These stories about Grace Cathedral in Cuyahoga Falls are the result of a two-month investigation by Beacon Journal reporter Bob Dyer. Internationally known television evangelist Ernest Angley has led the nondenominational church since 1957.
Former members of the congregation began to contact Dyer during the summer about concerns they had regarding Angley and his ministry.
Dyer talked to 21 former members — often multiple times — in reporting this story. In addition, Dyer had an exclusive, 90-minute interview with Angley, along with Associate Pastor Chris Machamer and usher Mike Kish, to report their side of the story.
Depending whom you ask, one of two things is happening at the big Cuyahoga Falls church run by legendary television evangelist Ernest Angley:
• The devil himself has infiltrated the church, and Angley, who is a prophet of God, has been working tirelessly to fight him off.
• Angley’s church is a dangerous cult where pregnant women are encouraged to have abortions, childless men are encouraged to have vasectomies and Angley — who preaches vehemently against the “sin” of homosexuality — is himself a gay man who personally examines the genitals of the male parishioners before and after their surgeries. They also say he turns a blind eye to sexual abuse by other members of his church.
Former members of Grace Cathedral say televangelist Ernest Angley has turned a blind eye to sexual abuse they reported to him.
Shane McCabe is among those who told the Beacon Journal they were molested in the Cuyahoga Falls church.
“I was sexually abused there,” said McCabe, who has since moved to Florida with his wife for a new start.
McCabe said the abuse began at age 13 at the hands of a close Angley associate who was frequently in and out of town. It happened several times over the course of a year, he said.
Former members of Ernest Angley’s congregation say people who leave the church are not only shunned, but also often criticized by name during services.
Perhaps no one has been subjected to more venom than former Associate Pastor Brock Miller, who stepped down July 4.
Miller told friends and family that he left because he had been “violated” by Angley for seven years and could no longer take it.
Angley “had him undress and touched him all over,” said a family member who did not want to be identified because many members of the large family are still devout followers. “I don’t believe he touched him on his part, but it doesn’t matter. That doesn’t belong in the church. It doesn’t belong anywhere, but it [certainly] doesn’t belong in the church.”
Televangelist Ernest Angley has torn apart families by advising his parishioners to turn their backs on those who have departed, according to a number of former members.
Becky Roadman, who quit the Cuyahoga Falls church last year after 13 years as a member, said Angley routinely blasts people who have soured on his church.
“When they leave there, they shun you and say you’re devil-possessed,” Roadman says. “[Members] have shunned even their own wives, husbands and children.
“What kind of pastor does that?”
On a pleasant Wednesday afternoon, Ernest Angley, dressed in an immaculate white suit with a purple shirt, stylish striped tie and neat pocket square, welcomes a visitor into his office on the second floor of the big circular Cuyahoga Falls building known as Grace Cathedral.
The structure sits in the shadow of one of Northeast Ohio’s most prominent landmarks, the 494-foot tower erected by another nationally known televangelist, the late Rex Humbard.
Angley, 93, appears to move effortlessly as he takes a seat at a conference table.
Just over his shoulder is custom artwork of the enormous jetliner he bought nearly 10 years ago. It’s a Boeing 747-SP, so large that it literally won’t fit inside any hangar at its home field, Akron-Canton Airport.
Ernest Angley says the people who spend long hours toiling at his church, his restaurant and his television station are doing the work of the Lord.
Some people who have done that work say it more closely resembles slave labor.
Shane McCabe, 34, who left Grace Cathedral in 2010 after 21 years as a devout member, said he learned early on that the church had no intention of following the rules of the employment road.
"The first day I worked at the station [WBNX], they told me to make sure you clock out on time,” he said. “They said if you don’t clock out on time you can get into serious trouble. ..."