Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church and leader of Acts 29 International announced Aug. 28 that he would be taking an indefinite leave. It comes after the 48-year-old’s online interactions with a woman who is not his wife came to light.
Internet users have since taken to social networks, believing that his departure was well deserved.
What was the Matt Chandler scandal?
The pastor began his confession to the congregation by saying:
“I plan to be the pastor here for another 20 years, but I need to update you on some things, okay?”
Chandler went on to explain that he met a woman in a lobby at The Village Church who expressed concerns about her online interactions with one of her friends.
He added that he didn’t find anything controversial about it, as his wife and his friends’ husband knew about their online messaging. He also said the woman who approached him in the lobby said something “really confusing” to him.
Matt Chandler also told the congregation that he was not involved in a “romantic” or “sexual” conversation with the woman. However, he added:
“The way it played out was in a kind of frequency and familiarity which is unwise for someone in my position.”
He went on to add that their exchanges began to take on a “crass and insane” tone that was not acceptable to “someone who has been put in the position that God has put me in.”
Matt Chandler added that after discussing the issue with the church’s elder council, he was asked to take time off to preach and teach. The pastor also said he felt “embarrassed, foolish and stupid”.
He ended the congregation by asking for forgiveness, which was greeted with applause.
Netizens slam Matt Chandler for DM controversy
Internet users did not hold back when commenting on Chandler’s departure from his role. Many wrote online that they believed there was more to the scandal, which has not been made public. Others also criticized his apology and condemned his “arrogant” tone towards the congregation.
Many felt that this was probably not the first time Matt Chandler had gotten involved in inappropriate acts. However, the same has not been corroborated by credible sources.
A couple of tweets called out Matt Chandler for his behavior, especially as they said he had to do everything to make sure his victim “didn’t tarnish his image.”
What is the village church?
The village church ranks among the 100 largest and fastest growing churches in America. It started in 1978 as the First Baptist Church of Highland Village.
The church represents its conservative and strict Reformed theology, which has been embodied by the Acts 29 network. Their movement believes that God created men and women for their own unique roles in church and home.
Matt Chandler served as a youth pastor near Houston before attending Hardin-Simons University in Texas, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Bible.
He then continued his ministry in Dallas. In 2002 Chandler became the pastor of The Village Church. In 1999, Chandler married his wife, Lauren. The couple are raising their three children.