Tullian Tchividjian, a grandson of prominent evangelist Billy Graham who resigned as senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida in June after confessing to an "inappropriate" relationship, has broken his months-long silence on social media to reveal he is receiving the "help and healing" he needs.
"I know I've been quiet for a few months," the 43-year-old pastor wrote in a Facebook update posted on November 20. "I'm getting the help and healing and rest that my heart and body desperately needs. I just wanted you all to know that I'm doing really well, I'm surrounded by great people, I'm in a great church, and I have a great pastor, a great counselor, and great elders. I also had back surgery yesterday and would greatly appreciate your prayers as I recover from that. I'll be laid up for a month or so. I love you all and miss you all and thank you all for your ongoing prayers and encouragement."
As previously reported by the Gospel Herald, Tchividjian, who has three children with his wife, Kim, resigned from his position as senior pastor of the PCA congregation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in June after releasing a statement revealing his affair.
The pastor, who had served at Coral Ridge since being called there in 2009, said that he was "heartbroken and devastated" when he discovered that his wife had been in an adulterous relationship, and in response "sought comfort in a friend and developed an inappropriate relationship myself."
The Coral Ridge congregation voted on June 28 to formally accept Tchvidjian's resignation. At the time, executive pastor Rob Pacienza revealed that the church was "saddened by the news" but emphasized that they were praying for Tchividjian and his family.
On Aug. 11, about two weeks before Tchividjian filed for divorce, the South Florida Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America voted to depose or strip Tchividjian of his ordination credentials due to the turmoil in his personal life, preventing him from performing duties as a minister of the Gospel.
However, less than three weeks later, the pastor landed a new job as the director of ministry development at Willow Creek Church in Winter Springs, Florida.
At the time, Tony Arsenal, a graduate of Bethel University and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, criticized the move in a lengthy op-ed shared on his personal blog page.
"It appears as though Tullian has not only joined another PCA church in the area, but is now listed as a staff member at Willow Creek Church. I cannot fathom a circumstance where the presbytery that was 'committed to continuing to offer him pastoral care' has advised or sanctioned him being on staff in a church two weeks to the day of having deposed him," wrote Arsenal on his blog.
He also urged the South Florida Presbytery to suspend Tchividjian from participating in the Lord's Supper and launch an investigation of the church's senior pastor, Kevin Labby.
"It is clear that Tullian has not properly discerned the body of Christ in that he has clearly misunderstood or is intentionally disregarding the discipline of the South Florida Presbytery, and for his own protection he should no longer be allowed to participate in the Lord's Supper," wrote Arsenal.
"The senior pastor at Willow Creek Church should be investigated and examined for censure. He has disregarded his responsibility to abide by the decision of the presbytery in this matter, and has also disregarded his responsibility to shepherd and discipline those under his care. By allowing Tullian to obtain a ministry position, he has placed him in grave spiritual danger, and has set a precedent for a disregard for the God ordained discipline processes laid out in Scripture. Should the senior pastor be found to have ignored the process and does not rectify it, a vote should be held to remove his credentials as well."