Not too long ago, I followed quite a few referral hits on my blog and came upon the Calvary Chapel News blog run by Alex Grenier. Alex had been following my lawsuit story and shared my story on his blog. Alex is the step-son of Pastor Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia in California. He also mentioned in that article the possibility of a defamation lawsuit against him by his father and pastor, so of course that shocked and intrigued me.
I did a bit more searching to find out the back story. You can find Alex's personal story here. Below are a couple of paragraphs describing Alex's story in a nutshell and the purpose of the Calvary Chapel News blog:
My name is Alex Grenier. I am the son of Pastor Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia. My brothers and I were physically abused by “Pastor Bob” for our entire time in his home. His board and elders, including Raul Ries (Calvary Chapel Golden Springs), Gary Ruff (Calvary Chapel Foothills) and David Rosales (Calvary Chapel Chino Valley) have ignored the allegations and the requests to have a face-to-face Matt.18 style meeting for Bob to answer his accusers and give his side of the story. Pastor Dave Rolph of Calvary Chapel Pacific Hills has agreed to mediate the meeting. Many requests have been made to Bob’s board, elders and staff…no response to date.
Bob is unrepentant and lying about his many abuses…both physically toward me and my brothers and my mother…and his spiritual abusiveness to many over the 30+ years he has been the pastor of Calvary Chapel Visalia.
. . . . . . In August of 2009 my wife discovered a blog forum about people who had been “shown the door” by Bob/CCV…in this forum were accounts from people who had attended CCV who had been hurt by Bob and tossed aside. I read their stories, felt their pain…and I believed it was time to share my story. I began sharing and the blog exploded. More and more people began sharing their stories of Bob’s abuse and corruption. Many began contacting me privately. So many similarities and patterns of abuse. It truly makes me sick to realize Bob has gotten away with this stuff for over 30 years. Shame on Bob, shame on his board and elders. Shame on the Church
Alex's recent post indicates that attorneys representing Alex's parents, Pastor Bob and Gayle Grenier and Calvary Chapel Visalia, are in fact preparing to file a defamation lawsuit against Alex and four others who post on his blog. Here we go again - another pastor is suing a blogger and those who dared to expose their experiences on a blog.
It was almost seven months ago I was first threatened by my former pastor with a lawsuit. This threat was mentioned on a Google review. I received the subpoena approximately two weeks later. Of course Alex's situation is very close to my heart and it sure brings back all of those heightened feelings from that time.
Here is part of the notice from the attorneys:
1. Alex2. NotAlone3. Admin4. Tina Jenkins5. Edna Silva
Reading a bit of the Calvary Church Visalia situation, I have found there are similarities with my case, yet there are some distinct differences.
The obvious difference: my former church was very small - maybe 100 members at the most. Calvary Chapel Visalia has had around 1,000 regulars, but probably has considerably less attending now.