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Lawsuit alleges sexual misconduct in Evangelical church

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 16 (UPI) — Former members of the Evangelical group Sovereign Grace Ministries have sued the church in Maryland, charging leaders covered up sexual abuse.

Two of the plaintiffs say they were molested as young girls by John Loftness, a pastor in Maryland, The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal reported. Another plaintiff says that when he told Loftness he had been molested the pastor ordered him to re-enact the sexual act and then to forgive the man who abused him.

Sovereign Grace was founded in the 1970s and changed its name from People of Destiny in 1998. The church relocated to Louisville from Maryland last year.

Loftness, who recently resigned as head of the group, denied any misconduct.

The allegations made in the lawsuit involve Covenant Life Church of Gaithersburg, Md., and Sovereign Grace Church of Fairfax, Va. The two churches were the largest in Sovereign Grace Ministries but have cut their ties with the denomination.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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