitt. I asked that he be investigated for alleged crimes against minors. Below is a small part of the evidence I provided them.
This past November, Schmitt was finally forced to “resign” from Immanuel’s Church having been caught again in homosexual sex reportedly with a young pastor on staff. Schmitt is now resisting his resignation and he and his family are fighting for control of the church. Pastors opposed to the Schmitt's have been slanderously accused of a "coup." That is why I write.
I have not been able to follow the story closely but wanted to provide this piece of evidence demonstrating his 57-year history of perversion according to a close friend. Schmitt’s practice of homosexual sex did not end with his excommunication in 1982. It continued. It was also covered up by his wife of 50 plus years who is co-pastor and co-founder of Immanuel’s Church.
Schmitt is an accomplished liar and pretender like all sexual predators whether the predation is criminal or not. Larry Tomczak and C.J. Mahaney should have done far more to stop him after he was excommunicated from Gathering of Believers (aka Covenant Life Church) in 1982. Instead they let him start Immanuel’s Church where his homosexual agenda deceitfully played out for the past 35 years. They knew of his on-going abuse at Immanuel’s Church but would not intervene. Tomczak even publicly “reconciled” with Schmitt in May 1998 and later spoke at the church.
Longtime friend Morrie Watson, however, tried to stop Schmitt from returning to ministry in 1982 after Schmitt claimed a supernatural deliverance from homosexuality. Watson was familiar with Schmitt’s history of feigned repentance, profound deceit, and sinful ambition. We need more men like Morrie Watson though I don’t agree with his timetable. He said a return to ministry “could be accomplished in a comparatively short time” if Schmitt was genuinely repentant. Given the extent, nature, length, and seriousness of his sin, Schmitt should have been removed from ministry for life and pursued a vocation outside of ministry. I would say the same thing about a long time serial adulterer.
Looking back, I believe Mahaney and Tomczak learned from Schmitt’s evil ways and used the same kind of deceptive tactics in covering up their sin, pretending righteousness, manipulating others, etc.
Summary for Law Enforcement
Charles and Dotty Schmitt are the senior and founding pastors of Immanuel’s Church. It began in 1982 and has an attendance of approximately 4,000 people. The church building is located 20-25 minutes east of the Covenant Life Church building which is in Gaithersburg, MD.
16819 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20905
See http://www.immanuels.org/index.php/about-us/pastoral-staff for a listing of leaders.
The elders of Gathering of Believers, now Covenant Life Church, excommunicated Charles Schmitt on January 3, 1982 for “persistent sinful behavior” including a 20 year [plus] history of homosexuality that continued.
Morrie Watson – Letter to Ben Israel Fellowship re: Schmitt
This letter was written just after Charles Schmitt was excommunicated on January 3, 1982. Morrie was Charles’ longstanding friend but he was not naive. He knew the real Charles Schmitt and saw through his lies and manipulation. He was also familiar with his apparent 22-year history of homosexuality predating 1982.
This letter provides extraordinary insight into Schmitt and how he operated. Nothing has changed. In “Homosexual History – Documents” you will find a relatively recent piece of evidence that dates back to 2004. Charles Schmitt needs to be aggressively investigated. He has been abusing boys and young men for 40-50 years.
The letter below is a typed copy. The original, which is in my possession and available to you, is hard to read. It was sent to me by Larry Tomczak. He wrote a note at the top of the page. “Former elders and one who has walked with Charles for over 22 years. (The underscoring is mine) L.T.” I have removed all of Larry’s underlining but retained the underling included by Morrie.
Morrie is deceased but many of those mentioned in the letter are still alive and have knowledge of Charles’ homosexual abuse including his wife, Dotty, who has been his #1 conspirator in covering up for him.
Charles Schmitt moved to Gathering of Believers around 1979. He immediately entered into homosexual relations with young men. Some of those young men were minors but others may have reached the age of majority. In March 1982, Larry told me Charles was a “homosexual pervert.”
I have not sent this recently discovered letter [from Morrie Watson] to Detective Sally Magee. I have sent her other evidence regarding Charles Schmitt but not nearly the 100 pages of information in my hard copy file. [Detective] Magee never got back to me.
13 February 1982
Dear Brethren of Ben Israel,
I greatly appreciated my visit with you in January and felt my time to be well spent.
Yesterday I received your letter of 2 February 1982. I can say that I rejoice in what transpired on the 31st of January with Charlie [Charles Schmitt]. I am especially grateful that there has been established some basis of truth in regard to his condition so that those working with him can more properly judge.
I trust you will receive my following response to your account of Charlie’s deliverance as rightful concern and not skeptical disregard. I truly want to believe that he is delivered. It might interest you to know that I am aware of at least two previous such experiences that Charlie has had with the same basic manifestations accompanying it. The most recent being about 10 years ago when he requested help from Derek Prince and some brothers with him, in regard to his homosexual tendencies. The first was about 20 years ago in Deer River, though we were not at that time dealing with this specific problem.
The point I am making is that with past similar experiences of deliverance as well as with at least four heavy confrontations and many minor ones by leading brethren in the body of Christ, his basic behavior has not change, but rather worsened. My fear at this point is that one might now conclude that all along it was “the devil that made him do it” and thus absolve him personally of responsibility.
Many times, over the years, men have accepted his expression of deep repentance at face value (with the exception of Calvary Bible Church in St. Paul., Mn.) and allowed him to continue on only to learn later of his almost total disregard for the authority of the brethren and his continuation in his sins.
