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Brent Detwiler's Tweets

The Upheaval at Covenant Life Church Is Very Concerning Especially the Six Choices to Attend P.J. Smyth’s Launch of “Monument Church”

The following update was sent out to Covenant Life Church on Friday night regarding P.J. Smyth’s church plant and a request by the pastors to answer a survey regarding membership intentions.  

Friday July 27, 2018 5:59 PM 

Dear Covenant Life, 

Mark [Mitchell] is out this week enjoying a well-deserved vacation.  Would you take just a moment right now to pray for Mark and his family?  Ask that the Father would refresh and strengthen them while they spend this time away. 

Summer vacations can be a great time to unplug from the hectic pace of our daily routines.  We get to relax and make memories with people we love.  It’s usually not hard to relax on vacation.  But, in my experience, it’s not so easy on vacation to rest my soul in the Lord.  It’s something I have to be intentional about.  I hope you’ll use your summer downtime finding rest and restoration in him.  He promised, “you will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). 

God has been meeting me lately as I’ve been meditating on this verse: “Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.” (Psalm 54:4) 

What a thing to say!  God is my helper?  Shouldn’t it be the other way around?  Don’t I serve him?  In a sense, yes.  Though he is all powerful and doesn’t need my help, he invites me to share the joy and dignity of his work through service.  But that is only done—it’s only able to be done—because God has first helped me.  And in our relationship he remains the ultimate, foundational “helper.”  His strength is the source of all my strength.  I exist because he created and sustains me.  I love because he first loved me.  I run the race of Christian life because in Christ he ran it first and secured my victory. 

If this is true in general, if it’s true in times of good and abundance, then it is especially true in times of need.  Difficulty deprives me of the ability to think otherwise.  It starves out the delusion that I could ever have strength and love and endurance in and of myself.  That is the painful privilege of difficulty, being stripped of the lie of self-reliance and being left with no other option than to receive the strength and love of God.  He truly is my helper.  Not the way a boy is daddy’s little helper, as if the primary strength were mine, occasionally aided by God but not necessarily needed.  Quite the opposite.  God is my helper as the sun helps the Earth, or the way a mother carries her baby.  His is the far predominant power.  And whatever strength I have is only derived from his. 

Where does your help come from?  It comes from God alone.  Take time this summer to stop and receive it.

Church Plant Vision Nights 

In August PJ and Ashleigh will be hosting a series of Vision Nights to share more details and answer questions about the upcoming church plant.  Light refreshments and drinks will be served.  As there will be no childcare available, they ask that only adults attend. 

To provide a conversational setting, Vision Nights will be held in different homes with groups of 20-30 people in attendance.  They will be held from 7-9 PM on August 8, 9, 15, 16, 21, and 22.

If you would like to attend, please click the button below to RSVP.  Please select TWO dates that work for you and then you will receive an invitation for ONE of the nights. 

Vision Night RSVP 

Membership Survey

In case you missed it, last weekend Mark’s update included a survey to help us understand how people are thinking about their involvement at Covenant Life and the church plant.  If you haven’t responded yet, please take a few seconds to do that now. 

Membership Survey 

This Sunday we continue in the Gospel of John by exploring our Lord’s statement, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:1- 30).  Because it’s the 5th Sunday, kids in Grades K-5 will join us in the main service and hear a brief message from Adventure Class storyteller Art Shenk. 

See you on Sunday,

Kevin is Kevin Rogers.  I’ve been told it was announced at the Members’ Meeting on July 8 that he is the interim lead pastor and being considered for the permanent lead pastor position.  Mark Mitchell remains the executive pastor.  

The Membership Survey is for gathering information about membership intentions.  The pastors are trying to figure out how many people are staying and how many are leaving with P.J. 

Covenant Life Church
Membership Intentions 

In light of PJ’s plans to plant a church locally, Covenant Life members face fresh decisions.  Can you please check the response below that best describes your membership intentions at this time?  Note: This is an informal opinion survey. Your response will have no impact on your current membership status.


 First Name*

 Last Name* 


o   I intend to remain at CLC
o   I intend to join PJ’s church plant
o   I am not yet decided
o   I would like to speak with an elder before making a decision

Email Address* 

Submit Form

Of course, there is a fifth option!  “I intend to leave CLC and would never join PJ’s church plant.”  There is no place for a write in answer.

Smyth should not be planting a church.  Nor, should he be in ministry.  The remaining pastors at Covenant Life Church, which are comparatively few in number, have foolishly endorsed, and even promoted, his church plant.  That is to their shame and possibly the loss of the CLC facility and property.  That is what the Financial Advisory Committee told them would happen within a year of Smyth leaving to plant a church. 

People who remain at CLC are concerned that P.J. will take many people with him.  Rightly so, he is a masterful manipulator and has more “charisma” than the three full-time pastors that remain, Mark Mitchell, Kevin Rogers and Robin Boisvert, combined.  One person sent me this note. 

July 27, 2018 

The upheaval at CLC is very concerning, especially when we see the six choices for dates to attend PJ’s launch of “Monument Church”.  The six dates allow for 20 to 30 people to attend (take 25 x 6 = 150 potential leaving). 

It’s interesting that CLC will be able to monitor the interest in a church split if all who are interested in leaving actually use the form provided.  I suppose there will be some who will inquire of the locations without using the form provided so as to remain anonymous to CLC pastors. 

