Billy Graham’s grandson resigned from his position as pastor of a Florida megachurch last week after he admitted to having an affair.
Tullian Tchividjian resigned from Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale last week after admitting “moral failure.”
The church was once a prominent leader in the religious right movement, but Tullian steered the church away from politics after he succeeded church founder D. James Kennedy as pastor.
He is the fourth Florida megachurch pastor to resign after admitting to having an affair.
Tchividjian admitted to having the affair in an email to the Washington Post.
Tullian said he returned from a trip a few months ago to discover his wife was having an affair. Her affair continued, and the couple separated. Tullian went on sabbatical to recover from the devastating event and found comfort in the arms of a friend. It’s this subsequent relationship that caused church leaders to confront him last week.
Rob Pacienza, executive pastor of Coral Ridge, provided the following statement to the Washington Post.
“Several days ago, Pastor Tullian admitted to moral failure, acknowledging his actions disqualify him from continuing to serve as senior pastor or preach from the pulpit, and resigned.”
Tchividjian was once considered a rising star in the Evangelical community. After taking over the church reigns from James Kennedy, Tullian moved the church past politics and focused on God’s grace and the forgiveness of sins.
A 2009 profile of Tullian in Christianity Today told the story of a teenager who was kicked out his home and turned to Miami’s nightlife for comfort.
“But now he believes that Christians must forsake any hope of winning cultural acceptance if they want to affect the culture for the Lord’s sake.”
Congregants noted Tullian would read Bible passages, not the news, he had a blog and preferred podcasts more than broadcasts.
Megachurch pastors have fared poorly in the news lately.
Earlier this year, Creflo Dollar asked church goers from Atlanta’s World Changers Church International to buy him a new $65 million private jet.
The pastor’s personal net worth is estimated at $27 million, according to the Inquisitr.
Then in May, Dallas megachurch pastor Matt Chandler was caught up in controversy for placing a woman under church discipline after she caught her husband looking at child pornography.
Chandler, another Evangelical up-and-comer, was forced to apologize for his actions after facing a public backlash, according to the Inquisitr.
There’s no word yet on a successor to lead Coral Ridge Presbyterian.
[Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images]