Spotlight falls on creepy Ohio preacher
Prompted by allegations of weird goings-on at Ernest Angley’s Grace Cathedral in Cuyahoga Falls, The Akron Beacon Journal ran a five-part investigation into the 93-year-old’s operation. It makes for hair-raising reading.
The reports are the result of a two-month investigation by Beacon Journal reporter Bob Dyer. The paper says that former members of the congregation began to contact Dyer during the summer about concerns they had regarding Angley, an “internationally known television evangelist”, and the ministry he’s headed since 1957.
Dyer talked to 21 former members – often numerous times – in reporting this story. In addition, Dyer had an exclusive, 90-minute interview with Angley, along with Associate Pastor Chris Machamer and usher Mike Kish, to report their side of the story.
Depending whom you ask, one of two things is happening at the church:
• The devil himself has infiltrated it and Angley, who is a prophet of God, has been working tirelessly to fight him off.
• Angley’s church is a dangerous cult where pregnant women are encouraged to have abortions, childless men are encouraged to have vasectomies and Angley – who preaches vehemently against the “sin” of homosexuality – is himself a gay man who personally examines the genitals of the male parishioners before and after their surgeries. They also say he turns a blind eye to sexual abuse by other members of his church.
Former members of Angley’s congregation say people who leave the church are not only shunned, but also often criticised by name during services.
Perhaps no one has been subjected to more venom than former Associate Pastor Brock Miller, who stepped down on July 4.
Miller told friends and family that he left because he had been “violated” by Angley for seven years and could no longer take it.
Angley “had him undress and touched him all over,” said a family member who did not want to be identified because many members of the large family are still devout followers.
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.
According to this report, some male ex-churchgoers say they weren’t surprised by Miller’s allegations, because Angley took an inordinate amount of interest in their genitalia too.
It is alleged that Angley routinely brought men into his office to examine them before and after vasectomies. He apparently insists that all male of his congregation have to have the snip.
Angley also reportedly took an interest in his male parishioners’ danglies during pastoral counseling.
Kenny Montgomery, 43, above, who owns a mobile dog-grooming business in Akron, said a counseling session with Angley took a shocking turn when he went to see the minister for his marital problems, including a lack of sex with his wife:
I [talked] to Ernest about that, because you’re not allowed to see an outside counselor, because an outside counselor has a ‘Doctorate of Devils,’ as he calls it.
He asked me, ‘Do you do oral sex on her?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, but I don’t know what that has to do with it.’ And then he puts his hands over his mouth and starts stroking his chin and licking his lips. This is creepy.
And he goes, ‘So, are you large?’ And I go, ‘What do you mean?’ And he says, ‘Your penis — is it really large?’ And I got kind of pissed. I go, ‘You know, I never sat around and compared it with another man’s’.
He backed right off when I said that. He says, ‘Well, you just need to pray to God and seek God more and all this will be better’ – and pretty much shoved me out of his office’.
For his part, Angley told the paper that Miller was a drunken liar, and most of the ex-parishioners now accusing him were sinning prevaricators, too.
It’s all kinds of tales. But if I traced down every lie, I wouldn’t get nothing else done. Jesus didn’t, and I try to be just as much like him as I can.
In a sermon around the same time, trying to explain the allegations swirling around his ministry, Angley told worshippers:
They called Jesus a homosexual, did you know that?