Billy Graham’s Grandson Tullian Tchividjian Resigns as Coral Ridge Presbyterian Pastor After Admitting Affair
Preface by Julio Severo: The Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, under the leadership of D. James Kenney, had active participation in the 1980s and 1990s in the conservative movement, fighting wicked agendas, including abortion and homosexuality. After his death, Tullian Tchividjian, a Billy Graham’s grandson, took over the leadership, withdrawing Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church from the cultural wars. According to Gleanings:
Tchividjian’s tenure at Coral Ridge had been troubled from the start. In the spring of 2009, the church named the then-36-year-old as its senior pastor. Founded by famed preacher D. James Kennedy, Coral Ridge had once drawn as many as 7,000 worshipers. But it had been in decline following Kennedy’s death in 2006. Church elders hoped that Tchividjian’s youth, vision, and name could revive the fortunes of the aging congregation. Instead they got chaos. Within six months, a group of church members led by Kennedy’s daughter, Jennifer, called for Tchividjian’s ouster. Those dissidents were banned by the church. At issue were a change in worship style and Tchividjian’s rejection of culture war politics.
Tchividjian’s decision to ban conservative members, including a Kennedy’s daughter, because they wanted to continue Coral Ridge’s tradition of involvement in cultural wars was an unfortunate decision. His attitude of shunning from cultural wars has nothing to do with the Graham family. Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has been very active in the cultural wars.
The affairs of the Tchividjian couple are an issue only between them and God and their church. But Tchividjian’s decision to ban conservative activism from his church was a disaster.
Yet, his decision of resigning was appropriate. May he keep this decision and shun the behavior of some who later repent of their resignation and want desperately the pulpit spotlight back.
As to the secular media, they are not attacking him and his family. This is no surprise: Because he shunned cultural wars, the media is giving him a bonus. If he were involved in cultural wars, the national and international headline would explode, “Prominent Anti-Gay and Anti-Abortion Minister Gets Involved in Sexual Scandals!” followed by a text riddled with acid diatribe.
Now, what should we conservative Christians do? Pray for the Tchividjian family, because not only the gay agenda, but also adultery and divorce are a threat to marriage and family.
Here is the full report by the Christian Post:
Tullian Tchividjian, the pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian church in Florida, has resigned from his position after admitting to an affair. Billy Graham’s grandson said that he has been experiencing ongoing marital issues.
“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,” Tchividjian revealed in a statement to The Washington Post.
“As her affair continued, we separated. 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.”
The pastor adds that both he and his wife, Kim, are “heartbroken” over their actions, and are asking God to give them “the grace we need to weather this heart wrenching storm.”
Kim Tchividjian said in a follow-up message to WP, however, that “the statement reflected my husband’s opinions but not my own.”
“Please respect the privacy of my family at this time, thank you. I do thank everyone for the outpouring of love for my family as well during this difficult time and we appreciate all the prayers and support we are receiving,” she added.
Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, which was officially chartered in 1960, installed Tchividjian as senior pastor in 2009.
“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,” revealed Rob Pacienza, executive pastor of Coral Ridge.
“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.”
Tchividjian, who has three children with Kim, has also written columns that’ve been published in The Christian Post. He has spoken out on a number of issues over the years, and back in December claimed that evangelicals’ involvement in the conservative political movement has damaged Christianity.
“Over the course of the last 20 or 30 years, evangelicalism, specifically their association with the religious right and conservative politics, has done more damage to the brand of Christianity than just about anything else,” the pastor said in an interview.
“That’s not to say that Christian people don’t have opinions on social issues and we shouldn’t speak those opinions, but Sunday morning from behind the pulpit is not the place,” he added.