Prominent Evangelical Pastor Tearfully Steps Aside After ‘Unwise’ Relationship

The pastor of a prominent evangelical megachurch near Dallas abruptly announced an indefinite leave of absence on Sunday,

effective immediately, because of an online relationship he had with a woman who is not his wife.

Matt Chandler, the lead pastor of the Village Church, told his congregation in a tearful admission that took place on stage during the worship service, 

that the relationship was not “romantic or sexual” but “unguarded and unwise,” and included “coarse and foolish joking that’s unbefitting of someone in my position.”

The sudden departure under somewhat murky circumstances of the high-profile pastor, admired by many younger evangelicals for his preaching and dynamic stage presence,

is the latest crisis of leadership in American evangelicalism. Revelations of men abusing positions of power continue to frustrate and disappoint many in the pews.