January 31, 2024
The EMCC engaged Veritas Solutions to conduct an investigation into allegations that EMCC credential holders were aware youth involved in the Banfield Memorial Church’s youth ministry were subjected to sexual and other abuse by Ray and Sandra Swash.
The investigation was completed in the latter half of 2023 with a pause during the course of the investigation while the criminal charges against Ray and Sandra Swash were before the court.
The allegations were assessed against the following legislative and policy framework as it relates to clergy conduct:
EMCC Minister’s Covenant*;Child and Family Services Act, 1984; andChild and Family Services Act, 1990.
The investigator, the Director of Faith-Based Investigations for Veritas, has found that, on the balance of probabilities, four credential holders had knowledge of the abuse and did not take appropriate actions. As such, they were found to be have breached (5.1), (5.2), and/or(5.3) with mitigating and aggravating factors. Appropriate action has been taken with respect to the two currently living individual according to the facts associated with their role in this matter. The other two credential holders are deceased.
A Summary of the investigator’s findings can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
EMCC acknowledges that past leaders did not handle these situations appropriately and is undertaking to make sure that all credential holders understand their Biblical, moral and, in some situations, legal, obligations to report all concerns through appropriate channels.
The EMCC thanks those who participated in this investigation and remains committed to taking all allegations of misconduct seriously. Victims are invited to reach out through our reporting portal (email@example.com) to learn more about EMCC’s counselling support grants.
*The EMCC Minister’s Covenant was instituted in 2004 (revised2006) and thus is not applicable to conduct during the period of the 1980s to early 1990s.However, it was applicable to the participation of credential holders in the current investigation.
December 5, 2023
Along with providing counselling grant assistance to victims, the EMCC has launched an independent, third-party investigation by Veritas Solutions to determine whether any EMCC credentialled pastor or leader had knowledge of the abuse allegations and failed to report the allegations. The investigation is being conducted by Veritas’ Director of Faith-Based Investigations.
The first phase of the investigation was launched in June 2023 and then paused while the case was before the courts. It has since been re-opened in December now that the trial has ended. The EMCC will share summary findings once the investigative process is complete.
If anyone has information, they wish to share that is relevant to this investigation, they are invited to reach out to the investigator directly firstname.lastname@example.org.
The EMCC deeply grieves for those who have been harmed by Mr. Swash’s actions and prays for them.
November 28, 2022
The Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada is committed to creating and ensuring safe environments for worship, witness, and work; free from sexual misconduct. We will not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form including sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and child abuse by its credentialed ministers and workers, (non-licensed) employees, contract workers, or volunteers in service to or with EMCC, its churches, institutions, agencies, organizations, or other bodies that operate under its name. The EMCC National Board has been horrified to hear about these historical evils and have directed the National Team to address these matters.
As President of the EMCC, I sincerely apologize to all victims for not communicating sooner on the work that EMCC has been undertaking since the charges and arrest of Ray & Sandra Swash. Our silence over these past five months has contributed to further harm and for that we are deeply sorry. With our full acknowledgement that victims have been disbelieved, silenced and invalidated by church leaders in the past, we offer our support toward healing and justice.
This communication is to inform and update on EMCC’s actions and plans.
The EMCC deeply grieves for those who have suffered harassment, misconduct or abuse from a Christian leader. As an organization, we take these matters and allegations seriously. We are committed to measures that prevent acts of sexual misconduct. We would invite victims to contact us through our web portal to connect with our Victim Advocate Facilitator to take next steps.
August 8, 2022
FROM THE EMCC PRESIDENT
I am deeply grieved by allegations of historical misconduct which have recently emerged against former EMCC ministry leaders, Raymond and Sandra Swash. Their misconduct is alleged to have occurred between 1987 and 1994 while they were serving directly or indirectly at Banfield Memorial Church in North York, Ontario. Mr. Swash’s credentials with EMCC ceased in 2003.
The EMCC does not condone any conduct that is contrary to how Jesus commands us to live and that causes harm to others. Our hearts are heavy as we pray for all those impacted. The York Regional Police are investigating and EMCC is committed to cooperating with authorities.
We have spent much time in prayer, earnestly seeking God’s guidance as we navigate through these challenging waters. We serve a God of grace, mercy, love, healing and forgiveness and we diligently strive to follow His ways. The EMCC is putting together a plan to support the victims of any misconduct, along with family members who may be journeying through their own challenges as they become aware of experiences their loved ones have endured. Further, EMCC is committed to developing resources for churches and proactively equipping our credential holders.
We are grateful for your prayers and ask that you continue to pray for wisdom, clarity and courage. Most of all, we ask that you pray for God’s incredible gift of healing and forgiveness to all those involved.
A confidential reporting portal has been set up on our website for any individual who may have a concern they want to share with us, in relation to this or other matters. It can be found at: Reporting Sexual Misconduct - Evangelical Missionary Church (emcc.ca).
John Cressman, President of EMCC