Her allegations brought down megachurch pastor Bruxy Cavey. Then the anonymous trolls came for her. Now she’s afraid of speaking out, fearing attacks and even death threats from a man who says he’s her best friend.
As of this writing, a public back story is available at the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.
I was contacted by a woman named Rachelle (she declined to give her last name). She was a volunteer at a church in New Jersey, where she worked as a deacon. She became involved with a pastor who was struggling financially, and she started to get involved in the church’s activities.
At some point, Rachelle alleges, the pastor asked her to do something to help him out. He wanted her to pretend to be an infertile woman who needed to get in touch with an estate agent so that he could sell his house on the cheap. The pastor also asked her to tell people that he was an impotent man who had taken a sleeping pill for a bad dream. He would come to the office so that she could look like a woman. He later told her that he had the pill in his pocket the whole time.
As Rachelle was preparing to say these things to people, she was being watched from behind, she said. She said that people were getting out of church with the pastor’s wife and two children, that a woman from church was calling his office on the phone, and that someone had told his wife about the conversation. But Rachelle was the only one who would say what happened. She made the story up.
Rachelle’s claims are at the heart of a new civil lawsuit alleging fraud, invasion of privacy, and defamation. She’s also brought suit against the two women who were supposedly in the church office with the pastor: Rachelle’s friend, Lori Johnson, and an assistant, Tina Burdette. Johnson and Burdette, who was once “a close friend and advisor” to Rachelle, are now the key players in a $2 million case against the church.
The allegations in the lawsuit are based on a story Rachelle told her mother. Her mother refused to believe her.
“She said she didn’t believe what she’d heard. And she was telling me, ‘I don’t believe you,’” Rachelle’s mother, Debra Johnson, told me.
Debra Johnson said Rachelle told her that an assistant had the minister