In June 2015, Tullian Tchividjian stepped down from Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church after admitting marital infidelity. He announced later in the year that he filed for divorce.
Not long after the divorce papers were filed, Tchividjian reemerged as a staff person at Willow Creek Presbyterian Church in Winter Springs, FL. Tchividjian took a non-ministry position according to Willow Creek Pastor Kevin Labby. Initially Tchividjian and Labby were criticized for moving too quickly to restore Tchividjian to a ministry position. Labby later clarified that Tchividjian’s job did not involved preaching and teaching.
Then, on February 19 of this year, the relaunch of Tchividjian’s ministry called Liberate was announced by the board of directors. The directors said Tchividjian would not return to the board at present but that his restoration process “is going remarkably well.”
For his part, Tchividjian appears to have started his comeback. Recently, he spoke about his struggles on the “These Go to 11” podcast. On March 4 and 5, Tchividjian spoke at Spring Hills Community Church in Santa Rosa, CA to promote his book, One Way Love.
After the Liberate announcement, problems began to surface. Some evangelical bloggers (e.g., Janet Mefferd and Spiritual Sounding Board) have wondered aloud if again Tchividjian is moving too quickly.
On the Liberate Facebook page, a woman identifying herself as Tchividjian’s affair partner posted a pointed rebuke to Tchividjian and Liberate. The post, which was promptly removed, referred to a unpaid financial debt owed to the woman’s husband who has left his wife and the church. The woman also suggested that Tchividjian may have fooled his counselor, specifically naming Paul Tripp, while carrying on with her.
While I have not been able to verify all of the details revealed in the Facebook posting, I have been told that Liberate board members are taking the allegations seriously along with new information recently learned. A new statement from Liberate is in the works.
From the Board of Directors
It is with much excitement that we announce the relaunch of LIBERATE.
As many of you know, LIBERATE was founded in 2011 by Tullian Tchividjian as a resource ministry whose mission was to connect God’s inexhaustible grace to an exhausted world through books, conferences, television, radio, social media, and a variety of other mediums. Over the next several years, LIBERATE grew to become a unique and vibrant ministry.
In light of what has transpired with both Tullian and LIBERATE over the past year, you may be asking, “What will Tullian’s involvement be as LIBERATE moves forward?” Today, Tullian continues an encouraging season of rest and healing as a part of the Willow Creek Church family in Winter Springs, FL. The elders of Willow Creek Church are presently overseeing a care plan for him, one involving routine worship, prayer, fellowship, study, professional counseling, and more. The process is going remarkably well, and we are very encouraged by his honesty, humility, repentance, and commitment to healing.
Our prayerful hope and expectation is that Tullian will join us fully in this great work one day. In the meantime (and in keeping with his care plan) he is presently on sabbatical from the board of the Liberate Network.
Thankfully, the Liberate Network is ultimately about the message of the gospel, not any particular messenger, and so we’re moving forward together. To God’s glory, we look forward to the Liberate Network sharing the good news of God’s inexhaustible grace to an exhausted world for many years to come.
Please be sure to connect with us on Facebook (facebook.com/LiberateNetwork) and Twitter (@LiberateNetwork) for exciting news and ministry content.
Board of Directors
Liberate Network, Inc
Dr. Chris Crawford, M.D. – Partner, Dallas Associated Dermatologists
Mrs. Barbara Juliani – Editor, New Growth Press
Rev. Matt Popovits – Lead Pastor, Our Savior New York
New York, NY
Rev. Kevin Labby – Lead Pastor, Willow Creek Church
Winter Springs, FL
Mr. Peter Ouda, J.D. – Peter Ouda Law
Ms. Lana Trombly
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Mr. Dwayne Williams – Executive Vice-President, Frontline Insurance
Winter Springs, FL
Ms. Catherine Wyatt – Vice President of Development, Key Life Network
Winter Springs, FL
Rev. Dr. Paul F.M. Zahl – Retired Episcopal minister and author
Winter Garden, FL