Significant Arise Church Announcement Expected Today
The Megachurch looks to break its silence since the scandal started
Update: John and Brent have resigned
Webworm understands Arise Church will be making a significant announcement today about the future of the megachurch.
Following a series of deep dives from Webworm and other media about emotional and physical abuse at Arise Church, we understand the independent Pathfinding review received hundreds of complaints.
Pathfinding engaged the New Zealand police, noting that “The Police will also be engaged to review collated material and advise whether further follow up or reporting is required.”
The initial stages of the Pathfinding review — which included public submissions (200 of which came through on the final day) — ended at 5pm on May 12.
There were over 600 submission — 617, to be precise.
Pathfinding will deliver its final report in the coming months.
However Webworm understands that some of the complaints it has received are serious enough to prompt significant doubt over whether John and Brent Cameron can retain their positions of leadership.
The conduct of Arise board chairperson Graeme Kirkwood has also come into question during the review process.
In mid-April, Kirkwood sent a statement to RNZ asserting that the church hadn’t received any complaints about Brent Cameron being naked around — or chasing — any interns. He later admitted to Webworm that he’d heard similar complaints about Cameron. However, they involved someone who was a staff member at the time of the incident.
Webworm thought that showed Kirkwood had been extremely selective in the wording of his statement to RNZ.
John and Brent Cameron have said very little this mess started back in early April. Brent refused to answer specific questions when called, and John sent a garbled email.
When called today, Brent’s phone went straight to voicemail.
The church has largely carried on “business as usual” since this saga began — hosting services to its members and posting motivational quotes on their social media.
They posted this statement online eight days after the review closed to public submissions:
“We want to apologise unreservedly to all those who have called Arise Church home. It is deeply regrettable that a place made for refuge, safety and security, for some, became a place of deep hurt.”
As always — Webworm will update this story as new details come to hand.
-Additional reporting by Hayden Donnell.
PS: If you missed them, these are the key Webworm reports on Arise:
Hillsong Isn’t the Only Abhorrent Megachurch
Meet Arise church. They’re rich, they’re powerful — and you’ve never heard of them
The Downward Spiral of Arise Church: Part I
How New Zealand’s largest megachurch lost its way
The Downward Spiral of Arise Church: Part 2
Assault and Abuse at Arise Church
The Downward Spiral of Arise Church: Part 3
Alleged sexual harassment and NDAs at Arise megachurch
Back From the Dead: Arise’s John Cameron Intends to “Return to Lead the Church”
An internal Arise Church communication shows John Cameron intends to pick up where he left off
Wow. Action....and you must take a bow, David. All down to you, and the many who came forward as a result of your investigation.
Fingers crossed the church members get some real change for the better out of this. Fantastic work on getting this into the daylight.