In the Solomon situation, other than Aaron Solomon himself, few organizations are more corrupt and complicit than Grace Chapel, Steve Berger, and Rob Rogers. Today’s post focuses on their roles in Grant’s death and Gracie’s abuse, and flags the school’s director of counseling, Amy Curle, as a liar. From hell. It also raises issues of possible criminal conspiracy among these persons, including obstruction of justice.
About Steve Berger and Grace Chapel
In 1994, Berger, his wife, and three other couples moved from Southern California to Franklin, TN, forming Grace Chapel, a conservative mega-church with a Sunday attendance of about 3,500.
Claiming to be nondenominational, Grace Chapel allegedly is associated with the Calvary Chapel Association. While there’s some diversity of beliefs among autonomous Calvery Chapels, the group tends towards dominionism, or the idea that the government should redirect efforts and resources to back faith communities.
Indeed, Berger himself has said that freedom of religion is the freedom of believers versus the freedom to be a non-believer. We are not entirely clear how he reaches that conclusion, but no serious constitutional legal scholar shares Berger’s perspective.
The weirdness doesn’t stop there. Berger also holds various controversial views, including stating that:
- LGBT persons are one of the top threats to the Christian church. (He has since pulled these comments from his new website, preferring to hide it behind the dog whistle “wokeness.”)
- His writings lament the “forced” closure of churches due to COVID.
- He supports conversion therapy and complementarianism, or the notion that men and women should have different but complementary roles, especially at church and home. These views became more extreme following the 2009 death of Berger’s son Josiah, who never regained consciousness after a one-car accident.
Even so, you’d think that the unexpected death of a child would lead Berger to a bit of compassion for Angie and Gracie Solomon, right?
Aaron’s ties to Grace Chapel
So, what’s the connection between Aaron Solomon and Grace Chapel?
That’s an important question, and it’s essential to understanding how Steve Berger and Grace Chapel have been part of the abuse Grant and Gracie experienced.
The answer lies in who’s drawn to Grace Chapel.
Like flies to a farmyard, the church is a magnet for the wealthy, the conservative elite, lawyers, and others drawn by Berger’s toxic blend of male domination, power politics, Christian Nationalism, expository preaching, and hatred. Those include State Senator Jack Johnson, Judge Deanna Johnson, Senator Marsha Blackburn, Governor Bill Lee, Secretary of State Tre Hargett, and others.
Thus, it is no surprise that Aaron Solomon, never one to avoid hatred or corruption if he thought they would help his case, was inexorably drawn to the heady mix of politics, cash, corruption, and power within the church. Yet many in Aaron’s inner circle believe he is an avowed atheist.
So, as Aaron moved from lowly WSMV anchor to millionaire, thanks to a trust fund he inherited from a family member, he sought to mingle among Nashville’s powerful via their ties to Berger. And part of that was trading on Grant’s athletic success — which is why, at Grant’s funeral, standing over his son’s open casket — Aaron lied about how he and his son played baseball all the time.
Simply put, the day he died, Grant had not seen his father in two years and was far from eager to do so then.
Grant could barely tolerate his father and did so primarily to buffer his mother and sister from Aaron’s narcissistic, hateful behavior.
Grace Chapel hatred extends to Gracie
Nor did this reign of hate end after Steve Berger’s purported exit from Grace Chapel post January 6, when he repeated a series of fabrications about how the insurrection at the US Capitol was the work of Antifa loyalists. It extends to Gracie Solomon and her allegations of rape by her father.
Yes, Rob Rogers is now senior pastor after a knock-down, drag-out food fight during televised Sunday services at the church. And he projects a less threatening, less bullying demeanor than Steve Berger.
But shortly after Gracie released her video accusing her father of raping her and killing her brother, the church decided to wade into the mess. Grace Chapel denounced the video and taught people to hate Gracie and her mother by saying the imprecatory Psalms.
Yes, you read that right. Just over a year after someone murdered Grant, Grace Chapel encouraged members to hate his 14-year-old sister. And yes, this happened after Steve Burger resigned.
That conduct is relevant for three reasons:
- It explains why Anglican Watch is poking a toe into politics, an area we usually steer clear of. Indeed, we believe plurality and civil discourse are essential to society. But when things cross into bullying a 14-year-old who’s just lost a brother and is dealing with sexual trauma, the specifics are fair game. Adults, you don’t get to abuse kids, regardless of age, church, or politics. Nor do we care what sort of abuse it is. It is wrong.
- The church went to great lengths to say that Aaron was not a member. But it has no membership per the church’s website, so that is nothing more than lipstick on a pig. Or bronzer on a TV reporter.
- Church member Judge Deanna Johnson was the family court judge in the Solomon divorce case and abused her judicial authority. The latter includes issuing an order decreeing Angie an abusive litigator, which we believe is not an available remedy in Tennessee domestic relations cases. Moreover, if it were, the person to whom such an order should apply would be Aaron Solomon, who allegedly told Angie Solomon that he paid a $30,000 bribe to a Coffee County judge to transfer venue in the case. Johnston is the wife of State Senator Jack Jackson.
While we’re on the topic, there’s ample reason to get a protective order against Aaron. In addition to Gracie’s allegations of sexual assault, substantiated by the state, we have the report from the guardian ad litem, which we reported here.
That is more than adequate to grant a protective order against Aaron and overcome any claim of abusive litigation.
And considering that Grant died while in Aaron’s custody — and we still have no logical explanation for his death — any divorced parent would be deeply concerned about access to Gracie.
