Open Letter from the Ignite Executive Team
Ignite Church family we are writing to you regarding an important matter that has come to our attention.
As you know, Executive Pastor of Ignite, Jake Moore, is a valued and loved member of our church family. He and his family are such a blessing to our staff, our partners, and our church as a whole. Prior to hiring Pastor Jake, we engaged in an extensive interview and vetting process, as well as a thorough background check. Throughout that process, which included communication with his prior employers and references, everything came back clean.
After completing our background process, Ignite Church officially hired Pastor Jake in January of 2020. In his first week of employment at Ignite, his prior employer, a church in Tennessee reached out to Ignite leadership. After reviewing their financial records his previous employer alleged that Pastor Jake mismanaged funds from their church. Believing the best in this new member of our staff Pastor Jason asked that church for documentation or evidence to substantiate their claims. The prior church did not provide Pastor Jason with any such documentation, and they did not thereafter contact or otherwise follow up with him or Ignite Church. Pastor Jason discussed this matter in detail with Pastor Jake. Pastor Jake specifically denied engaging in any wrongdoing. He also spoke with his previous coworkers and everyone believed the matter was resolved.
Unfortunately, very recently Pastor Jake was charged with larceny in Tennessee. We do not know specifically what the charges relate to, but we believe they relate to the allegations from the prior church in Tennessee. In light of these charges, Pastor Jake voluntarily surrendered himself to the authorities in Tennessee. Pastor Jake was released on bond shortly after he voluntarily surrendered to the authorities in Tennessee.
We continue to believe the best for Pastor Jake in this matter, believing that he is innocent and will be vindicated. However, we have taken several precautionary measures, simply due to the nature of the charges against Pastor Jake, not because we believe there to be guilt or wrongdoing. We have removed Pastor Jake’s ability to make any financial expenditures or transactions of any amount with the church funds and we have also implemented further accountability structures surrounding Pastor Jake’s responsibilities with the church.
While this is difficult news to deliver, we believe Pastor Jake is a man of integrity and honor, and we are committed to support him and his family throughout this process.
If we receive any new information or evidence regarding the charges against Pastor Jake, or information which changes our view of his character, we will promptly update you. While we love Pastor Jake, if we receive concerning evidence regarding the charges against him, we will not hesitate to take further action relating to his employment with the church, as our primary goal is to love and protect the church.
Please be in prayer for Pastor Jake and his family, and all those involved in this matter.
The Ignite Executive Team