Tullian Tchividjian claims his wife had an affair first

By Wade Rouse
June 22, 2015 10:20 AM
Alicia Funderburk/Getty

The grandson of evangelist Billy Graham has resigned from his Florida megachurch pulpit after admitting he had an affair.

“I resigned from my position at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church today due to ongoing marital issues,” Tullian Tchividjian said in a statement to The Washington Post Sunday. “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.”

Continued Tchividjian, 42: “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.”

Tchividjian has been married to his wife, Kim, since 1994, and the couple have three children.

In a separate statement to The Washington Post Monday, Kim Tchividjian said of her husband’s remarks, “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.”

According to the Post, many considered Tchividjian (pronounced cha-vi-jin) a rising star in evangelicalism, especially in Reformed circles.

In 2009, Tchividjian succeeded the late James Kennedy as senior pastor of Coral Ridge, which The Hartford Institute for Religion Research estimates as having 1,900 attendees.

Kennedy was one of the architects of the Religious Right, a movement of evangelicals who became intertwined in conservative politics. However, Tchividjian preached less politics while attempting to move past the old Religious Right.

In a 2009 profile titled “Out of Step and Fine with It,” Christianity Today wrote that Tchividjian was kicked out of his family’s home as a teenager and “indulged in almost everything Miami sensual nightlife offered.”

Tchividjian’s mother is the oldest child of Billy Graham, one of the most influential religious leaders of the 20th century and adviser to many U.S. presidents.

Tchividjian is the fourth Florida megachurch pastor to resign in recent years after having affairs.