“When people don’t tell you the truth what they really are saying is they don’t value you or their relationship with you enough to be honest.” – Shannon L. Alder
Today’s post about #justiceforgracie examines the role of Rob Rogers at Grace Chapel, his status as Steve Berger’s sock puppet/rabid chihuahua, and his rank hypocrisy.
Entering through the Narrow Gate
Rob Rogers got his start with Steve Berger in the Narrow Gate ministry, which is the swamp from which many so-called leaders at Grace Chapel crawled. Specifically, Berger was Rogers’ mentor at Narrow Gate.
Narrow Gate portrays itself as a Christian development program that claims to help boys grow into men. As such, it aligns with Steve Berger’s connection to Promise Keepers and that organization’s Victorian worldview of “muscular Christianity.”
But peel the onion, and Narrow Gate becomes a shape-shifter.
Many youth in the Narrow Gate program have issues with drug abuse and addiction. These issues, of course, mean that participants often come to the organization vulnerable and loaded with emotional and psychological baggage, making them susceptible to manipulation.
Moreover, issues of power and control swirl throughout the organization. Numerous sources tell Anglican Watch of rape, sexual assault, drugs, and other indicia of the dirty underbelly of an all-male ministry to troubled youths that operates with little external supervision.
These allegations particularly attach to the program’s wilderness experience program, replete with a purported plywood isolation room for troublemakers. Anglican Watch further notes that while Narrow Gate proclaims itself to be a nonprofit, it appears to have a for-profit arm.
Nor should we be sanguine about these issues. We need only look at the scandals in the Boy Scouts, the Catholic church, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Church of England to realize that such environments are rife with abuse.
Also worth noting is that Rogers’ ties to Narrow Gate are more profound than just being a participant. According to his Grace Chapel bio, Rogers is a co-founder of the group.
We find that puzzling: If Rogers had a heroin addiction, how did he manage to start Narrow Gate? How did he manage to avoid hepatitis and HIV, the twin scourges of those struggling with heroin addiction? And why are there no signs of relapse?
To be clear, relapse for people with an addiction is not inevitable. But it’s a constant struggle for most, and we see no signs of this in Rogers. And yes, we recognize Rogers claims to have been “set free” of addiction, but we have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t struggle over time with these issues.
In other words, we’re deeply suspicious of Rogers’ claim that Jesus came rolling through and — Bang! — he’s instantly free of addiction. Indeed, it sounds like spiritual abuse, in which a leader purports to have unique access to divine favor.
That said, as far as we can tell, this was the start of the unholy alliance between Berger and Rogers.
Christ the King and the shadow of Steve Berger
In any event, by March 2007 — six months before he left Narrow Gate — Rogers was working as an intern at Grace Chapel. He remained in that position for just over three years before a short gig at Development Dimensions International, a Pennsylvania-based leadership consulting firm.
Following the job in Pennsylvania, Rogers became senior pastor of Christ the King in downtown Bellingham, Washington, or “CTK,” as insiders call it.
CTK grew over time and now includes churches up and down the West Coast.
A review of CTK’s website and other information doesn’t reveal a formal tie to the Calvary Chapel movement. But the church’s doctrines are almost verbatim from the latter group, as are discussions about human sexuality, right-wing politics, and alleged threats to the Christian faith from American culture.
Even more telling is the CTK marketing language, which is straight out of the Grace Chapel playbook. Buzzwords like authentic, belonging, purpose, simple, and meaningful are seemingly lifted right out of Steve Berger’s materials.
In other words, it very much looks like Rogers’ years with Christ the King were not time on his own. Instead, they appear to be time spent in the shadow of Steve Berger, even as Rogers indirectly fed at the toxic trough of Grace Chapel.
The return in glory
Ostensibly, Rob Rogers came riding back to Grace Chapel not on a donkey but instead a tidal wave of criticism after Steve Berger showed up in Washington, DC, for the January 6 uprising — just in time to run headlong into the Freedom for Gracie uproar.
Berger’s erstwhile departure was marked by moments of high drama, with Sarah Berger grabbing the microphone during Sunday services and decrying “cancel culture.”
