CCM singer and songwriter Chris Rice is now facing "credible" allegations of sexually assaulting a former male student, Tates Creek Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Kentucky, announced Thursday.
These allegations against Rice came at the wake of a 2019 investigation where one of the church's pastors, Brad Waller, that proved he had abused "multiple students in our youth ministry."
Although Rice was not an employee of the church, he was close friends with Waller and had been hired on multiple occasions between 1995 and 2003 "to lead worship at our youth and college retreats," Cunningham said. Through this arrangement, Rice was able to develop close relationships with "multiple students" and one of those students recently came forward with abuse allegations.
"Last week, one of those male students called to inform me of allegations that Mr. Rice had sexually assaulted him on multiple occasions. While these remain allegations at this point, we are treating them as credible because of the source of the allegations and corroborating evidence we have discovered," Robert H. Cunningham, the church's senior pastor, said in a statement on the church's website.
"Immediately, I informed the police and called a meeting of our church elders. At that meeting, the elders unanimously voted to once again contract with GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) to conduct another independent investigation into these new discoveries. We are determined to uncover the extent of the alleged abuse, along with any way our church and the leadership at that time may have been complicit," he added.
Last year Rice released his latest album entitled, Untitled Hymn: A Collection of Hymns. It has been more than a decade since Chris Rice has released new solo music when he released Peace Like A River: The Hymns Project and fans were clamoring for more. The record has been streamed over 72 million times to date, a number that continues to accumulate at rapid rates, with millions of streams being added each month.