CBF News

November 18, 2017

 

We continue to persevere through a very difficult time in our Church's history and by God's grace and with His help we will get through.

 

We will continue to trust God for His healing for everyone who has been impacted by this tragedy. Please join us in praying for the victim and their family, our Cornerstone Church family and the larger Bermuda community.

 

Let's pray with fervency and expectation that God will turn around this difficult situation for His glory and our benefit.

 

November 14, 2017

Gary Simons has left CBF. This is the result of his confirmation of his sexual abuse of a minor. When confronted with the details of the allegations, Gary confirmed that they were indeed true. 

This matter was reported to Child & Family Services. We continue to work with CFS and SCARS to ensure that we are doing all we can to properly support victims of sexual abuse within our church and the wider community, help victims come forward and prevent and deter instances of sexual abuse. 

As we all work through this situation together, we as a leadership are focused on supporting the victim and the victim's family. To this end, we need to clarify, correct and comment on the considerable amount of misinformation on this matter in the public domain. 

First, it is necessary to confirm that this was a pattern of sexual abuse rather than a single incident years ago. Abuse on the victim began while the victim was a minor and continued for many years into the victim's adulthood. 

Second, we confirmed that the sexual abuse began before CBF but continued secretly for many years while Gary served as the Senior Pastor at CBF. 

Third, what happened to the victim at all times was abuse. Some have falsely, and to be charitable, ignorantly sought to characterize what happened as a sexual relationship between two consenting adults. This is a cruel, callous and totally erroneous interpretation and needs to stop. 

Fourth, Tragically, because it often takes years for victims to come forward, and many never do, their accounts are discounted, disparaged even disputed. After all, most of us simply learn to move through bad experiences. There even seems to be an element of blame put on the victim. Research tells us that once these abuses start, the victims relive them every day . . . think of it, every day the terror, fear, anger and suffering are relived. The victim is revictimized every single day. 

We remain committed to the openness and transparency of our actions and decisions before you, our church, and the wider community, At the same time we are working to prevent further victimization in this process and to properly support and protect the victim so healing can continue.