Investigation report into Eastview Christian Church released

Eastview Christian Church
Eastview Christian Church(WEEK)
Published: Jun. 4, 2023 at 7:24 PM CDT
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NORMAL (25News Now) - An investigation report into one of Central Illinois’ largest churches is now out. It finds church leaders likely engaged in misconduct over the course of a decade.

In March, a third-party firm, Wagenmaker and Oberly, was hired to review how church leaders at Eastview Christian Church in Normal investigated allegations of abuse. The investigation comes after a series of allegations were made by past members and staff of the church. The allegations specifically address alleged instances of misconduct against adult women by Caleb Baker, a former pastor and son of Senior Pastor Mike Baker, who resigned in February.

During the investigation, Wagenmaker and Oberly interviewed dozens of people and got several testimonials. They also interviewed Mike Baker. Caleb Baker declined to be questioned but did provide a short statement.

In the investigation report, the Wagenmaker and Oberly team concluded that it is likely Mike Baker “misused his leadership position and impeded the Church leadership’s ability to follow the Church’s policies and procedures for addressing various complaints and reports of misconduct that were made between approximately 2013 and 2023.”

They also found it is likely that Caleb Baker “engaged in conduct inconsistent with the Church’s sincerely held religious beliefs and the Church’s requirements for Church employees in the form of sexual relationships outside the context of marriage during his time on staff at Eastview.”

The report also said church leaders should have done more follow-up because of Caleb and Mike’s father-son relationship.

Eastview Christian Church released a statement saying “Like you, tonight the elders are reading the report for the first time. We remain committed to receiving the information and findings with humility and open hearts to grieve for those whom we know have been harmed.”