Founding members of Arise Church resign over abuse allegations

3:19 pm on 28 May 2022

The board of the Arise Church is promising changes as its founding members resign amid ongoing abuse allegations.

John Cameron of Arise Church. Photo:

In emails provided to RNZ, the church board said pastors John and Gillian Cameron and John's brother Brent are standing down.

Spokesperson Kylie Fletcher said the board and leadership has remained silent for the past six weeks to allow those who have experienced hurt to feel safe to come forward.

Confidential payouts were made following allegations Brent Cameron got naked in front of interns and gave them derogatory nicknames, and John Cameron was involved in repeated bullying and mistreatment of interns.

John and Gillian Cameron released a statement to church members which has been provided to RNZ.

"It is with a great sadness that we formally resign from Arise Church," they wrote.

"We founded Arise to help people. That it has also hurt people has been devastating to hear. We are saddened and truly sorry."

John Cameron had previously resigned from the church board.

Brent Cameron also released a statement of apology.

"... The attention I have attracted in the public domain has been detrimental for the church and my family. "

"I am deeply sorry to God, and all members, both past and present, of Arise where my behaviour has not met the values of a Christian minister, or honoured the name of Jesus."

Arise Church. Photo:

The board of the Arise Church said a roadmap for change will be published on the organisation's website in the next few weeks.

On behalf of the board, Fletcher apologised unreservedly to past and present members.

"It is deeply regrettable that a place intended for refuge, safety and security, became a place of deep hurt for some," she said in a statement.

"We want to acknowledge all individuals who have come forward during this time and bravely shared their stories and experiences. We thank you for your courage. We are committed to the review and change process."

Beginning in early April, journalist David Farrier has been reporting in his online newsletter allegations from ex-members about Arise church and its leadership, which has led to other media attention.

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