The main question continues to be one of trust! Even if the present repentance and deliverance is genuine, it does not forgo the need for a period of time in which he must now prove his trustworthiness. As encouraging as your report was, it nevertheless brought into the open the fact that Charlie has been able to quite freely lie over the past several years to say nothing of his effective manipulation of men to cover his tracks using many deceptive methods. These things, my brethren, are evidence of deep moral character flaws and moral character does not change overnight.
It is my solid conviction that to restore Charlie to a place of ministry or responsibility in the body of Christ on the basis of his expression of repentance, outward signs of deliverances or short term behavior would be the height of folly. All those in a position of authority in dealing with him (and that includes those who have had much dealings with him in the past) have a responsibility before the people of God to see that these things do not happen again. This must be the first priority. It would also do us well to note what happened to Ananias in Acts 5 to get a little idea of the Lord’s attitude to such things.
Getting back to Charlie’s current expression of repentance. I have a few things to ask. Because, in the past he has rarely offered information or expressed repentance until after being boldly confronted with solid evidence. I wonder if he has done any more than that now. Has he revealed his involvement with the other young men? Is he now open enough to truth to reveal the whole truth of his involvement with a certain S.S. In the G.R. [Grand Rapids] area? Is he finally willing to go back and do what needs to be done with those that he has wronged in the past? Will he and Dotty ever sit with Dominick and Bobby and hear them out? This list could go on, but for now it should suffice to let you know that there are some of us who are still waiting for fruits from previous repentances. Also what will he do in regard to the way in which he has treated the Grand Rapids leaders over the past few years as they have steadily brought pressure on him to do right. His high-mindedness and disdain for them appears doubly obnoxious now that their concerns and convictions have been vindicated. It should here be noted that the truth of Charlie’s condition would probably still not be known had not one of the leaders in G.R. shown concern for the restoration of the young man involved. This cost no money and very few man hours, whereas the great cost and thousands of man hours spent over Charlie’s restoration failed to bring the truth to light. I think we can learn a great lesson from this. It is the least among us that must have first priority? Respect of persons has been an obvious flaw in dealings of the past few months.
Before concluding this letter, I will give my personal recommendation regarding Charlie’s future; but before I do that I want to express some personal feelings. I still love him as much as I ever did. I have never to this date really considered “dropping” him. Most of all, I yearn to see him really walk in and experience the fulfillment of the “Vision” that the Lord had many years ago given him. To that end I am still committed, only now there are hundreds or thousands more with whom I feel the same, and I would be without the love of God if I did not equally care for them.
Because of seeming failure of all past efforts to effect a lasting correction in Charlie’s life (for me this covers a span of over 22 years), I have no choice but to recommend stern measures. We owe it to the innocent and weak as well as to our own credibility.
First, it should be without question that he has disqualified himself from extra-local ministry. At present he would not qualify as an elder or even as a deacon. His sexual behavior has proven him untrustworthy with the young and weak. His lying has proven his words to be untrustworthy. His manipulating of the brethren has proven him to be incapable of flowing with men of leadership and his high-mindedness has proven him to be incapable of flowing with the lowly. The only course left is to start again where everyone must start, simply as a brother who must learn to walk in the ways of the Lord and begin to truly take on the mind of Christ. This would naturally be worked out as a functioning member of a local body of believers. He must be submitted to that eldership and in order for them to be a practical covering, they must be fully informed of his past record. His priority then should be to first become trustworthy (by the bringing of all his members under the control of the Spirit and then through continuous righteous behavior proving his trustworthiness to those around him, while at the same time making every effort to make right the damage done to those he has harmed.
After all this has been accompanied, and only then, should he begin to think of following the normal channels and steps to positions of responsibility, leadership and ministry. He must, without question, cease all relationship with young men and keep a healthy distance. This should be dealt with the same as with one who would have a history of heterosexual problems.
The duration of time necessary to accomplish these things is difficult to say. In one way, time is not the issue, but the actual transformation of character and restoration of trust. If his attitude has not appreciably changed, it would take decades or the rest of his life; but if his attitude has greatly changed and he faces reality with the mind of Christ, it could be accomplished in a comparatively short time. Of course, to think it can be done in a month while on vacation is unthinkable.
I have felt for some time and recent events have proved to me that Charles has put his ministry and personal concerns ahead of the welfare of the Lord’s people. Charlie’s responses to discipline in the past four months have served to polarize and divide many. If he has truly repented and changed his attitude, he will do all in his power to defuse the situation. Without question, his early return to ministry, before many brethren would have time to regain confidence in him, would only serve to divide and destroy that which he has worked so long to build. I hope and pray that he can see that. Also I hope he sees his responsibility for the deplorably high cost in time and money over the last months and that he must take decisive steps to end that drain on the Lord’s treasury.
Until Charlie can show that he truly loves and cares for the people of God above his ministry, he should not consider a ministry. I have said to him on several occasions that one cannot build his own ministry and build the body of Christ at the same time, and I am more convinced now.
Well brethren, this is a thumbnail sketch of my convictions. I must add that if Charlie fulfilled all of my requests to the letter, I might not even then be satisfied because what we are looking for is a spontaneous righteousness from the heart, which when it is there, will take care of many things I have not mentioned here.
We stand with you in these days and pray that God give you wisdom and grace.
copies to: GOB [Gathering of Believers] Elders [Mahaney, Tomczak, et.al], Charles Schmitt, Maynard Howe, Christopher Johnson, Grand Rapid Elders, Brainerd Elders, Jim Burck, Roger Davin, Lattie McDonough, Ted Evans, Bill Britton, Buck Woodward, Bob Weiner and others that I deem vitally involved.
P.S. I want to make it clear that this letter is only intended to cover general recommendations and principals, and not the many specific requirements that should be demanded of Charlie’s by those immediately involved in this discipline.
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