An Arizona megapastor has resigned after leaders at his church discovered he has engaged in numerous extramarital affairs.
Mark Connelly stepped down as lead pastor of Mission Community Church in Phoenix, Ariz., after staffers there learned he was cheating on his wife of 29 years, purportedly with women from within the congregation.
After being confronted about the allegations, he admitted fault and vacated his position on Dec. 30, The Daily Mail reported.
Parishioners learned about Connelly’s actions this past weekend when Executive Pastor of Ministries Gary Sutliff, who is serving as lead pastor for the time being, told the congregation that the church is hoping to help the embattled pastor rebuild his marriage.
“In addition, we have offered the same resources to the women involved,” Sutliff told the church. “Our priority right now is helping all those involved, including the people of our church, heal from this.”
In a statement published on the Mission Community Church’s website, information about the extramarital affairs was delivered to the general public.
“This past week, we received information that Mark Connelly had engaged in extramarital, physical affairs with women,” it read. “Mark has confessed to the affairs. In following the Biblical teaching in 1 Timothy 3:2-7, on Monday December 30th, 2013, the Board of Servant Leaders asked for, received and accepted Mark’s resignation as Lead Pastor of MISSION.”
The statement goes on to note that the church’s mission is to do “justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God” — values that officials say are driving how they handle the situation.
The church, which attracts 6,000 worshipers during its five weekly services, hosted a special prayer service on Tuesday evening in an effort to usher in healing and wisdom, reported The Arizona Republic.
(H/T: Daily Mail)
Featured image via Arizona Republic.
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