Updates on the Ben Courson Story: How To Throw Your Ex Under the Church Bus…

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56 Responses

  1. richard says:

    color me skeptical, but this appears to me to be a guy out for himself first and foremost, who learned a trade of gifted public speaking from his dad, and now has created a lucrative business that he doesn’t want to lose.

  2. Linn says:

    My only thought at this point-no matter what your status as to the responsibility of a marital breakup, you need time off if you are in pastoral ministry to process, not to dis your ex in public, especially if you’re not Hosea.

  3. Nathan Priddis says:

    1. If you broadcast outside the local Assembly, then I don’t see how it is a local Assembly discipline issue. (Referencing the husband, not the wife)

    2. Unlike in centuries past, there is no Metropolitan or Bishop in this structure to act as an authority.

    3. We have Councils. Creeds and writings of the Church Fathers, but technology and society have changed over time. The best you can do is cite indirect precedent set by those who went before us.

    4. Paul established that a local (city) Assembly could turn a person over to Satan, but I refer back to point 1. A broadcast does not have locality. This would appear to be a wild west show in the House of God. Is there anything stopping non-connected individuals from interceading in prayer as Paul discribed? For the situation/person to be prevented from proceeding further.

    The closest precedent I can think of is the ordeal of bitter herbs. But essentially that is a reverse precedent, where the wife is accused but the husband cannot produce conclusive evidence. The herbs publicly exonerate the wife, but do nothing to restrain the husband from further acts, should he continue in bitterness.

  4. Laura Figueroa-Scott says:

    What an [unprintable]. “…I don’t want to expose…” and then he says her name after describing what may or may not be her actions and then scrubbing himself clean.

    And we wonder why people don’t feel safe or cared for at church… this is why.

  5. Victorious says:

    Jon and PJ Courson along with the board brothers could have at a minimum:

    Called a private church family meeting.
    Explained why Ben was going to step back and learn and be counseled while the board brothers investigated this further.
    Explained how they were going to provide covering and an offering of ministry to Ben’s former spouse.
    Explain that what they knew at the present was fresh and incomplete information and that they would investigate the situation to provide recommendations of redemption, reconciliation and healing as much as possible and with wisdom to both parties and families because Ben and his wife are both children of God and members of ACF .

    But, since according to Jon; He and the board fellas had spent hours of discussion prior to Ben’s self justifying sermon. Therefore, they authorized it and sanctioned it by their prayer at the end.

    Costco Cal imo was a pretty good guy when out from under the family umbrella.

  6. KathyB says:

    I thought we (Christians) are not suppose to gossip. (Ben exposing his ex wife’s sin) Or is it not gossip when it’s a leader “explaining”? Can non disclosure agreements be one way? One party can speak out but the other can’t?
    Off the top of my head, I can think of 4-5 Southern California churches that had Ben teach in the last few months. Every single one of them should warn their church flock of this recent situation. Except those pastors will probably consider that gossip so they won’t say a peep. What a mess.
    Is this an example of another extraordinary teacher who has committed sin, but it needs to be covered up so God can continue to use his gifts/talent?

  7. Xenia says:

    Everyone in that auditorium should have stood up and walked out when he started trash-talking the mother of his children (if they have children). This is a man totally without honor. His wife’s friends in the church should have stood up and yelled at him. I would have.

    Even if he his wife is guilty of all he claims, even if he is innocent of all others claim, that “sermon” was enough to disqualify him from any ministry.

  8. Em says:

    Xenia @4:35….. AMEN ! ! !

  9. Michael says:

    Amen to Xenia…good comments here.
    I have to take a little break…I’m overdoing a bit.
    Check back later…

  10. London says:

    Sadly, PJ passed away a few years ago.

  11. Victorious says:

    Michael, Yes, sad about PJ.

  12. Victorious says:

    Oops, Meant London.

  13. JD says:

    Why does the sissy call the waahmbulance?

    Because he got caught with his pants down.
    He reminds me of Tiger going on TV with his mommy.
    Or Pee Wee Herman caught getting his jollies.
    Not ashamed at all, how sad!

  14. CM says:

    Ben looks to be a truly despicable POS.

