What Bothered Me Most About Bob Coy’s Failure

When you have been in ministry as long as I have (20 years), you have seen plenty of pastors fall into sexual immorality. But the story of Bob Coy’s departure from the church he started and led for moral failure really stung. My wife even asked, “Why is this one bothering you more than others?”

I tried to articulate reasons to her…

He made such a big impact in such an important part of the world… South Florida is significant and strategic, and the Lord used Bob Coy to launch a work that has impacted thousands of people. I have served alongside men who are fruit from Bob’s ministry. Several of the pastors I served alongside in Miami were impacted by Bob’s ministry when they were in their young twenties.

He has been so gracious and helpful… He and members of his team were always available to help provide insight and counsel. When my senior pastor had a massive heart attack; Bob quickly jumped in and recorded a video teaching for us to use.

He just doesn’t seem like the guy who would… This will no doubt come off as judgmental, but I have seen pastors who seem like “the type who would.” Perhaps it is the way they carry themselves with what feels like a sense of entitlement, a sense of “no one should be able to hold me accountable.” Or perhaps it is what feels like an over-emphasis on external image. But as I tried to explain to Kaye, Bob Coy never came off that way to me. He was a normal guy; never preoccupied with image. He was in community, at least from what I understood. I remember lunch with one of his senior staff who shared how a team of their pastors, including Bob, had been in “community together” for two decades—sharing life together.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized the reason for my discomfort was and is my own sinfulness. What bothered me most about Bob Coy’s fall is me. Bob Coy’s moral failure confronted me with my own sinfulness.

It confronted me with a judgmental tendency, my tendency to think, Yeah, he would be a guy I could see falling… even though I never saw Bob that way. Seeing that in myself was frightening as I know “if one thinks he is standing firm, he must be careful that he does not fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).

It confronted me with the reality that no matter how much the Lord has used us, we are merely frail and fragile jars of clay. The power is in the treasure within the jar, not in the jar. We are such feeble and weak jars.

It confronted me with the reality that our good deeds, our kindness and graciousness, do not eliminate the sinfulness in our hearts. Our good deeds may mask but they don’t remove the sins beneath the surface.

It confronted me with the sober reality that I am no better. I am fully capable of moral failure—fully capable of taking my eyes off Jesus and His grace and pursuing something other than Him, something other than my bride, and ultimately something less.

It is only Jesus that is able to keep me from stumbling. It is not my grit or my goodness but only His grace. I need His grace more and more, not less and less.

Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25)




  1. says

    I felt exactly the same way. I have been airing The Active Word on our television station for 10 years, and his teaching/preaching has been spot on. As I sit and type, 1 Cor 10:12 hits me hard. The realization of the situation is surely a reminder that anyone can stumble. Bob, as you stated, has been one of the most unpretentious men in the pulpit in recent history. It seemed as though he would be the last guy I would see having to step down. I appreciate a tweet from James McDonald showing his support for the restoration of the “man” Bob in spite of the situation. Thanks for your words Eric.

  2. Steve says

    “It is only Jesus that is able to keep me from stumbling.”

    And yet how times did Bob Coy say that as well before he did.


  3. eric says

    Steve — it is sobering. It is the right word. Sobering and humbling … because as you pointed out — there is nothing on my blog that Bob hasn’t preached with careful attention to the text.

    TJackson — You are welcome. Thanks for the encouragement. I grieve with you. It hurts.

  4. Karen says

    This is sobering.. Satan is that roaring lion.. My heart hurts for him as well as for the body of Christ. This is now two men of God in a couple of month’s. These are men that have shown themselves faithful.
    God that we would not harden our hearts to the Spirit !

  5. Doug says

    God has forgiven his sin. It is time for healing. I have prayed about this and I know God is not through with Pastor Bob, he will use him and he shall rise above it all. Only God can judge him and we must stand beside Pastor Bob. for he is our brother in Christ. None of us are without sin, it is just that his sin has been brought to the public and there are so many who want to judge him. I do not want to judge anyone, nor do I want anyone to judge me; only our FATHER. I pray for Pastor Bob , Diane and the kids, that their family will be healed. God will comfort and protect them during this time of healing.

  6. says

    I have read on several sites about Bob’s fall and this group is the first that was so positive. This is a great breath of fresh air. I loved listening to Bob’s sermons on his church’s site and can’t wait to hear new ones. Praise God that he will restore Pastor Bob, when he comes out the other side of this trial he will be a blessing to us all again. I continue to pray for him.


  7. Walt Wawra says

    Dear brothers and sisters,
    I do not know Bob Coy, nor what he has done or hasn’t done. What I do understand now that the Lord has opened my eyes is this. We must learn to do what Jesus did when He was tempted in the desert He used the Word of God to fight temptation. We must daily read our word, not because we have to, rather because we want to. The Word tells us those that the Father has given into my hand He will not allow to be plucked out. The Word that we are blessed when we are tempted and that it actually strengthens us. Are we not made strong when we admit we are weak? Does not Jesus provide a way out of temptation? I speak for myself here but believe it applies to all humans, we do not stumble into sin, rather we jump into it. However, even if we do sin the Word tells us that we have an advocate with the Father Jesus Christ the Lord. We all have something to over come the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, what flavor it comes in is different for each person. Praise God that He by His great mercy is able to present us to Himself as a living sacrifice Holy and acceptable to Him!!! Trust in Jesus, there is no other way!!

  8. says

    This is my question(s), are we confessing our sins one to another? Is there any real accountability in the church? Because it would seem to me that the higher up on the echelon one goes, the more they have to “lose” by sharing any real struggles with anyone. I cannot even imagine the pressure on a mega pastor’s wife who knows that her husband is struggling in sin. The only sin I have ever heard a pastor admit to is speeding! Any admission of guilt from the pulpit is usually centered around driving etiquette. It’s safe. We seem to have lost the fear of God. And we fear more what would happen if man found out. This devastation has the potential to bring light to those dark places, and wake up those that are living a lie. As a leader, I pray that you would use this opportunity to highlight this possible deficit of confession and accountability within your own ministry and that as a body, we would see sanctification, and true growth like never before! PB was my pastor through my teens, twenties and almost through my thirties. And I have mourned deeply. Please continue to pray for him and all involved.

  9. says

    We all just have to be vigilant every day and I don’t think it happens until you’ve been duped and burned deeply. Its not until the very core of us is shaken as to how serious and persistant and sneaky this thing called ”sin” is — It doesn’t come gallantly or dressed fancy. Most of the times it manifests in us as a little spore and that timing that connects it, like when we get a ”fast cold” coming on us. That’s sin. I have decided, come to the conclusion, make my stand with the fact that I am no match for sin. Most I can see coming, but there’s always be that one hangnail, that one piece of lint, that hangs on no matter what shape it takes. This is the best part, this realization. Because then I can shout, “Turn to God” / “Focus on God” / “Listen to God” — Do what Jesus did and know that God knows all and Jesus is coming back. Let’s pass through our visit on earth quickly and focussed on God.

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