KENT HOVIND’S MISTRESS
**UPDATE** After further discussion with insiders from Dr. Hovind’s camp, I would like to acknowledge his initial behind-the-scenes attempts to court his wife upon arriving home from prison. Unfortunately, I believe it was too little too late.
**UPDATE 2** Since writing this, I have been physically threatened by Hovind investor/friend, Ernie Land, and Dr. Hovind has attempted to blackmail me. Both of these were in writing and records are available upon request. By their fruits ye shall know them.
When Kent Hovind called me to invite me to his then-secret wedding, I didn’t know what to say. I was saddened to think it had gone this far. For a long time, I had known about Kent Hovind’s mistress and how she had wrecked his marriage and family, but I just never thought it would come to this. Somehow, I thought he would do the right thing and try to save his marriage. But he was too distracted to be a husband to his wife. As has been the case for many years now, Kent Hovind was too busy with his mistress. And his mistress is not Mary Tocco.
My Experience with Kent Hovind
Many will recognize that I have been one of Kent Hovind’s staunchest supporters over the years, and have even stuck my neck out for him. It pains me to write against him, and I have put it off for quite some time. I grew up watching Dr. Hovind’s creation seminars and practically memorized their content. Eventually, I was honored to work at Dinosaur Adventure Land as a park guide and later as the head of apologetics and publications for Creation Science Evangelism. Unfortunately, this was all after Dr. Hovind had been unjustly sent to prison. I could only correspond with him via phone and letters.
I have written about my shock at the negative attitude towards Dr. Hovind that I found among his own family members and those who had worked under him. I didn’t understand then what I understand now. When Dr. Hovind was transferred to the nearby Santa Rosa County jail for his second trial, I began visiting him monthly. I wanted to encourage him and also discuss with him some concerns I had about his removing repentance from his gospel presentation. But what I had come to suspect from corresponding with him over the years was confirmed by these visits. Kent Hovind does not respond to correction. He will not listen to it for even a few seconds. And he has a mistress.
Many are familiar with my aggressive defense of Dr. Hovind and how I bull-horned the courthouse for his release throughout the second trial. Kent Hovind had no better friend than myself. I still believe he was unjustly sentenced, but something else I now knew about him worried me. When he came home, I spent some time with him, noticing the curious, makeshift bedroom he had set up adjacent to his office. I ate meals with his family and observed the awkwardness of the family dynamic. On more than one occasion, I tried bringing up my growing concerns with him, but he quickly changed the subject or acted like it wasn’t important. And that is why I am writing this – because Kent Hovind refuses to listen to anything negative I have to say in person. For a long time, he has refused to listen to concerns from me or anyone else. Perhaps he will read this and know why I can no longer support him or his ministry. And perhaps others will pause and reconsider their support for him when they read about why one of Dr. Hovind’s most stalwart defenders is disavowing him.
We Need Fewer Great Men
Kent Hovind is a great man. There is no denying that. He has preached around the globe, published his 18-hour seminar series in numerous languages and countries, and even claims to have won thousands of souls to Christ. Hundreds of thousands have heard him preach. I, myself, was personally shaped by his teaching. But there is a price to being a great man. History is littered with the fallout left in the wake of great men. Their families are often the primary casualties. Consider great men like Billy Sunday, whose fierce preaching closed down bars and converted hopeless drunks across the nation. But his three sons grew up to be godless drunkards and reprobates. Consider the example of Eli, the High Priest in the Old Testament, the highest ranking servant of God in the land – but his children turned on God. These great men were too busy doing the Lord’s work that they failed to see the Lord’s work staring them in the face.
Jo Hovind with grandson Jordon
Dr. Hovind has bragged in nearly every seminar before he was sent away that he was speaking 900 times a year, an average of 2.5 times a day 365 days a year. Ask yourself how much time he could have spent parenting and being a husband when he was never there. Spend time with his family, yourself, and you will get your answer. In recent years, his son, Eric, has taken the ministry into a completely different direction, compromising on some doctrines his father held as sacrosanct. Why? Could it be because he never had a father to guide him in these truths? Kent’s wife, Jo, who went to prison for a year because of his tax issues, never fully bought into his fight with the government or his strong stand on many of these issues. Why? Could it be because her husband was too distracted with his mistress to spend time cherishing and bonding with his wife?
We have too many great men in this world who leave their homes and families in the shadows as they do great things for God. Their personal walk with God is questionable at best, their families fall apart, and many of their converts go right back to the world. What we need more of is good men – steady, reliable men who walk with God daily, lay down their lives for their wives, and pour themselves into training their children. We need fewer great men; we need more good men – men who don’t necessarily chase big dreams around the country, but who plow the field day in and day out, who do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God (Micah 6:8).
Beware the Mistress
Kent Hovind with the former Mrs. Sam Tocco
In case you haven’t guessed by now, Kent Hovind’s mistress isn’t Mary Tocco; it’s his ministry. The woman he is marrying probably has little to no idea what she is getting into, and may well regret her decision to marry this man who has been chasing this same mistress and abandoning his family for decades. While we are to love God more than everything, we as husbands and wives are to nurture our families above everything else. Beware of anything – anything – that comes between them and us. The Bible commands husbands:
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. -Ephesians 5:25, 28
Yet when Mrs. Hovind expressed her fear that Kent’s continued recklessness was endangering her, Kent Hovind changed nothing. Having just returned from nearly a decade-long separation in prison, Kent Hovind did little to nothing that we can discern to restore his relationship with his wife or calm her fears. Instead, he launched right back into his ministry work in spite of probationary restrictions and concerns raised by the legal community that, if he was not careful, he might overstep his restrictions and land himself back in prison.
It’s unfortunate that his wife turned to the unbiblical option of divorce, but when she did on March 24, 2016, Kent’s response should have been to drop everything (including his ministry), and win back his wife. Instead, the divorce was completely uncontested, finalized in record time, and now Kent admits on video that he had his eye on Mary Tocco, a divorced woman, since February of 2016, a full month prior to the filing of this divorce. And in this self-congratulatory video, he makes it clear that his purpose in entering into this is to just “move on” and get back to “serving the Lord” – while the ink is still wet on the divorce papers.
This is a tragedy. Dr. Hovind has done so many great things for God, and so many of us were looking for even greater things to come. What happened? It may seem odd that Kent and Jo Hovind could be married for 40 years, and then Kent remarries a woman a few short months after a swift, uncontested divorce. But if you could spend some time in the Hovind home before it fell apart, you would understand he gave up on his family years ago. I only spent a short time there, and the silence was deafening. The complete lack of familial love and devotion was painfully obvious. The inability of Dr. Hovind to even consider his error was shameful. And the unhealthy, unholy, imbalanced focus on the ministry to the complete exclusion of his family is in a word, sinful.
Kent & Jo Hovind
Ministry is a good thing. I believe every single Christian should actively evangelize in some way or another. But it must not come before our first priorities. It should not come before doctrinal purity, caring for our spouses, and training up our children. We to whom God has entrusted a family should place them before everything but our personal walk with God. Kent Hovind has done great things for God, but he has lost his own family and should be ashamed of how he is acting. Don’t be deceived by his zeal for the ministry. Don’t overlook his complete abandoning of his family and pretend everything is all right. Kent Hovind is now marrying a second wife, but until he repents, he will always have a mistress.