Anglican Watch

Tenth Presbyterian slaps abuse victims in the face, schedules preacher this Sunday who supports alleged church rapist

Tenth Pres slaps abuse survivors in the face

Even now, following the GRACE report and the revelations of misconduct by LIam Goligher, Tenth Presbyterian and its so-called leaders appear to have learned nothing. Zero. Zip. Nada.

Why do we say that? Because Enrique Leal, who heads up the church’s mercy ministries, is preaching this Sunday at the 2 PM service.

That’s a problem, because Leal allegedly is the pastor who is friends with purported rapist Lucas Saenz, as referenced in the GRACE report, page 66, footnote 332. And while Saenz was rebuked for premarital sex, GRACE states that Saenz feels supported by the Tenth Presbyterian pastors to this day (page 69, footnote 361).

Subsequently, when concerns arose that the purported rape victim might become pregnant, here’s how Tenth’s pastors responded:

I did get a call from [the pastor who was friends with Saenz]. And his idea was that they should get married… he counseled him to go get an engagement ring and propose to her. She did not particularly want to marry him, although she liked the idea of getting an engagement ring and getting married.

Sources close to the matter tell Anglican Watch that the person offering the suggestion was Leal.

GRACE also notes several key points:

  • The purported victim may have a different cultural understanding of what constitutes rape.
  • The victim has been unwilling to speak to GRACE.
  •  There is no evidence that anyone from Tenth spoke alone with the victim.
  •  Tenth did not contact law enforcement.

We also believe that the victim requested protection from Saenz, versus a suggestion of marriage.

GRACE thus reports that it is unable to determine with certainty whether Saenz committed rape or the other allegation against him, which is false imprisonment.

But all of that begs the question — what kind of pastor in his or her right mind doesn’t call the police the instant the word rape is mentioned? 

GRACE further reports that the church demonstrated bias against the victim, while repeatedly expressing concern about the potential impact of rape allegations on Saenz’s career (page 73).

And while we have heard some folks from Tenth Pres circles rush forward to defend Susan Elzey, no one seems particularly concerned about this woman, whom the church regards as a “seeker,” rather than a member.

Meanwhile, Anglican Watch believes there should be an extensive discussion around whether a pastor who doesn’t report allegations of rape and false imprisonment should serve as a pastor.

And that is all the more the case in light of the GRACE report and the recent issues with Liam Goligher.

Most of all, it is a slap in the face to all who have experienced abuse at Tenth Pres.


  1. I share your outrage that Enrique Leal is preaching at Tenth this Sunday.

    Tenth has sent out a letter to all members of the church calling for a fast. I don’t deplore the practice of fasting, but IMO the leaders at Tenth need to be fasting from giving sermons. The GRACE report has revealed enough to indicate that there is such paucity of leaders having good character at Tenth, and the number of abuse-enabling leaders is so prolific, that they ought to be imposing on themselves a moratorium on preaching until and unless they can wrap their heads around the impacts of the GRACE report, and expel the abuser and abuse-enablers from their midst. 1 Cor 5:11 is the biblical precept — put all the heinous sinners out of the church pronto! Hand them over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh! Look up the verse. It’s one of the most ignored passages in the New Testament.

  2. More of same at tenth all they have learned to do is to cover things up. cesspool of leadership. they have not learned the from the past.GRACE thus reports that it is unable to determine with certainty whether Saenz committed rape or the other allegation against him, which is false imprisonment.

    But all of that begs the question — what kind of pastor in his or her right mind doesn’t call the police the instant the word rape is mentioned?

  3. there way to fix things was to pay for mental health help. cover it up never call the police when things happened! keep Wynne and others over the years on the payroll. they need to be reported for the victims of just the sexual actions alone. sadly, they will just cover things up until something really goes wrong. enough with their excuses”””””””””””””

  4. How the mighty have fallen – James Boice must be rolling in his grave.

    I left the church in 2017. There were signs of stress in the leadership. It was never spoken but you could feel it. This was after the scandal with Paul Jones. They called Phil Snyder a nut. They should bring him into the church and make these adulterers and liars apologize to him and to the congregation.

