Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham and pastor at Fort Lauderdale megachurch Coral Ridge Presbyterian, has resigned from his pulpit after admitting to an affair.
Aside from being known as Billy Graham's grandkid, Tchividjian — who has been married since 1994 and has three children with his wife, Kim — is also nephew to Franklin Graham, who famously blamed the ills of the world on homosexuality and recently blamed the Charleston shootings on Hollywood.
In a statement released to the Washington Post on Sunday, Tchividjian revealed that he had discovered that his wife had been having an affair. The statement goes on to say that he sought comfort from a friend, whom he eventually also became intimately involved with.
“I resigned from my position at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church today due to ongoing marital issues. As many of you know, I returned from a trip a few months back and discovered that my wife was having an affair. Heartbroken and devastated, I informed our church leadership and requested a sabbatical to focus exclusively on my marriage and family. As her affair continued, we separated. Sadly and embarrassingly, I subsequently sought comfort in a friend and developed an inappropriate relationship myself."
Tchividjian went on to say that he was confronted by leaders of Coral Ridge Presbyterian and decided it would be best if he resigned.
"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. We are amazingly grateful for the team of men and women who are committed to walking this difficult path with us. Please pray for the healing of deep wounds and we kindly ask that you respect our privacy.”
The church itself released a statement on Tchividjian's resignation, using the all-too-familiar phrasing "moral failure":
“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 — effective immediately. We are saddened by this news, but are working with and assisting Pastor Tullian and his family to help them through this difficult time, and asking people to join us in praying that God will bring restoration through this process and healing to all involved.”
For his part, Tchividjian took to Twitter to quote Scripture:
Welcome to the valley of the shadow of death...thank God grace reigns here.— Tullian Tchividjian (@PastorTullian) June 21, 2015
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Tchividjian is just one in a very long line of Florida pastors and church leaders who got busted for various scandals over the last decade or so.
In 2014, Bob Coy, senior pastor and founder of Fort Lauderdale's Calvary Chapel, resigned after admitting to having multiple affairs. He too called his scandal a "moral failure."
According to one report, Calvary Chapel is paying Coy $500,000 as part of a compensation package.