Billy Graham is still the figurehead of the Billy Graham Evangelical Association, but at 96 years old, his organization is run by members of his family. One member of his family–not directly associated with the Billy Graham Evangelical Association–is in some hot water, and likely a huge embarrassment to his grandfather. Tullian Tchividjian, a pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian, a high-profile church in Florida, has resigned from his position, and admits he had an affair.
In a statement released to the Washington Post, Billy Graham’s grandson, 42, said the following:
“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. 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. 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. We are amazingly grateful for the team of men and women who are committed to walking this difficult path with us. Please pray for the healing of deep wounds and we kindly ask that you respect our privacy.”
Billy Graham's grandson admits to extramarital affair, steps down from Ft. Lauderdale pulpit: http://t.co/YoEik11Y3m pic.twitter.com/3XJUw356ik
— NBC 6 South Florida (@nbc6) June 22, 2015
Tullian Tchividjian married his wife Kim in 1994. The couple has three children. Kim Tchividjian issued her own statement to the Washington Post on Monday.
“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 said.
Rob Pacienza is the executive pastor of Coral Ridge. He issued the following statement from the church:
“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. 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.”
Popular megachurch pastor resigns after admission of "moral failure." http://t.co/STg2hXSAdF
— TheBlaze Faith (@TheBlazeFaith) June 22, 2015
Tullian Tchividjian made a point when first arriving at Coral Ridge to move past the Religious Right his grandfather Billy Graham and uncle Franklin Graham have long upheld.
Neither Billy Graham nor Franklin Graham has issued a statement about Tullian Tchividjian.
Tullian Tchividjian’s mother is Billy Graham’s oldest child.