    The place is cult like anyway. The leadership rotates among a small group. At that time there were people around America shooting up churches and they instituted security measures. However, the Elders would not require background checks for teachers, employees and leaders. I now know why.

    The place is like the Aegean Stables.

    1. We agree on all counts. But no one at Tenth has the backbone to actually be a Christian and apologize. They are all playing the game of keeping a low profile, saying the right words, and hoping the scandal will blow over.

      It won’t.

  5. I have noticed with interest the contrasting reports over on Wartburg Watch about Liam being “an angel” versus someone who drove families away from the church, I can only say that the same was true in the UK.

    Liam’s tangible, unequivocal confidence in the goodness and grace of God was refreshing. And if you were on the same theological path as Liam and appreciated his preaching, then he was wonderful – responsive and supportive. He was, however, socially awkward and struggled with small talk. That bothered those who wanted a Pastor not a Preacher. And those who would challenge and criticise him faced a very different Liam. I found it really hard to believe their stories – such was the contrast – but they were clearly hurt, wounded… and livid. Most of the Credo-Baptists felt betrayed by his moving theological stance and grew to hate him, vowing not to return while he remained Minister.

    As regards Liam’s directive to protect Jones’ reputation, I think Ryken had an enormous influence on Liam so I dare say the reason for the discretion/cover up of Jones was out of loyalty to Ryken (who had, after all, allowed Jones to stay on for a decade). His friendships/loyalties to the Elders and others would have led to the further cover ups trying to “protect the good reputation” of these men. His own fall’s consequences will have panicked him and furthered a need for secrecy.

    Phil Snyder and others were clearly treated poorly when all they wanted was transparency and accountability. I have read comments from Tenth people which suggest Phil’s rather provocative response made him appear unstable rather than a truth teller, but the truth is now out. I hope all whistleblowers will be welcomed back into the church – with penitence on the part of the church.

    I pray for the church body, and for transparency and humble leadership going forward.

    Liam always felt underappreciated in the UK and yearned for the limelight, but he was also humble – he’d serve and wash up coffee, and help clean the toilets. We watched the interview with Tenth and felt he was out of his depth (e.g. flippant) yet the church still took him. The appointment to Tenth certainly fed his ego.

    Liam was always a bit of a flirt and inappropriate with women. His immaturity with women combined with a predatory female would explain the sexual infidelity. He is (as are we all) a flawed individual. He is not evil, he is weak. And he fell. And a panicked, weak person cannot afford to be transparent but becomes defensive and aggressive. (I do think it possible that being “caught out” scared him, and put an end to the sexual element in his relationship with Susan Elzey. They may well have moved on to a pact of silence and mutual support).

    Quite how he carried on preaching Law obedience though, for 9 more years, is beyond me!

  6. Hmm.. predatory female?? How about abuse of power by person in authority. How sex crazed Liam must have been to be caught screwing in a public park. Susan Elzey is culpable for adultery as is Liam. In this case, Liam screwed his congregation, broke trust with his wife, 5 children and Session. He is held more accountable than us sinful peasants and blind sheep. Adultery is sin but not the only sin. For me the greater sin is the abuse of power, mistreatment of anyone who disagreed with him, the denigration of women and the conspiracy of silence. Liam is a narcissist and there is no cure. He is best kept away from congregants. I do not judge him, I forgive, but him and the Session must go. PS- Liam is a predator.

    1. That be our take. And George McFarland and the rest of Session need to hit the bricks.

      Our understanding too is that McFarland has repeatedly lied about Phil Snyder, including apologizing once for doing so. But that is a heretical notion of repentance, which also involves restitution.

      Sorry, Tenth–no cheap grace need apply.

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