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May 11, 2018

As previously shared, Scottsdale Bible Church has engaged the services of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) to conduct a comprehensive, independent investigation into the allegations of abuse by our former youth pastor, Les Hughey. In addition, on Tuesday, May 15, at 6:30pm in room A8, SBC will host a forum with detectives from the Scottsdale Police Department and the Division Chief of the Special Victims Division of the Maricopa County Attorney, to allow victims from that era, our congregation, and community members to ask questions specifically regarding the criminal investigation into these allegations. It is also an opportunity to learn how to report abuse by Mr. Hughey to the Scottsdale PD.  We welcome anyone from our congregation, former or current, and the community to this forum, but we will not be able to address questions outside the scope of this specific investigation. If you have questions or comments prompted by this investigation, but not specifically related, we invite you to connect with us through info@scottsdalebible.com.


 

April 30, 2018

On April 22, we learned of allegations against a local pastor who was accused of sexual abuse of minors while he served at a church in Modesto, CA. Les Hughey later served as a youth pastor at SBC from 1985 to 1996. Because of the seriousness of these allegations, we decided to employ an independent firm to conduct an investigation of any abuse that may have occurred while Mr. Hughey was on staff at SBC.

Today, we announce that we will employ the well-respected firm GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) to conduct a thorough independent investigation in response to the allegations against Les Hughey. In an effort to be thorough, we have also asked GRACE to determine if there are additional allegations of sexual abuse against any SBC staff member or volunteer, and if so, to fully investigate them as well. This organization has a strong background and practical experience with handling abuse-related investigations and helps churches love and serve those in their midst who have experienced this trauma. More information about the firm can be found at netgrace.org.

As a church, we care deeply about any and all people who have put their trust in SBC’s pastors over the years, and it is our priority to discern what happened and respond with tangible help. We are praying God will shine a light in the darkness and bring truth and healing to all those affected by this situation.

Like Pastor Jamie shared in his letter last week, “We grieve for those who have been victimized and betrayed. We are also glad that this darkness has come to light. The victims need this. We need this. The Church of Jesus needs this. When I first heard of this last week, I was immediately reminded of Jesus’ words in Luke 8:17, ‘For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.’ God is in the habit of bringing sin out in the open so that truth, justice, and healing may occur. May we trust that God will bring much beauty out of these dark and painful ashes. He is faithful, and we can be encouraged that He will do just that.”

If you or someone you know would like to share your story or information related to this investigation, you may reach out confidentially to GRACE by emailing amy@netgrace.org. Anyone who already emailed the church at a previously provided email address will be contacted by GRACE.


April 29, 2018


 

April 24, 2018

Dear Scottsdale Bible Family,

As some of you might already be aware, one of our former pastors has been accused of sexually abusing minors who were part of his youth group when he was a youth pastor intern at a church in Modesto, California,in the 1970s. Pastor Les Hughey of Highlands Church in North Scottsdale has recently confessed to some of these very serious allegations.

As of this past weekend, Highlands Church has placed Pastor Hughey on a leave of absence and they have committed to conducting a thorough investigation – utilizing outside experts in the areas of pastoral and sexual abuse. I ask you to join me in prayer that they would be open and courageous in their commitment to uncovering what has happened. Most importantly, let’s pray for the brave victims who have come forward after years of pain, that they may be heard and validated. Let’s pray that healing, help, and justice will occur in great measure.

Even though the sexual abuse accusations against Les Hughey come from a different church, the fact is that he served as the youth pastor of SBC from 1985 to 1996 and we are concerned that he could have also victimized minors during his service here. Even though many of us were not here at that time, we care about any and all who have been a part of SBC over the years and want to be open and honest about what might have occurred when this man served as our youth pastor.

In addition to the allegations from his time serving at the church in Modesto, more accusations against Les Hughey have emerged from people who were part of the SBC youth group when he served as our youth pastor. Because of what we have learned, the leadership at SBC has decided that we must conduct a thorough and independent investigation into whether Les Hughey sexually victimized anyone in our church and whether anyone in church leadership had any knowledge of such abuse. Finding this out is the only way that we will be able to take tangible measures to serve those who were victimized and to discern whether we failed in any way to protect our children. God calls us to do nothing less. We are currently talking with a well-respected, national Christian organization which specializes in church-based sexual abuse of minors. We will utilize outside, expert resources in this independent investigation.

At this point, if you or anyone you know has any information that could be helpful, we encourage and welcome you to contact us. Anything shared will be held in strict confidence. We have made our women’s ministry pastors, our counseling pastor, our family pastor and our executive staff available to meet with any who have been hurt as a result of our past youth ministry and need to share and/or process. You can direct inquiries to a special email we have established at sbc@scottsdalebible.com. [UPDATE: Please send all emails to amy@netgrace.org.]

We grieve for those who have been victimized and betrayed. We are also glad that this darkness has come to light. The victims need this. We need this. The Church of Jesus needs this. When I first heard of this last week, I was immediately reminded of Jesus’ words in Luke 8:17, “For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.” God is in the habit of bringing sin out in the open so that truth, justice, and healing may occur. May we trust that God will bring much beauty out of these dark and painful ashes. He is faithful, and we can be encouraged that He will do just that.