Not So Ex-Gay “Ex-Gay Leader” Closes Shop
March 16th, 2010
Last summer, Ex-Gay Watch’s David Roberts published a very carefully resourced investigation into the three arrests of Matthew C. Manning, who runs a California-based ex-gay ministry known as Lighthouse World Evangelism. Manning had been charged in 1998, 2000, and in 2005 with complaints of soliciting other males for sexual encounters in public parks and other venues. He was not convicted in the first two cases but the 2005 episode, in which Manning pleaded “no contest,” includes an order to stay away from Santa Rosa-area 24 Hour Fitness locations for one year.
Roberts’ investigative journalism is truly remarkable, and he has repeated that careful attention to detail in today’s carefully researched follow-up to that story. The very day after Ex-Gay Watch’s investigative report appeared online last June, Manning petitioned the California courts to have his 2005 conviction expunged from the record, a move that California law provides for in some cases. That petition was granted in August. Since then, Manning tried to re-establish his ministry in San Francisco, but now Manning claims that a revelation from God has told him to close up shop.
Manning had made a big splash in the ex-gay world in 2002 when he appeared on Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, claiming to have been “delivered” from homosexuality in 1989, and miraculously healed from full-blown AIDS in 1994. The extraordinary claim of a miraculous healing has never been documented. As Roberts points out, Manning also spoke alongside other illustrious ex-gay leaders such as Exodus President Alan Chambers, former ex-gay spokesman John Paulk, and Focus on the Family ex-gay speaker Mike Haley. He now appears focused on arguing with the heart-wrenching blog of a mother whose two sons fell under Manning’s influence.
Santa Rosa CA Ex-Gay Pastor Not So Ex-Gay
June 23rd, 2009
Pastor Matthew C. Manning heads an outfit in Santa Rosa, California known as Lighthouse World Evangelism, which promises to deliver people from alcohol and drugs, mental struggles, homosexuality and HIV/AIDS. The last two are core to Manning’s own story. He claims to have been “delivered” from homosexuality in 1989, and miraculously healed from full-blown AIDS in 1994. Pat Robertson was impressed enough with that claim to feature Manning on an episode of the 700 Club in 2002. Mike Airhart, then writing for Ex-Gay Watch, tried to get to the bottom of those claims, but Manning refused to provide documentation from his doctors.
That was six years ago. Mike moved on to Truth Wins Out, and David Roberts picked up the thread. He recently re-opened the investigation and tried to find proof — any proof — that Manning had once tested positive for HIV for nine years and was then cured more than a decade ago. Unsurprisingly, Roberts was unable to find any evidence for a Manning’s cure, miraculous or otherwise.
But in looking around, he managed to find something else entirely different. Turns out that Manning has been charged in 1998, 2000, and in 2005 with complaints of soliciting other males for sexual encounters in public parks and other venues. The 2005 episode includes an order to stay away from 24 Hour Fitness locations in Santa Rosa for one year.
There are many more details, including source documentation in PDF form, in David Robert’s outstanding investigative report. He promises to have more information in the next few days.