In 2009 Ralph Drollinger was making plans to expand Capitol Ministries and create Bible studies in Washington, D.C. to Members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Some Capitol Ministries staff members were opposed to this plan and tried to stop the expansion.
Mr. David Duran was one of the Capitol Ministries headquarters employees. In this position, Mr. Duran had access to the ministries’ mainframe computer and all of Mr. Drollinger’s electronic communications.
Subsequent investigations by experts hired by Capitol Ministries found that Mr. Duran, while salaried by the ministry, had been accessing emails from Mr. Drollinger’s ministry account without his knowledge or permission, and placing certain emails in password-protected folders which Mr. Duran had created and could be accessed only by him.
Several days after Mr. Duran’s termination and after his office had been closed, Mr. Duran was caught by administrative staff in Capitol Ministries’ Sacramento offices attempting to cover up the theft. Capitol Ministries chose not to have Mr. Duran arrested nor did the ministry press any charges.
Among the emails Mr. Duran had stolen were Mr. Drollinger’s internal communications that were exclusively addressed to the Vice President of the ministry, Mr. Sean Wallentine.
In these highly sensitive and confidential communications, Mr. Drollinger discussed working with other board members who had shared concerns, to encourage the Chairman of the Board to rotate from that position.
Since the beginning of the ministry the Chairman, who was an elder at Grace Community Church, had repeatedly refused to rotate from the Chairman seat. This chairman was supported by a minority of Capitol Ministries Board members who were also elders, members of, or had close ties to Grace Community Church.
Mr. Duran also had close ties to the church. The emails he stole from Capitol Ministries were given to Grace Community Church.
One would assume that godly pastors and church elders would refuse to accept stolen material and that their role in this situation would be to confront the thief and teach Mr. Duran that Exodus 10:15 says, “You shall not steal,” and a few other pertinent Scriptures.
But they did no such thing.
Realizing that one of their own was about to be ousted from a powerful position in a growing and influential ministry, Senior Pastor John MacArthur and the church elders instead turned on Mr. Drollinger.
In a vaguely written statement that offered no specifics The Grace Community Church Senior Pastor MacArthur and elders posted a letter on the church website saying that it was the ‘estimation’ of this soon-to-be-ousted Chairman and other elders (Capitol Ministries Board Members who supported him), that Mr. Drollinger was “not biblically qualified for ministry.”
The sole reason for this serious charge was that Mr. Drollinger was trying to remove from the organization that he founded a chairman who had repeatedly refused to relinquish power. This action is well within his rights as President and Founder of Capitol Ministries and is none of the church’s concern.
In fact, the Evangelical Counsel for Financial Accountability (ECFA) of which Capitol Ministries is a member in good standing, states in its best practices policy guide that all not-for-profit ministries should have a board rotation policy. Grace Community Church, which is also a member of ECFA, does not subscribe to this policy; in fact, at the time, 28 of the church’s 33 non-rotating elders were also church staff on one or more of John MacArthur’s ministries’ payroll.
When confronted by Mr. Drollinger, Senior Pastor John MacArthur himself admitted in writing to Mr. Drollinger that the stolen emails had been received and read.
At this time, some Capitol Ministries staff who had close ties with Grace Community Church left CM to form their own organization.
Since the Grace Community Church-affiliated board members left, Capitol Ministries has enjoyed eight years of board unity and tremendous ministry growth.
The question persists: is a senior pastor and are elders who accept stolen property and then use it in attempts to destroy another man’s reputation because they don’t like the way he runs his organization, themselves fit for ministry?
After committing such a breach, are these church men fit to determine who among them is qualified for ministry?
Attempts to malign and destroy Mr. Drollinger’s ministry persist.
The evocative, ambiguous, and misleading Grace Community Church letter can still be found in internet searches. It has been found by various media.
Absent of pertinent and explanatory facts, media have used this letter to fill in the blanks themselves and in stories have misrepresented, distorted, twisted, falsely characterized and smeared Mr. Drollinger with the blurry and baseless charge of being: “not biblically qualified for ministry,” or, as many have re-worded it: “unfit for ministry.” That the letter lists no specific reasons to back up this serious charge doesn’t seem to concern them.
After his termination, Mr. Duran bought the rights to and created a website using Mr. Drollinger’s actual name as its internet reference: ralphdrollinger.info without Mr. Drollinger’s permission. Mr. Duran continues to besmirch Mr. Drollinger’s character and reputation on this website and another, diapers4three.com.
The Grace Community Church letter can still be found on both of Duran’s websites.
And Mr. Duran, who was himself exposed as a thief and caught in the act of trying to cover it up, posts on Diapers4Three.com: “we believe Ralph is not to be trusted or regarded as qualified to be in a place of spiritual leadership.”
Grace Community Church has charged that Mr. Drollinger is “not biblically qualified for ministry.”
This is false.
Media have charged that Mr. Drollinger has been “defrocked by his church.”
This is false.
Media have charged that Mr. Drollinger’s former church cut ties with him because his theology was “too far right” or “too radical.”
This is false.
Media have charged that Mr. Drollinger’s former church has revoked his ordination.
This is false.
The church did not ordain Mr. Drollinger, and therefore, cannot revoke ordination.