But read between the lines, and Berger tips his hand with the whole bit about how he had planned the transition for three years. Indeed, his claim that he had planned to announce the transition on August 9, 2020, but was delayed by COVID directly counters Sarah Berger’s noisy theater performance. And no one disputes that Rogers was back on Grace Chapel payroll by 2018.
Other evidence supports that conclusion.
Berger’s entity, It’s Our Turn Foundation, which later morphed into Ambassador Services International (ASI), filed its first corporate filing on October 29, 2019. Tellingly, one of the ASI officers is none other than Kurt Beasley, a key Grace Chapel insider who refused to help Angie when she wrote to him, saying she feared for her life and that of her children. And Beasley claims to be an ordained minister.
Additionally, other corporate records show that Berger remains involved with Grace Christian Academy and Grace House Music, separate corporate entities tied to Grace Chapel.
The bottom line: The more things change, the more they stay the same. Rogers remains Berger’s sock puppet/rabid chihuahua, and Berger lurks right behind the scenes, pulling Roger’s strings.
As for the bit of cancel culture theater from the time of Rogers’ purported takeover of Grace Chapel, it’s a lie of the worst sort and nothing but manipulation designed to portray Berger as a victim of modern society.
Put bluntly, Rogers, Steve Berger, and Sarah Berger are all liars of the worst sort. Feel free to quote us.
Rob Rogers today
So, let’s flash forward to Rogers today and his role in the debacle that is Grace Chapel.
Yes, Rogers is the friendlier, less threatening version of Berger. Unlike Berger, we have yet to hear him tell anyone that he will destroy them. Nor have we received reports that he’s sexually harassing women, as is alleged of Berger.
But make no mistake about it: Rogers is simply the lite version of Berger — all of the calories, none of the taste. And Berger is careful to keep Patti Tremblay and other loyalists close to Rogers, just in case the latter gets any bright ideas.
Speaking of rabid chihuahuas, Rogers is the jackass who preached an entire one-hour cancel culture sermon at Gracie Solomon when she was 14. The message of the sermon was that everything Gracie said about being sexually abused was a lie and that church members should pray the Imprecatory Psalms while targeting their godly venom toward a 14-year-old girl who had just lost her brother.
Nice. Gives new meaning to the phrase “spiritual abuse.”
Similarly, while Rogers was quick to threaten colleague Shannon Ashley with legal action and decried the fact she had not reached out to him prior to publishing information adverse to Grace Chapel, he has steadfastly ignored our requests for comment.
But lying about the circumstances of Berger’s departure isn’t Roger’s only fabrication. He later claimed in a letter to members of Grace Chapel that the allegations about the church’s refusal to report the abuse of Gracie and Grant Solomon were “demonstrably false,” which is total BS.
Indeed, we’ve released numerous recordings and other evidence that Angie repeatedly sought help from the church, including reaching out to Kurt Beasley, who told her in writing that he wouldn’t help. That was just a little more than two years before Grant Solomon died alone in a ditch by the side of a dismal highway in Gallatin.
Here’s the thing. Rogers is such a scumbag that he even tried gaslighting church members by telling them he hadn’t threatened to sue Shannon.
That’s a blatant fabrication, and if he’s going to threaten to sue single mothers, he should have the backbone to hold the line. Or, if he rightly concludes this wasn’t a smooth move, then Rogers needs to man up and own his mistake.
Similarly, contrary to Rogers’ claims, the church WAS contacted by multiple media outlets prior to Gracie’s allegations going public.
Of course, in light of the recent Berger video in which he gives a shout-out to his pedophile buddy Aaron Solomon, it’s clear that Rogers is nothing more than another Berger sock puppet with a $2 million house. A rabid chihuahua with a stupid grin and a lying tongue.
As for folks who claim that Rogers is “nice,” spare us. Nice pastors don’t repeatedly lie to their congregations. Nor do they bully 14-year-old girls who just lost brothers. And they don’t threaten single mothers.
As for Grace Chapel elders, either they collectively are the spineless wonders of the western world, or they are complicit in Rogers’ appalling behavior. Or both.
And as for Rogers’ claim of authenticity, if this is his idea of Christianity, no thanks. He can keep it.
These issues, along with the question of who’s paying for Rogers’ new $2 million crib, are worth considering before writing any checks to Grace Chapel.
After all, do you really want to support the Rabid Chihuahua?