“Nancy Beach, a former teaching pastor and one of more than 10 women to speak out against Hybels, said in a blog post this morning that she was “stunned and devastated” by last night’s meeting. Beach said that in the past several weeks, she and other alleged victims and their advocates had met with the elders and had hope because of the elders’ seeming compassion and empathy.”
(Julie Roys) Many who attended the elder-led congregational meeting at Willow Creek Community Church last night seemed pleased with what they heard. At the beginning of the service, the congregation gave Willow Creek Acting Senior Pastor Steve Gillen a standing ovation. And at several points throughout the night, the congregation clapped in response to elder comments.
However, the approximately 1,100 people at last night’s meeting represented a fraction of Willow’s total regular attendance of approximately 24,000. Also, there were some at the meeting last night—and many others watching reports and camera footage posted online—who were sorely disappointed.
“Lies, lies, lies!” said longtime Willow member, Amy Love, as she met friend and former member, Rob Speight, in the lobby. Wiping away tears, she asked Speight how she could stay at the church, given the leaders’ refusal to confess and name publicly all the wrongs that had been done and to make restitution.