Medford investigation of community partner ‘Set Free Services’ concludes

MEDFORD, Ore. – The City of Medford released the results of an investigation after the community expressed concerns about the city’s ties to a local organization.

A report from Siskiyou Abolition Project and Siskiyou Rising Tide claims Rogue Retreat’s Executive Director, Pastor Chad McComas and his church, Set Free Ministries, previously operated a program called Celebrate Recovery that does so-called “gay conversion therapy.” That’s an attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

Rogue Retreat, a nonprofit that helps the homeless, has worked extensively with Medford in recent years. It already gets taxpayer money for “Hope Village” and the “Urban Campground.” Rogue Retreat and McComas said it welcomes everyone and the nonprofit has no religious affiliation and is separate from Set Free Ministries.

But the allegations still shocked many in the community, especially leaders in the LGBTQ+ community.

As a result of the claims, Medford city leaders decided to pause their funding for Set Free Ministries’ work in the community pending the results of an investigation by City Attorney Eric Mitton

In addition, Rogue Retreat put McComas on paid administrative leave.

On July 8, the city stated that, according to its grant agreement and case law, Set Free Services “did not engage in any conduct that would allow the city to terminate the grant funding.”

The full investigation report can be found here: https://bit.ly/3P92lFM

The investigation report recommends the addition of signage at Set Free Services programs supported by the city assuring clients there is no religious requirement to receive services and that anyone is welcome, regardless of LGBTQIA+ status.

Representatives said the city is committed to non-discrimination and to ensuring that all public services supported by city grants are available to all members of the community.

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