The Meeting House megachurch temporarily shutters because it can’t get abuse insurance

By The Christian Post |
Pastor Bruxy Cavey
Pastor Bruxy Cavey preaches at The Meeting House in the Toronto suburbs in December 2019. | YouTube/The Meeting House

More than two years after former teaching pastor Bruxy Cavey resigned from one of Canada’s largest megachurches amid allegations of sexual misconduct, The Meeting House has temporarily paused operations because no insurance company wants to cover its abuse liability or employment practices liability insurance.

“The historical incidents and allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse at The Meeting House continue to impact our church today in many ways, including how we are viewed by insurers,” the Toronto area Anabaptist church’s transition board of overseers and network leadership team stated in a recent email to congregants.

They said that even though the church took significant steps to help prevent abuse and better protect staff, volunteers and congregants “over the last few years,” its current insurer still sees the church as a high-risk operation and will not renew its abuse liability and employment practices liability coverage.

Abuse Liability (AL) coverage, or our Employment Practices Liability (EPL) coverage. Our insurer is willing to renew all other types of insurance we require, excluding those two types of coverage,” church officials said.

“Since receiving this news, we have been working as quickly and as thoroughly as possible to source replacement insurance coverage. At this point, we are confident that we have engaged all available insurers in Canada — and some internationally — who work with churches.”

Abuse liability insurance helps protect businesses and organizations when claims are made against their staff or volunteers for the abuse of people in their care, according to insurance broker Foxquilt.

“More specifically, Abuse Liability helps provide coverage for legal costs and the cost of damages. Without this coverage, a claim, and the financial costs around it could even close down your business,” the firm said.

The Meeting House leaders said due to the inability to secure insurance coverage, the ministry will have no in-person meetings for the month of July, which they will use to “continue discerning what form God is inviting us to take into the future as a network of churches, in partnership with our local leadership teams.”

“We know this will be yet another difficult challenge for us to face, and we grieve the need to pause ministry as a church. At the same time, we sense God at work in our midst in powerful ways and have tremendous hope in the process of surrendering and listening to the Spirit’s leading as we discern where He is leading us next,” the ministry leaders said.

An independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct commissioned by The Meeting House in December 2021 concluded in March 2022 that Cavey abused his power.

“The investigator determined that Bruxy had maintained a sexual relationship with the victim, an adult woman, in violation of The Meeting House policy and the Handbook of Faith and Life of Be in Christ Church of Canada,” Maggie John, the then chair of the church’s overseers board, said in a statement.

“The investigator also found that what became a sexual relationship between Bruxy and the victim, which lasted over an extended period of time, constituted an abuse of Bruxy’s power and authority as a member of the clergy, and amounted to sexual harassment.”

Cavey was subsequently arrested and charged with sexual assault of a former parishioner. In June of that year, officials at The Meeting House would reveal that at least three more former pastors were involved collectively in at least 38 reports of sexual misconduct.

Originally published by The Christian Post