A Regina pastor was forced to give up his license due to alleged inappropriate behaviour towards women in his congregation.
Two women recently came forward in a local podcast, Shipwreck over Safety accusing Rev. Jerven Weekes of inappropriate sexual behaviour.
Through the creators of Shipwreck over Safety, the women indicated they would not be available to speak on the issue, but are allowing media outlets to use the audio from the podcast.
One of the victims Christa Hunt said she turned to Rosewood Park Alliance Church, for help in 2014, after what she described as “hitting rock bottom.”
She lost her first husband to suicide and was dealing with problems in her new marriage.
Hunt said she began counselling sessions with Weekes, which started the follow-up texts.
“It made me feel so special. I couldn’t believe that this man, who was so important and was so busy with his congregation and his wife and kids, would take the time and talk to me,” Hunt shared with podcast creators Blair Roberts and Dallas Verity in Episode 15: Sins of the Church – Sexual Harassment & Grooming.
“Just to make sure I was doing okay. It made me think way more highly of him.”
As time passed, Hunt said his text messages became more frequent, personal and sometimes turning sexual.
Weekes would allegedly ask Hunt to send her pictures to prove to him she “was smiling.”
“It made me uncomfortable as I hate taking selfies, but a couple of times I agreed. The second one I took, I just ended up taking a really bad picture of myself,” Hunt said in the podcast.
“Trying to make myself look like a horse so he would not ask me again, but it didn’t work.”
Global News has reached to Weekes on multiple occasions, but has yet to hear back.
According to Christian and Missionary Association in Canada spokesperson Barry Doyle, Hunt made a complaint in October 2017.
A decision was made by the C&MA district’s discipline committee to put Weekes on probation.
When the podcast was released on Oct. 9, they decided to revisit the decision and the pastor’s license was taken away.
“We’re sorry for the way it was handled. For the lack of information that was given to the women, the lack of communication and the fact they felt they weren’t listened to,” Doyle said.
“That was wrong and we are so sorry about that.”
Global News has also reached out to Rosewood Park Alliance Church, but have not heard back in time of the article’s publication.
A second woman came forward to the creators of Shipwreck over Safety with similar allegations to Hunt’s, Liz Herod, who became close friends with Weekes.
She said he was someone who became a “support” for her and someone she could be “honest” with.
“We would go for coffee together, lunch together and we joked like we were brother and sister,” Herod said in the podcast.
“I saw him as a non-threatening male friend. There was never any attraction.”
Herod said her trust was broken to the point where she tried avoiding the reverend online, but said his advances didn’t stop.
“He was on and he could see when we were on and you don’t feel like you could ignore him,” Herod said.
“I worked in the same building as his wife and I knew when she was working, he would be texting. I tried making excuses, but that never stopped him. I would ignore a text and he would be mean and make me feel guilty.”
On behalf of C&MA in Canada, Doyle says Weekes should of have had his license revoked from the beginning and not be put on probation.
It’s something the organization is reviewing in case they find themselves in a similar situation down the road.