As I’ve finally calmed down enough to digest the shocking allegations in the latest SGM drama, one of the most shocking, is the allegation that Larry Tomczak (co-founder of SGM Ministries) administered naked beatings to one of his children for over 25 years. The following is an excerpt of the allegation.
Carla Coe was repeatedly assaulted by Defendant Tomczak and his co-conspirators during a 25-year period spanning her childhood and young adulthood. Defendant Tomczak assaulted Carla Coe with his hands, as well as with various instruments, including but not limited to, plastic and wooden sticks.
On multiple occasions, including occasions after Carla Coe reached the age of majority, Defendant Tomczak forced Karla Coe to strip out of her clothing against her will, and be beaten on her bare buttocks. Defendant Tomczak continued to engage in this forced undressing and beating of Carla Coe until she fled and escaped from the abuse.
On several occasions, Defendant Tomczak imprisoned Carla Coe and denied her food for extended periods of time.
Defendant Tomczak verbally admitted on one or more occasions to the individual Defendants and to the Church that he abused Carla Coe. No one reported the beatings to the secular authority.
The assaults by Defendant Tomczak and his co-conspirators’ assaults primarily occurred in Maryland and Virgina.
Such a short few sentences packed with a lifetime of excruciating pain. I guess Larry Tomczak wasn’t kidding around when he penned his book God, The Rod, and Your Child’s Bod.
A book in which he talks about spanking children when they are teething (in other words, less than 1 years old).
Some folks have reacted with disbelief that a young woman in her twenties would submit to this type of treatment. I can tell you from my own experience in SGM, that many a leader in the movement spoke about spanking children that were of age. I remember one conversation with Mark Prater, then a care group leader at Covenant Fellowship Church, in which he praised a teaching tape that spoke about a Father spanking his son who was in his late teens. This idea that children could be spanked at just about any age, was certainly discussed by different leaders in SGM at the time that many of the alleged abuses occurred.
The other thing to understand, is that SGM preached that to obey God, one had to unquestioningly follow those put in authority above you. For church members, it meant obeying your pastors, even when they were wrong (no kidding-I was told this by a pastor at Covenant Fellowship in my exit interview), for wives it meant their husbands, and for children it meant their parents. Simply questioning or disagreeing with any of these “God-given” authorities was tantamount to being in full-blown rebellion to God. This atmosphere of unquestioning obedience is a perfect breeding ground for abuse.
Another wicked aspect in SGM’s teachings was the idea that you as an individual could not trust your own feelings. Only if a pastor or parent confirmed them were you to trust yourself. Again, saying that you felt wronged or abused meant nothing, since your own judgement could always be called into question as flawed and horribly sinful. Multiply this times 100 for a child who is trying to grow up in this environment and you can begin to scratch the surface of why some would allow themselves to be abused for so long.
Lastly, I just want to highlight the extreme bravery it took for these victims to come forward and tell the truth. I’m sure for some, it will cost them many relationships. My thoughts go out to them on this night…I hope they find the justice, peace, and refuge that should have been theirs growing up.
- Sovereign Grace: More allege church hid sex abuse (wjla.com)
- Amended SGM Lawsuit: Shocking Allegations of Rape/Child Abuse by Pastors at CLC/ Larry Tomczak (christianagnostic.wordpress.com)
- Ky. Evangelical Church Accused Of Hiding Sexual Abuse, Assaulting Woman With ‘Plastic And Wooden Spoons’ (cleveland.cbslocal.com)