Megachurch pastor Tullian Tchividjian has resigned from a famous Florida church after acknowledging an "inappropriate relationship."
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Tullian Tchividjian, the grandson of iconic preacher Billy Graham, has resigned as senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian, after admitting to an affair with a friend. The 42-year old nephew of the fire-and-brimstone Franklin Graham released a statement to the Washington Post last night, saying he resigned Sunday "due to ongoing marital issues."
Tchividjian said that upon returning "from a trip a few months back" he discovered his wife "was having an affair," which continued, leading to their separation.
"Sadly and embarrassingly, I subsequently sought comfort in a friend and developed an inappropriate relationship myself. Last week I was approached by our church leaders and they asked me about my own affair. I admitted to it and it was decided that the best course of action would be for me to resign. Both my wife and I are heartbroken over our actions and we ask you to pray for us and our family that God would give us the grace we need to weather this heart wrenching storm."
The couple married in 1994.
The Post notes Tchividjian "is the fourth Florida megachurch pastor to resign after having affairs," and after his announcement, posted this to Twitter:
Welcome to the valley of the shadow of death...thank God grace reigns here.— Tullian Tchividjian (@PastorTullian) June 21, 2015
He also posted these tweets late last week:
You and I are persistent promise breakers. God alone is a perpetual promise keeper.— Tullian Tchividjian (@PastorTullian) June 18, 2015
God loves the broken you. The real you. The you that can honestly say you don't know things. The you that hides.— Tullian Tchividjian (@PastorTullian) June 17, 2015
Tchividjian's leadership of Coral Ridge was rocky after he took over from the late Rev. D. James Kennedy. He opted to move away from political and social issues, and make the church more modern.
Kennedy's Coral Ridge Ministries, formerly the action arm of Coral Ridge Presbyterian, still exists, now as Truth in Action Ministries, but wholly separate from Coral Ridge Presbyterian. Coral Ridge Ministries was listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay group in 2010, and its successor, Truth in Action, appears now as an anti-gay hate group.