Here’s What People Are Saying About Dino Rizzo’s Affair Cover-Up

Dino Rizzo Kaycee Morgan Smith
Dino Rizzo with the woman he had an affair with, Kaycee Morgan Smith. The affair took place in the summer of 2012. (Image left courtesy of The Leadership Blog and image right courtesy of Healing Place Church)

In light of Dino Rizzo’s recent return to ministry this week after having an affair with Healing Place Church staff member Kaycee Morgan Smith and lying to his church about it in his resignation last year, here’s what people are saying about the scandal and cover-up:

Chris Hodges words were spin on the truth. It wasn’t a brief inappropriate friendship, she was a kept woman for quite some time. But at least Church of the highlands and ARC received spins on the truth, HPC received outright lies and cover up. I just wish Hodges and Rizzo had gotten up there and said “we made so many mistakes over this last year trying to handle this right but failing, I’m sorry, please forgive me.” –From commentor Icabod

Charisma News did a good job of covering up what really happened. Readers were outraged again from the lack of integrity of the news source and the pastors involved, just like they were last September when Christian news sources were covering up the affair.
NavyDad77 says: 

The narrative should be about the cover up and leaving the women victim out in the cold AND the church that remains in Louisiana is in trouble. All the while this guy gets off with NO questions asked. He was the former youth minister for Jimmy Swaggart so he should know how to repent. The scandal is the cover up of what happened and the subsequent mistreatment of the intern. Not a single bit of contrition or mention of that from any of them. There should be outrage and a much longer cooling off period before they let him in charge of anything.

Richard says:

An “inappropriate friendship”? What is an “inappropriate friendship”? Since when is a pastor disciplined for an “inappropriate friendship”? Is an “inappropriate friendship” when you say “hi” too many times? What is an “inappropriate friendship”? I think I know what it is…..a lie….cover up language.

A former member of Church of the Highlands, where Dino Rizzo is now on staff and gave his first sermon since the affair, hits the nail on the head with this comment:

As a former member of COTH of over 12 years, I am so disappointed w/ Chris and Dino for how they have handled this situation. No honesty whatsoever!! I feel so sorry for the people of HPC who were lied to, betrayed and told they weren’t getting any more explanation for his (Dino’s) resignation. Their (Chris, Dino and Co.) cover up only proves that they care more about Dino’s reputation and the reputation of ARC than they do about the people they serve.

More on this story here: 

Healing Place Pastor Founder Resigns; Affair Cover Up Suspected

Rizzo Resigns As Healing Place Pastor; Rumors Of Affair Surface

Dino Rizzo From Healing Place Church Puts His House Up For Sale

Megachurch Pastor Dino Rizzo Returns to Ministry After Affair

If you would like to contribute to this story, of have a news tip, email mycultlife AT gmail DOT com. All names will be kept confidential.

17 thoughts on “Here’s What People Are Saying About Dino Rizzo’s Affair Cover-Up”

  1. This is the woman’s fault for tempting him! Women should know better than to tempt pastors and other men of faith. That’s what Eve did to Adam and women have always, as long as mankind has existed, been the purveyors of trouble, woe, and spiritual unrest.

  2. Lisa,

    It would be interesting to hear kaycee morgan smith’s thoughts on this. I wonder what she thinks about the entire situation, if she would be willing to share

    1. What burns me up about Hodges speech is that he talks about the intensive restoration plan put in place for Dino. Was there a restoration plan for Kaycee? He goes on to say how important it is to restore Dino into the church the right way. What about Kaycee? Was anyone concerned with restoring her to the church? He said Dino and Delynn got counseling. What about Kaycee? Did she get counseling? God knows she needs it after this experience.

      1. Also, since when does “a list of actions” qualify you for the ministry. ANYONE can complete a list. Furthermore the Gospel is not about works. Geez!

      2. I agree with you, 100%. I worked for a pastor like Dino. They don’t care about women like Kaycee. They barely even respect their wives. Any of us could’ve been Kaycee. After I stopped working at the church of Dino’s friend, it took me awhile to figure things out and I completely lost my faith after some time. I feel for Kaycee. Hopefully she’ll come out of this stronger than ever (and I imagine she will one day).

    2. I would be open to hearing from Kaycee. Kaycee, if you’re reading this, you can email me at mycultlife AT gmail DOT com and anything you say will be confidential unless you want to share it. I hope you’re doing well.

  3. Lisa, when you mentioned that Dino would be speaking at Celebration Church today, did you realize he would be kicking off their new series “Comeback”? You can’t make this stuff up.

    1. I had no idea! Ugh. I figured he would just give the same Prodigal Son message he gave last Wednesday at Church of the Highlands.

  4. 1 TIM 3 says the pastor should be above reproach in his community. Not so for Dino any more.
    But I agree with others that the worst parts of this is the lack of public repentance, the elders’ coverup and the apparent disregard of the victim’s plight or rights as a church intern employed by HPC and reporting to Dino. They go on like it was business as usual 14 months later. No mention of the victim, whose life and faith must surely be quite damaged by this betrayal of trust, indicates lack of integrity and sincerity. The show must go on. It will go on until those arc church’s believers start demanding some accountability. We are not sheep folks. That was just a metaphor! These arc pastors are all on each others boards. There is no external oversight and no effort to be transparent as to finances, reporting, compensation, ethics and accountability, audited financial statements, etc Too bad because with some state-of-the-art infrastructure the arc churches could become great models. But as it stands now the business world typically would have dealt more righteously over a young intern who was taken advantage of than the arc churches have displayed. I hope they come to feel more respect for their congregations than to try to pull off sub-Biblical tactics to avoid a more praiseworthy approach.

  5. Someone should look into these mega churches intern programs. They set it uo like a bible college, so they can charge over $5000 a year per year and teach stuff you could find for free online and at most churches but then these interns work for the church for FREE while they pay the church to be in “college”. And they work these interns like dogs. And there is no promise that even 1 intern per year will get a job there. This is a way for mega churches to get free labor, labor that actually pays the church to work for them. I understand intern programs but how they convince these kids to pay to work is beyond me. Again, these kids would get more education from a Beth Moore bible study that cost $15 and at least she wouldn’t make them do slave labor for that education.

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