Maybe some should go to all six and take names down, but whatever. 

It’s a big mess for sure. 

A few observations.  

1. “The upheaval at CLC is very concerning.”  And it continues and will worsen. 

2. P.J. Smyth will recruit as many people as possible at his Vision Nights for his Monument Church.  He doesn’t care what happens to CLC.  He is planting the church 10-20 minutes away from the CLC building.    

3. 150 adults will probably equate to around 210 interested adults if only one spouse attends.   If two thirds of the 210 adults are married and have an average of two children, that translates into a church of 140 married individuals, 140 children, and 70 singles or roughly 350 people.  That is roughly half the people at CLC.

4. “CLC will be able to monitor the interest in a church split.”  That’s right, it is a church split.  The remaining CLC pastors and P.J. have presented this undertaking as a church plant.  That is pure spin.  It was born out of division.  It would not be happening if P.J. had not been fired on April 21, 2018 after 15 months of conflict and bad character.  He was “not a good fit…best to part ways.“ 

5. “It’s a big mess for sure” and the mess will only get bigger for sure.  It has grown every year for the past 14 years when the elders failed to deal with C.J. Mahaney.  It is the same thing they have done with P.J. Smyth.  The cowardice, corruption, and compromise continue unabated.  

In 2011, 4,300 people attended CLC.  A month ago, it was down to 800.  I’m sure it has dropped since then after five Covenant Life pastors resigned and spoke out about the cover up of P.J.’s sins by the remaining pastors.  

The following articles are must reads if you want to know the truth about P.J.  No one should go with him on a church plant. 

Five Covenant Life Pastors Who Resigned Talk about Sin Issues with Lead Pastor P.J. Smyth that Led to His Firing  
Monday, July 9, 2018 at 11:30PM

New & Indisputable Evidence Proves P.J. Smyth Knew All About Father’s Violent Beating of Boys – He & Pastors Continue to Deceive Covenant Life Church Despite My Appeals
Friday, March 2, 2018 at 2:40PM

The downfall of C.J. Mahaney, Sovereign Grace Ministries/Churches, Inc., P.J. Smyth and Covenant Life Church is by God’s holy design.  No one would ever have predicted so great a fall in July 2011, when Mahaney fled the discipline of the Lord and the CLC elders allowed him to do so.  He split the church.  And he split Sovereign Grace Ministries.  Over 12,000 people left the movement. 

P.J. and C.J. have so much in common.

Furthermore, we can never forget the conspiracy to cover up the sexual assault of young men and the sexual abuse of abuse of children by Mahaney and his pastors for over 30 years. 

C.J. Mahaney, Covenant Life Church & the Conspiracy to Cover-up the Sexual Abuse of Children
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 12:42PM

Charles Schmitt Is a False Shepherd, Predatory Homosexual, & Divisive Deceiver - He Is Starting a New Church & Must Be Stopped!
Friday, September 22, 2017 at 6:09PM

That conspiracy continues to this day as evidenced by the ongoing refusal to be thoroughly investigated by independent professionals in the field.  This provokes the wrath of God. 

Al Mohler Calls for an Independent, Third-Party Investigation of C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Churches, Inc.
Monday, May 28, 2018 at 6:22PM
The “Independent” Investigation of Sexual Abuse at Covenant Life Church Didn’t Include Talking to the Victims of Abuse – Incredulously, Executive Pastor Mark Mitchell Says Exclusion Was Due to “Limited Finances”  
Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 1:50PM 

Nor can we forget the way P.J. Smyth sought to protect his father from deportation and prosecution in Zimbabwe.  He knew all about his crimes involving voyeurism, exhibitionism, and sexual sadism.  His perverse father violently beat boys and P.J. observed this criminal action according to victims.  

What is the grievous take way?  P.J. and C.J. have so much in common!  Both are gifted and charismatic men who will deceive whenever necessary in order to protect their greatness and promote their glory.  

Lastly, the remaining CLC pastors have been pompous about the financial solvency and spiritual health of Covenant Life Church under their leadership.  This could be easily documented.  From my perspective, “There is no [or little] fear of God before their eyes” (Psa. 36:1; Rom. 3:18).  They have often played the victim card and blamed others for their woes.  They have yet to acknowledge God’s discipline.  

All this breaks my heart.  I wish it were not so.  I constantly pray for the good of these men as the Lord Jesus Christ defines good.  I hope the remaining pastors at CLC quickly  come to repentance.  If not, I pray the Lord removes them and replaces them with godly leaders who walk with Christ as their First Love.  I also pray P.J. comes to repentance which will result in public contrition and confession.  He should not be planting or leading a church, let alone a global ministry like Advance or Newfrontiers.  He should be pursuing a life of humility and integrity outside of ministry. 

The foundation of God’s holy throne upon which he sovereignly rules is righteousness and justice carried out in love and faithfulness.  Those that celebrate his righteousness, walk in the light, seek his glory and strength, experience his many blessings.  He is the Holy One of Israel. 

Psalm 89:14-18 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.  Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.  They rejoice in your name all day long; they celebrate your righteousness.  For you are their glory and strength, and by your favor you exalt our horn.  Indeed, our shield belongs to the Lord, our king to the Holy One of Israel.

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