As for Judge Deanna Johnson, this is not the first time questions have been raised about her ethics and possible bias.
In a case involving allegations of sexual assault of a student at Brentwood Academy in 2018, Johnson was accused of bias and plagiarizing her findings of fact from defense counsel pleadings.
The appellate court overturned Johnson’s holding in the case in an unusually abrupt decision, and it is unclear what happened to the ethics complaint.
Why is Grace Chapel so damned mean towards Gracie?
So why the malice? Isn’t this a church?
We’ll never know all the reasons, but it’s easy to guess one of the big reasons: In her video, Gracie accuses Steve Berger of lying about his meeting with Grant shortly before his death.
We’ve covered these allegations before and believe Gracie without reservation. We in no way believe Steve Berger or Grace Chapel.
So, what happened at the meeting held on May 7, 2018? We believe what happened is as described by Gracie: Grant asked for help protecting his sister from his father. It was not, as claimed by Berger, an effort to learn how to get closer to Jesus.
Church attendees also tell us it is difficult to meet with Berger. So his scheduler wasn’t about to let Grant in to chat about how to get closer to Jesus.
We believe Grant did ask Berger for help and that Berger was noncommittal. We think Grant was barely out the door before Berger called Aaron to give him a heads-up.
Just 75 days later, Grant was dying in a ditch.
There’s a wrinkle, too: Grace Chapel can’t even get its lies right.
For example: The church falsely claims that its representative went with Angie to the police to fulfill its mandatory reporting obligations. But that’s not accurate.
Angie went with a friend from the church to report that one of the school girls was complaining of unwanted contact from Aaron. In other words, the school did nothing to contact law enforcement about possible grooming.
And Rob Rogers, the current senior pastor, appears to have lied about things. Specifically, he claimed in a letter to church members that Aaron was never a church member and that the church has procedures to become a member. But the church’s website says it doesn’t offer membership.
So which is it?
Allegations of pedophilia
So, suppose that our conclusions are correct: Steve Berger lied about his conversation with Grant. And Aaron killed Grant after being tipped off by Steve Berger that Grant would go public.
Where does that leave us?
It leaves us with Gracie’s allegations that her father is a child molester. And it leaves us with Angie’s report to the police about another girl complaining of Aaron’s behavior.
On top of that, we have heard countless allegations that Aaron was involved in human trafficking. We also have been told that Grant knew about vile stuff on Aaron’s computer.
Thus, we believe Grant unwittingly threatened to blow the whistle on a criminal enterprise that went far beyond his concerns about the safety of his mother and sister.
This criminal enterprise, sweeping in scope, starts with Aaron’s crossing state lines to allegedly engage in illegal activity with Gracie. Her concerns are out there for all the world to see, and she has refused to take her video down despite threats from Steve Berger. More power to her.
That criminal enterprise would then extend to school officials, who failed to fulfill their roles as mandated reporters.
Among those is Amy Curle, head of counseling, who appears to be trying to bully people into silence per the screencaps below. But if Curle was doing her job (including obeying the protective order against Aaron Solomon), why is he still being seen on campus? What rational actor allows an alleged pedophile on campus? Parents, if Curle’s conduct is your idea of a godly leader, you have lost your collective minds. And Curle is both a liar AND a monster, and several words we choose not to publish.
As for Steve Berger, adults who are substantiated child sex offenders like Aaron Solomon are not on any rational actor’s list of “buddies.” So, all of you who follow Berger around like fleas on a dog: Since when was incest okay?
And to avoid doubt, the recording below made November 7, 2018, is of Grant demanding help for his sister. Although Grant hardly managed to get a word in edgewise, those in the room include Rona Branson, Amy Curle, Bob Jordan, and Coach Len McNatt. The day before, Angie had met with GCA officials due to school officials having met with Gracie alone a week earlier. Grant was ticked because the school had told everyone and their twin brother about Gracie’s abuse but didn’t do anything about it. (Hint to clueless GCA types: Correct response is truthfully saying, “We are in touch with the police and assisting in the investigation. We have barred Aaron Solomon from the campus and fully support Gracie, Angie and Grant. Additionally, we have ordered an independent investigation.”)
Additionally, any competent educator knows the whole reason for mandatory reporting is that schools are neither trained, nor competent, to assess allegations of abuse. Thus, Curle’s claims that there are multiple sides to this issue is as admission of guilt: Her ONLY legitimate role was to report abuse.
Moreover, Magistrate Cabell from the juvenile court took a statement from Curle under oath stating that the school did not report Gracie’s abuse.
Curle, we’re calling BS on you. You are a liar. Same for Rob Rogers. And this is binary: You either followed the law, or you didn’t. So stop saying there are two sides, etc. You did NOT protect Gracie, period. Nor did you obey the law. Nor do you get to pick and choose which laws you obey.
So, how did Grant score his meeting with Berger? Sources close to the matter tell us that Steve Burger’s assistant Patti Tremblay encouraged Grant to meet with Berger. He did so despite an innate distrust of Trembley and Berger. How did this meeting come about? We may never know, but lingering financial issues in the Tremblay house may have played a role.
Thus, we would like to see the FBI start a criminal investigation, beginning with Amy Curle and Patti Tremblay, then moving on to Steve Berger and Rob Rogers.
Let’s begin with a failure to report child sexual abuse, interstate travel to facilitate illegal conduct with a minor, obstruction of justice, and criminal conspiracy and go from there. And since the entire bunch says they are as pure as the fresh-driven snow, they should have no objections.
After all, what better way to prove their points?