On Feb. 3 a petition was created as a reaction to two lawsuits involving PLNU professor and Nazarene pastor, John Wright or “J.W.”, and PLNU Alumni and member of Wright’s church, Amy McClanahan or “A.M.”.
The Point reported over the weekend that on Jan. 16, McClanahan filed a formal complaint against Wright alleging charges of sexual battery and rape. On the same day, Wright and his wife, named as “K.W.” in the lawsuit, sued McClanahan claiming she harassed them by causing disturbances at both the Wrights’ personal residence and the Mid-City Church of the Nazarene, where Wright and his wife were pastors.
This countersuit comes after the Wrights were granted a temporary restraining order against McClanahan on Dec. 27, 2017.
As of Feb. 6, 320 people have signed the petition titled “Pastor John Wright is suing young woman he had an affair with. Ask him to drop the lawsuit.” The petition was started by former PLNU alumni Joel West who graduated in 2006.
“I felt like a bystander of continued abuse to see him try to silence and shame her for going public, and since PLNU and Mid City have been relatively quiet I wanted to create an opportunity for his community to confront him directly,” West said in an interview with The Point. “My intent is to demand from a collective voice that John Wright drop his brazen and oppressive lawsuit.”
West met Wright through a class he taught at PLNU. West says that after taking a few more classes from Wright, he eventually attended Mid-City Church of the Nazarene where he became a member and a volunteer. He says that all of his interactions with Wright as a student and member of the church were nothing but pleasant and inspiring.
“I think my experience with John was similar to the experience many students have with him,” West said. “I looked up to him and was inspired by his intellect, so I would stop by his office for advice and seek out ways to volunteer and work alongside him at his church.”
Alec Rose, the Wrights’ attorney, was apprehensive to answer questions when he was contacted over the phone by The Point. “Everything that my client intends to say will be said in court,” said Rose.
A message was sent on Feb. 6 from Dr. Bob Brower, PLNU President, addressing the PLNU community for the first time directly since the allegations were made public.
“As university president, it is my deep desire is for the truth to be known,” read the message. “Given the seriousness of the allegations we took immediate action to remove the faculty member from campus and issued a suspension pending the outcome of the investigation. In addition, we offered support to the individual who brought forward the allegations.”
“I can assure you that we will continue to diligently comply with the Title IX processes to ensure a thorough investigation, and upon its conclusion will promptly take appropriate action,” added President Brower.
The Point also reached out to the Mid-City Church of the Nazarene, but all attempts to get in contact were unsuccessful.
If you have any additional information regarding the allegations, contact The Point’s Editor in Chief, Dana Williams, at email@example.com.
The Point will keep the PLNU and Nazarene communities informed as more details develop.