(RNS) — The Rev. Scott Sauls, an influential evangelical Christian pastor and author, has been placed on an indefinite leave of absence from the Nashville church he has pastored since 2012.His leave was announced Sunday (May 7) during a member meeting at Christ Presbyterian, a prominent Presbyterian Church in America congregation.
In a video message to the congregation, Sauls apologized for an unhealthy leadership style that harmed the people who worked for him and the church.
“I verbalized insensitive and verbal criticism of others’ work,” he said, according to a recording of the meeting shared with Religion News Service. “I’ve used social media and the pulpit to quiet dissenting viewpoints. I’ve manipulated facts to support paths that I desire.”
Sauls made clear he had not been involved in any sexual sin or substance abuse. He said that he would seek counseling and repentance during his leave and that he hoped to someday reconcile with the people he had harmed.
“I am grieved to say that I have hurt people,” he said. “I want to say to all of you that I am sorry.”
The leave comes after an investigation by Christ Presbyterian itself and by the Nashville Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America. That investigation was prompted by a letter from a number of Christ Presbyterian staffers who raised concerns about Sauls’ con …
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