Televangelist pastor accused of forcing vasectomies and abortions on church members

Televangelist pastor accused of forcing vasectomies and abortions on church members
Former members of Grace Cathedral in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio have accused church leader and televangelist Ernest Angley of demanding they have abortions or vasectomies, and that he would both engage in and turn a blind eye to sexual abuse in the church.

Over 20 former members of Angley’s congregation spoke with the Akron Beacon Journal in its six-part series on various allegations made against the 93-year-old preacher. Former members said he pushed vasectomies and abortions, and that he would personally examine “the genitals of the male parishioners before and after their [vasectomy] surgeries,” the Beacon Journal wrote.

One former member of Grace Cathedral said “none of us have kids because he makes all the men get fixed.”

“You’re not allowed to have babies there,” Becky Roadman told the Beacon Journal.

Others said Angley regularly counseled women to have abortions, going so far as to say to one woman in his congregation that she should think of her fetus as “a tumor,” said former Grace member Angelia Oborne.

“She was four months pregnant and she sat in the [abortion clinic] waiting room and told her baby that she was so sorry that she was doing this,” Oborne said. “I know another girl — she won’t come forward — but she was forced into having four abortions.”

Greg Mulkey, a singer in the Hallelujahs that perform during Angley’s televised services, suggested that encouraging vasectomies and abortions was part of controlling how congregants spent their money.

“He doesn’t want people to have kids because it would take their time and money away from [the church],” Mulkey said. “He really forced people into abortions through scare tactics, as if he were a medical doctor. It turns my stomach.”

Angley addressed accusations that he pushed vasectomies and that he was a homosexual - based on allegations that he inappropriately touched an associate pastor for seven years - during a church service in July recorded by an attendee and later offered to the Beacon Journal.

“I’m not a homosexual. God wouldn’t use a homosexual like he uses me. He calls me his prophet, and indeed I am,” Angley explained. “They called Jesus a homosexual, did you know that? And still do. Because he was with men.”

Angley said urging members of his congregation to get vasectomies was part of how he “helped so many of the boys down through the years.”

“They had their misgivings. Sure, I’d have them uncover themselves, but I did not handle them at all.

“And I would tell them how that would work. And they’d have to watch it. I’d have some of them come back to me that I felt needed to. And I would tell them, I would look at them, their privates — I, so I could tell how they were swelling.”

He offered accounts of men he had counseled, but insisted his manner was not sexual.

“I was a farm boy. We thought nothing about undressing. We didn’t know about homosexuals. We talked about women.

“And some of these turned against me.”

One who did turn away from Angley was the associate pastor, Brock Miller, who told family and friends he left the church because Angley “violated” him for seven years.

Angley “had him undress and touched him all over,” said another family member of Miller’s who asked to remain anonymous.

“I don’t believe he touched him on his part, but it doesn’t matter. That doesn’t belong in the church. It doesn’t belong anywhere, but it [certainly] doesn’t belong in the church.”

At the July 13 service, Rev. Chris Machamer, an associate pastor, called Miller a “proven liar” and a drug addict who “simply wanted to take control of the church after Rev. Angley dies.”

Miller refused interviews for the Beacon Journal series. He has not, a family member emphasized, accused Angley of being gay but only that he was violated by the longtime pastor.

Shane McCabe, a former member of Grace, said as a teenager he was sexually molested by associates at the church. When he confronted Angley about it years later, the pastor ignored the allegations.

“He asked if I had told anybody. I said no. He said, ‘Let’s keep it a secret. This is the way we need to handle it because God’s mercy is great.’”

Asked why he urged silence around sexual abuse in his church, Angley told the Beacon Journal that it could “hurt others.”

“They shouldn’t talk about it, but they can do something about it. But they ought not to spread it abroad, you know, because that hurts others,” he said.

“If it’s somebody that, you know, makes a habit of that,” he added. “We get ’em out. We get them out. We just let them know they have to go.”

Other former members stated flatly that Grace Cathedral run by Rev. Angley was a cult.

“This man is a monster,” said Pam Cable, who left Grace in 1988. “He’s a monster. And I can’t understand why all these years have gone by and nobody’s ever really been able to do anything about him.

“The people in Akron, Ohio, have a Jim Jones sitting in their backyard. ... These people in his congregation would drink the Kool-Aid if he told them to. They would.”