“Following the news of an acquittal, we join MCC Toronto to pray for the healing of all parties as we look to the future.”
Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown, Interim Moderator, MCC
Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) and its leadership join the MCC Toronto Board of Directors to acknowledge the acquittal of their senior pastor, Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes. Rev. Hawkes received the verdict today after a November trial for allegations of a sexual offense in the mid-1970s.
“As the global interim moderator for Metropolitan Community Churches, we affirm Rev. Hawkes’ stellar career over four decades. Rev. Hawkes is only the second pastor at MCC Toronto, and since 1977, has worked tirelessly around HIV/AIDS and marriage equality, and support for asylum seekers fleeing violence as LGBTQ people. Canada’s legal system made its verdict and Rev. Hawkes has been exonerated,” Rev. Elder Rachelle Brown said.
Anne Brayley, Vice Moderator of the MCC Toronto Board of Directors, issued the following statement: “The Board of Directors of MCC Toronto is pleased to have this matter settled with a positive outcome for our Senior Pastor. Our support for Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes as a man of the highest integrity has never wavered, based on our 40 wonderful years of experience with him as our Senior Pastor. Our congregation has come through this difficult time by drawing on our values of care and compassion for all. We continue to pray for the comfort and healing of all parties involved. We remain focused on being the vibrant, inclusive and progressive Christian faith community we have always been.”
“The church has handled the matter in the same spiritually-guided way we deal with everything – we offer support, we offer prayer, we offer love, we offer acceptance,” said Rev. Deana Dudley on behalf of the spiritual leaders at MCC Toronto.
“There are no winners in matters such as these. Following the news of the acquittal, we join MCC Toronto to pray for the comfort and healing of all parties involved,” Rev. Brown said.
Rev. Hawkes will continue to serve the MCC Toronto congregation as the senior pastor. The Board of Directors will continue plans for Rev. Hawkes’ previously announced retirement.