It's in the news again.
He played special music on many a Sabbath. It was memorable in that he was a bit of a showman when it came to the piano. The performances at WCG services in Auckland always had a touch of the dramatic. And he was undeniably talented. In a congregation of 300 or more souls, this guy stood out. At the time I admired his style, little knowing the darkness beyond the facade.
Or was it a facade? How does someone live by two utterly discordant sets of values, one focused on the trappings of biblical Christianity, the other on the gratification of one's own desires at the expense of vulnerable children? Was the church profile just a cover, or was this man both deeply committed and hugely conflicted at the same time?
What isn't in doubt is the horrific damage he caused.
It could have happened in any church. Sadly, it often does. But that it happened in the church we - many of us - naively regarded as God's True Church, has a special poignancy.
Today churches have stringent procedures in place dealing with abuse. At least, mainline churches do. Perhaps someone can enlighten us as to whether the same is true in any of the bodies that have descended from WCG. This man was involved in at least one of these splinters (Fred Coulter's CBCG) - actually representing it in New Zealand until his past caught up with him.
Are they safe places for kids now? Have they ensured that the welfare of the young people is paramount?
(The earlier story on Otagosh, is available here.)