    In an earlier era, his ex-wife’s brothers would have the living s*it beaten out of him and he would be drinking his food through a straw for many months.

  15. DH says:

    I never understood the draw to Jon Courson.

  16. Em says:

    Hosea? HAH! ! !
    God mau or may not have mercy on his soul. By their fruits we know them….. 😕

  17. Nathan Priddis says:

    DH. Hearing JC audio was like a time capsule. Have not heard him in years. I recall him as a pleasant guy. I think it was the dude factor. Plus, lots of talk about doctrine. Listening years later, it’s empty talk.

    But, in the video, Ben claims to be delivering a message from God. The Spirit if I recall. This would qualify as phophecing. I would not do that, out of concern it could be judged as Blasphemy of the Spirit.

  18. DH says:

    Nathan Priddis, I knew a CC pastor who listened to him every week, I thought the teaching was shallow. Maybe if I heard him now I would think “empty talk”.

    I didn’t hear Ben claim that but many Pastors think this also.

  19. Darlene says:

    I would prefer to spend my time praying for John and Tami and then during their illness at this time. There are plenty of people spreading the word so I’m sure there will be time later to pursue this.

  20. Nathan Priddis says:

    CM. He starts building his position around 16:00. He repeatedly “declares” and says God will meet us in the fire, and we will worship wet. (Not going to attempt an interpretation on those two items.)

    John comes up and confirms Ben, and pronounces blessings. Peter John is asked to pray, and says we heard from the Holy Spirit. Ben remains silent.
    If the Holy Spirit did not speak, Ben is compelled to say so. It’s a speak now, or forever hold your peace moment.

    Something really weird happened @25:55–>. I had listened, but looked over at the screen at the end. John is finishing his prayer, and the camera remains on him as his head raises. It’s less then two seconds, and then the cutaway. That is a ..what the hell moment..if there ever was. Something is wrong with that look.

  21. Ben courson groomed and preyed on young woman of Applegate maybe other places I have never heard that called dating mistakes he is a Wolf and conman like Jon courson most of Applegate just watched him thank God someone said it’s wrong no more church service some of you should contact medford tv stations tell them to stop covering the abuse up

  22. Uli says:

    What a douche….I hate Christians

  23. Tim says:

    Dear UlI

    You said you hate Christians ! Brutha ! Don’t hate Christians ! Hate wolves masking as Christians !

    The Bible Jesus , Paul, John, Peter, Jude all despised hypocrite wolves who eat the sheep not feed the sheep

    Taking God’s name in vain is a lot more than just swaring. But the worst is rendering the name of God useless especially in the pulpits where family names are the protected elite as the sheep they serve are served as Lamb Chops on their dinner plates ..

    Big difference friend !

  24. Stephanie says:

    Its a state of grace AND a position of our hearts. Do we fall into the category of sadducees and pharosees (scholarly adjunct seers and doers of partial gospel OR do we reflect on CHRIST’S take on sin and look at ourselves and then put down ALL ROCKS both aimed at Ben, Jon, the Crew as well as all of us who read post and read again. These acts are OPPORTUNITIES to search our own hearts and be mindful of ALL JUDGMENT… CUZ THAT’S NOT OUR GIFT … IT IS GOD’S PROCESS!

  25. richard says:

    stephanie, I understand your point, and we all should be mindful of what we post, but I am also reminded of someone calling some pharisees “a brood of vipers”.

    people need to be warned about evil in the pulpit.

  26. filbertz says:

    who will hold Ben accountable/responsible if he persists in his errant ways?

    Or, since we all put down our rocks and cry “grace, grace!” do we allow other young women to be preyed upon while a hope generator continues to teach in a pulpit representing the Bible, Jesus, and all the rest of us?

    When you answer, also indicate whether ACF has those structures/personnel in place or how Jon Courson will be convinced to place them.

  27. Hi Michael, do you have any information about the report that Ben had his ex sign a non disclosure agreement shortly before the divorce? This way he and his dad could throw her under the bus and she couldn’t defend herself. PS I’m the guest on the Dove TV show that you mentioned in another post.

