Nationally known pastor and teacher David Hocking has been permanently expelled from his former congregation, Calvary Church, Santa Ana, California, following a dispute with the church’s leadership regarding his restoration after “moral failure.” The exceptional removal blocks Hocking from membership in the church, as well as sanctioned fellowship with the congregation, and is the latest blow against the pastor and author, whose publisher, Harvest House, canceled his latest book, dealing with strengthening marriages.

Less than three months ago, Hocking, 51, resigned from the 6,000 +-member church amid the disturbing revelation of sexual scandal after church elders heard of his admission of “sexual sin” with a married woman from his congregation.

Hocking’s reaction was one of shock and dismay, according to a report in the Orange County Register. “I feel blind-sided,” said the former radio Bible teacher, whose “Biola Hour” and “Rock Radio” were broadcast on more than 170 stations nationwide. “It’s not enough that I’ve been publicly humiliated, but now I’m being dragged through the dirt.”

Many feel Hocking’s ouster is due to his plans to join Chuck Smith’s Calvary Chapel staff this year.

Chuck Smith, who shepherded the “Jesus Movement” explosion of the seventies, and is pastor of the 12,000-member Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California, says he is confounded at the action taken by Calvary Church, and he hired Hocking in spite of the controversy. “This man is a gifted Bible teacher,” says Smith. “And, if he doesn’t resume his teaching, I’m afraid he’ll be literally and totally destroyed.”

Smith’s hiring of Hocking has stirred much controversy, and, since Smith has voluntarily taken over Hocking’s restoration to proper Christian fellowship by agreement of both churches, officials at Calvary Church are looking at the move as “surprising and shocking.”

“We told Dr. Hocking that he couldn’t serve in the ministry again. We told him he would never serve again, at this church,” asserts Calvary Church’s executive pastor, John Crandall. “Dr. Hocking was to go through a restoration process, encompassing family and friends, but he has chosen to ignore our guidelines and follow his own.”

Further, Crandall mentioned that he and the board of elders did not feel Hocking should be welcomed back into any ministerial position at this time, saying that “he has not shown visible fruits and proof of his repentance for his sexual sin.”

Hocking says, “I just want to preach and teach God’s Word. I really don’t know what they [Calvary Church] want of me. I’ve repented. I don’t commit that sin anymore. You know, Jesus said, ‘Let him who is without sin among you, cast the first stone.’ I feel like sending a basket of rocks over to them.”

By Perucci Ferraiuolo.

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