Liberate, a ministry focusing on God's grace and the forgiveness of sin, has closed amid reports that its founder, pastor Tullian Tchividjian, had engaged in an "inappropriate" extramarital affair.
Tchividjian, who is the grandson of prominent evangelist Billy Graham, stepped down from his position as senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church on Monday after admitting to the affair. According to a statement on the Liberate website, his resignation has caused those behind the site to re-evaluate the ministry's future.
"Considering Pastor Tullian's recent resignation as senior pastor of CRPC after admitting moral failure, and his subsequent statement and actions, it is with heavy hearts that our Church Leadership has come to the conclusion to temporarily close LIBERATE," the site reads.
"Coral Ridge very much believes in the message of God's 'good news' of grace to a broken and burned out world. It is our desire that the LIBERATE message will endure through loyal readers and followers like you, who continue to proclaim to individuals around the world in desperate spiritual need that Jesus lived, died, and rose again to 'set the captives free' (Luke 4:18)," the statement adds.
Liberate was "an annual conference, a content-based website, a pastors network, radio, writing projects and soon-to-be television program, Liberate exists for one very specific reason: to connect God's inexhaustible grace to an exhausted world," Tchividjian wrote last year, Charisma reports.
Although the 2016 Liberate conference has been cancelled, and the site says there will be a full refund for those who registered.
Tchividjian, who had pastored the PCA congregation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida since 2009, has three children with his wife, Kim.
In a statement to the Washington Post on Monday, forty-two-year-old "Surprised by Grace" author revealed that his wife first had an affair, prompting him to "seek comfort" in a "friend" and their relationship turned "inappropriate."
"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," he wrote.
However, in a later statement, Kim Tchividjian emphasized that husband's words reflected his opinions and not her own: "Please respect the privacy of my family at this time, thank you," she wrote. "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."
Meanwhile, as word of Tchividjian's resignation and confession continues to spread, many of his supporters have taken to his Facebook page to leave words of compassion and encouragement.
"Hey brother, praying for you and your family today. I have been where you are and the journey is long, bitter and sweet. Long and bitter are probably easily understood. Sweet because God will speak to you in a way that He couldn't have prior to this experience. I'll pray that those around you will restore you gently. (Galatians 6:2)," wrote writer, Rod Arters.
"The enemy hates us all. And especially those pushing the front lines of grace. But God knew. His grace is still sufficient. He will still work it out for good. He will restore. Do not live in the cave of shame," added Jeff Roberts.