  28. Michael says:


    I believe the source for the NDA info is the ex’s family.
    They aren’t covered by the NDA and seem to speak for her when she can’t.
    The interesting thing to me is that the Courson’s haven’t petitioned to seal the divorce records…which seem to favor the former wife and make no mention of the claims he made afterward.

    I know who you are…I’ve lived here forever… 🙂

  29. Hi Michael, thanks for the quick response. I’m unaware of the parents speaking. I’m glad they have. Has anyone done a comprehensive interview with them? The reason this is an important topic is though all liars aren’t bullies, all serial bullies/abusers lie. Everyone of them.

    So documents are extremely important in that they can’t lie their way out of their ramifications. I mean they can, and do, but thinking people will know better and be enlightened. This is what happened to Driscoll, for example. Documents came forth and became a kind of final body blow.

    You’re in southern Oregon? I didn’t know. Applegaters disparaged us after my first book when we lived there. They still do. Yesterday, for example, we received a message from an Applegater questioning the accuracy of a statement I made. I thought to myself, “When did you suddenly care about accuracy?” That’s how the game is played, I know.

    I posted something on Facebook yesterday that further explained my experiences and thoughts about the church and how to move forward, for those who have ears to hear.

  30. Michael says:


    No one has interviewed them to my knowledge…most of what I’ve been told sounds like the broken heart of a parent combatting the lies of the machine about their child.

    I’ve lived here all my life…it was the blowup at Ashland Christian Fellowship that “created” this site…and 20 years and 40 million views later we’re telling the same stories we lived way back then.

    Applegaters are the reason I rarely post personal pics…

  31. Michael says:

    Paul, I would love to repost that here…very well said!

  32. Xenia says:

    Stephanie, here are my thoughts:

    As far as a fallen pastor’s influence reaches, that should be the arena of his repentance. If’s he’s a pastor of a small church with no internet/radio/print influence, it is sufficient that he repent before God, his family, and his congregation. For the congregation, I don’t think details are necessary, and if it hurts innocent people, a confession should be deliberately vague. If he did something illegal, call the cops. For outsiders to demand justice or more details… No.

    For a pastor who has a big national influence through various forms of media, he’s fair game for wide discussion, if people are so inclined, which I (and you too, I think) are not so inclined. But if he wants to be a famous celebrity, then that’s the risk he has agreed to take. But again, as I am not involved with Applegate, I don’t feel inclined to say too much about him in particular, although I can’t help but make some comments about church polity and theology in general that leads to this kind of behavior.

    And of course, I have to look to my own self to reflect on how I may have injected sin into the system by supporting various things, such as mass media. I may think my “little” sins have no effect but they do, and add up all our little sins and you have the godless morass that is the world’s culture. So even though I don’t feel like it’s appropriate for me to talk about Ben, as I don’t know him and it’s not my church, etc, it is appropriate- and necessary- for me to do some soul searching to discern what kinds of things that I do that help prop up this rotten culture of promiscuity abd materialism. The world is rotten- what have I done to contribute to its rottenness?

  33. Micheal, please do. Thank you. The post has already helped people and will help more when posted here.

  34. Michael says:

    Paul…thank you.
    Your boldness is helping me…it takes some courage to do what you did…

  35. Oh man, thank you. Funny. I don’t see myself that way. I’m a recovering coward like most others. I do, however, try to fight it 🙂

  36. Paigemom says:

    The potential for truth and healing along this path is very encouraging to me, and just a little bit scary, triggering my PTSD.
    Thank you Michael.
    Thank you Paul C.
    Praying for Truth and God’s glory.

  37. Michael says:


    All the thanks to you, my friend…

  38. Steve says:

    Thanks Paul. We are in your neighborhood for the weekend if you wanna get coffee

  39. Paul Coughlin says:

    Steve, let’s make it happen. Please email me at paul@theprotectors.org to work out details. Sandy would love to see Debbie if possible as well.

  40. Patch r says:

    How sad!!!!! The evangelical church seems to be about money and power!!! 22 billion dollar busines. Franklin Graham 14 million . Courson 6 million or more. And on. And on. Yet that isn’t who Christ was. Hmmmm sad.

