A Florida megachurch pastor has resigned after “confessing to a moral failing in his life” which disqualifies him from continuing in ministry, according to a church statement.
Pastor Bob Coy, who founded Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale in 1985, vacated his position as senior pastor April 3, though the exact nature of his “moral failing” has not been publicly released.
“Pastor Bob will be focusing his full attention on his personal relationship with God and with his family,” read the news release on the church’s website. “The governing board of the church is providing counselors and ministers who will help guide him through the process of full repentance, cleansing and restoration.”
Calvary Chapel plans to continue services at its main campus and six affiliated churches through a team of assistant pastors who will serve on a rotating schedule.
The church, said to be the 14th largest in the nation, has about 20,000 members.
Parishioners were told of Coy’s resignation during a special meeting on Sunday, which had 7,500 people in attendance, according to the Daily Mail.
In addition to revealing the stunning news that Coy, 58, would be vacating his position, church leaders reportedly also read a letter from the preacher in which he apologized for his actions and said that Calvary Chapel would continue to flourish.
“Most people were shocked,” congregant Robert Milne told the Sun Sentinel after the meeting. “A lot of people were hurt, a lot of people are disappointed.”
These reactions were evident in comments posted to the church’s website this weekend. While many people praised Coy as a preacher who has helped bring members closer to the Christian faith, confusion has abounded.
“We still love you pastor Bob! God bless you and your family in these difficult times. Please consider coming back,” one commenter named MP posted.
But another person named Vanessa said that she’s conflicted, writing, “I wonder why he didn’t speak to us directly or at least filmed a video…I feel confused/heartbroken.”
The church closed comments down on Sunday evening.
While Coy hasn’t spoken publicly, he did send two tweets in recent days:
Active Word, Coy’s radio, TV and digital media ministry, has also been suspended, according to leaders at the church.
(H/T: Daily Mail)
Featured image via @Pbobcoy’s Twitter account