David Dummitt has been named as the new senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, replacing its founder Bill Hybels, who resigned in 2018 over sexual misconduct allegations.
Hybels led the church for over four decades and had been months away from retiring when an investigative report in the Chicago Tribune detailed allegations from several women who accused the pastor of inappropriate behaviour like extended hugs, suggestive comments, invitations to hotel rooms and an unwanted kiss.
He denied the accusations but was investigated last year by an Independent Advisory Group, which called the accusations against Hybels “credible” and recommended that he undergo counselling.
This was followed by a public statement from Willow Creek elders in which they told Hybels to “repent”.
“God has blessed Willow Creek Community Church to have a profound impact for His kingdom,” the board of elders said in a statement last July.
“Bill Hybels served and contributed to Willow for more than 40 years. Simultaneously, unchecked sin and intimidating behavior resulted in harm that is still felt in this present day.
“Christ died to free us from the power of sin. It is in that spirit that we appeal to Bill to reflect on his years in ministry, repent where necessary, and seek to live out the ministry of reconciliation.”
The controversy left the church with lower attendance, giving, and multiple staff and elder resignations.
In May last year, the embattled church established a search committee for a new senior pastor with the aim of filling the position by the end of 2019.
It has now been announced that Dummitt, founder and leader of the 2|42 Community Church in Michigan for the last 12 years, is to take over as senior pastor at Willow Creek.
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Editors note. This article was written by a staff writer at the Christian Post. Title changed by Pulpit & Pen News.
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