Samuel and Madelaine Emerson. (Surrey RCMP photos)

UPDATE: Cloverdale pastor responds to charges of sexual assault against son

Randy Emerson’s son Samuel Emerson is facing 25 charges, including 13 counts of sexual assault

For eight years, Samuel Emerson was a pastor at Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Church, also known as “Cloverdale Church.”

His last day as a pastor came on May 18, when RCMP “showed up at the door of the church” and led him out in cuffs, said Samuel’s father, Randy Emerson, who is the current pastor of Cloverdale Church.

In a media release issued Tuesday afternoon, Surrey RCMP revealed that they received several allegations of sexual assault against Samuel Emerson and his wife Madelaine on May 17, 2017.

The South Surrey couple – who have five children – were arrested the next day.

Samuel Emerson, 34, has been charged with 13 counts of sexual assault, 11 counts of being in a position of authority and touching a person for a sexual purpose, and one count of sexual touching of a person under the age of 16.

Madelaine Emerson, 37, has been charged with one count of sexual assault, one count of being in a position of authority and touching a person for a sexual purpose, and one count of threats to cause death or bodily harm.

The alleged assaults occurred between 2015 and 2017.

Surrey RCMP explained the 4½-month delay in announcing the arrest that “there was no investigational or public safety need to report out on this matter.”

The day of the arrest, Randy Emerson wrote on Facebook: “If you know us and our church please pray. We are under attack like never before and we need the accuser of the saints to be silenced and Truth prevail.”

Two days later, he wrote, “Thank you to everyone who is praying for us and expressing love at this time. You are making a difference. This is a time when we must not believe with our eyes and ears but with our spirits. Let God be true and every man a liar. Can’t be specific at this time but your prayers are making a difference.”

Randy Emerson and his wife Christine started the Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Church, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this Sunday.

“Sam, being our son, was a part of the church right from the beginning,” he told the Cloverdale Reporter on Wednesday. “If I’d seen anybody go out that way, it’s traumatizing. Any of our staff taken away (in cuffs) would be tough… Being my son, it was it just the cherry on the ice cream, you know?”

The couple was not previously known to police, and they were later released under “strict conditions… sufficient to alleviate any safety concerns,” an RCMP spokesperson said.

One of those conditions is that Samuel and Madelaine cannot have contact with the church, according to Randy.

No mention of Samuel or Madelaine is on the church’s website, but according to his social media accounts, Samuel was a pastor at Cloverdale Church, and worked with Youth Church Cloverdale.

Randy said that Samuel worked “in every ministry of the church,” which includes the youth ministry.

Samuel Emerson’s work as a pastor also took him to other churches in Surrey, including Life Church in White Rock. In a Facebook post in September 2016, Life Church wrote, “This Sunday we welcomed young Pastor Sam Emerson from our sister church in Cloverdale, B.C.”

“Sam grew upon our church, and had some very important insights to share,” the post reads.

READ MORE: ‘We grieve for the victims’: Cloverdale churches respond to recent charges against Surrey pastor

Following the arrests, Sunday services at Cloverdale Church were subdued for “almost two months,” said Randy.

“People were in shock for the first while,” he said. “It was very, very difficult and very quiet and subdued. For the last couple of months we’ve been building towards something lively and full of life again. For awhile it was just, like, everybody was just staring off into space.”

The congregation went from a crowd of around 250 people to 50 people.

“People just left,” said Randy. “These are people, some of them that we’d worked with for 25 years.”

“They were ripped out of our relationships just immediately. And they wouldn’t talk to us. At all. Afraid, and I don’t know what for,” he said.

“As I understand it, none of the allegations occurred at the church,” said Randy, “which is where we work very hard to keep it safe here. We’re even reviewing those policies and protocol to see if we can tighten everything up.”

Randy said that Cloverdale Church’s safety protocols are “pretty typical.” They include criminal record checks for staff. No minor is left in a room unsupervised with an adult if the minor and adult are “opposite genders,” he added.

“As far as we know nothing happened [at the church],” said Randy. “And I can’t control stuff that happens off the property and on people’s own time.”

The Cloverdale Church continues to be active in its work. “We continue to do the things that we’ve always done, but it’s on a much more subdued level,” said Randy. ”We’ve pulled back, but we’re not stopping.”

Surrey RCMP have said the investigation into Samuel and Madelaine Emerson is still ongoing, and that they believe there may have been other victims.

They are asking that any potential victims come forward to speak with police.

Surrey RCMP as that anyone with more information call 604-599-0502, or, if they wish to remain anonymous, to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

This photo, captioned “Epic first night back in the warehouse” shows Samuel Emerson speaking to Youth Church Cloverdale in September 2012. (Samuel Emerson / Instagram)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

The Museum at Campbell River and Greenways Land Trust are hosting a virtual talk by UVIC PhD candidate Garth Covernton on Nov. 5. Tickets are only $7 and are available at crmusum.ca. Photo courtesy Garth Covernton
New Museum at Campbell River speaker series leads off with talk on microplastics

Tickets for digital event Nov. 5 are only $7 and include the opportunity to ask questions

North Island Votes. Campbell River Mirror graphic
Babchuk declared winner in North Island

Nearly three-quarters of votes counted and mail-in ballots still to come

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read