  41. Joyce Anthony says:

    People on here are mixing up the two brothers. Ben Courson is alive and well and the result of his pastor dad’s 2nd marriage to Tammy. P.J. (Peter John) Courson was the brother from Pastor Jon’s first marriage (his marriage ended when wife died) and P.J. died of illness in 2019. get your facts straight before you post.

  42. Xenia says:

    Hi Joyce, most of us here know who Peter John was, as he used to be a regular poster here on the PhxP. We remember when he passed away, and grieved.

  43. Julie says:

    Peter Jon seems set apart. Special in my mind. Very sincere and courageous. Ben seems immature, I think if they held him accountable it would benefit him. He shouldn’t preach anymore but hes God’s Child and if he would own his weaknesses he could be healed!

  44. Ruth says:

    I am with you, Richard.
    You nailed you. Sad to hear all this, my heart is just crushed, but my faith is unshakable.
    I have enough of this world, Maranatha!!

  45. Sarah says:

    Just a girl looking for the truth….your statement, “Interestingly enough, none of these claims are in the divorce filings in Jackson County , Oregon.” Is alarming….can you please provide a link to the divorce filings, since they should be after of public record. Thank you

  46. Sarah says:

    *a matter of not after of. Sorry for the autocorrect typo

  47. Michael says:


    The divorce filings were still open last time I checked…but you have to go to the Jackson County Courthouse to access them.

  48. Sarah says:

    Michael, thanks for your quick response. Unfortunately, I am not able to go Oregon to investigate further….I cannot even find evidence that Ben admitted to sexual immorality. I have checked Applegate and searchlight sites, along with bens own Hope Generation site…

  49. Michael says:

    The only thing he confessed to were “mistakes” in dating.
    That video is up on the Applegate Survivors Facebook page and probably on this site somewhere…

  50. KZ says:

    I sure hope none of you people criticizing this young man are Christian. You are doing to him what you say he is doing to the ex. There is nothing wrong with what he is saying. Do you want him to lie? This is what happened to him. His testimony. His wife committed adultery. Why does he need to cover for her? You all need to stop being judgmental and pray for him and his wife and yourselves. So that this doesn’t happen to any of you.

  51. Officerhoppy says:

    We all hope that Ben get’s the help he needs. One day, with some accountability, maybe he can again be in ministry in some capacity. But it’s too easy to film a video and appear contritious and repentant.

    So we pray for him, but many were hurt by what he did. They feel they got burned and a little leery to openhandedly extend a hand of fellowship

    I haven’t seen Ben around. I doubt he’s in the area trying to work thru his issues and the hurt he caused. My guess is he’s in Southern California where the weather and the culture is a bit warmer

  52. Kz says:

    I agree, the Lord will deal with the wicked.
    Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”; I just think the Christian community should not be bad mouthing their brethren. This is why unbelievers critique and blaspheme the name of God. Unbelievers mock us when they read this type of garbage. Christians think they are criticizing this young man. You are not only criticizing and speaking Evil of him but also of our God. Jesus said “Paul why are you persecuting me”? You are saying our God is incompetent and dead beat dad that he isn’t doing anything about this pastor’s sin. Therefore you all need to step in. Just like the sons of Jacob they took matters into their own hand when Jacob didn’t do anything about his daughter being raped. At the end the sons lost their inheritance. This should be a warning to all of us . You are not persecuting the believer but you are persecuting Jesus.

  53. Michael says:


    You are biblically illiterate .

    “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?”
    (1 Corinthians 5:12 ESV)

    We are commanded to protect the church from perverts and wolves…and Ben is both.

  54. Officerhoppy says:

    While i respect my brother Michael’s opinion, I can’t bring myself to say he’s pervert and a wolf. But Michael knows more about this situation than me and may have access to information I’m not aware of.

    At the very least, he is eliminated from ministry at least for a while. There needs to be some demonstration of genuine repentance and some long term accountability rather than just a 6 month sabbatical before he can pastor or preach again (IMO).

    I am very familiar with both Jon and Ben. I worked at ACF in it’s hay day. My guard is up because both are charismatic individuals who have a tendency to use that gift to both manipulate a situation and deny allegations.

    I’ve seen it. I sincerely hope Ben is earnest in his confession and transformation.

  55. Em says:

    Michael @12:13pm…. AMEN! ! !

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