Michael Hodges, son of the founder of Alabama’s largest church, is no longer pastor of the Greystone branch campus of the Church of the Highlands, which has 15 branch campuses that have more than 40,000 in attendance every week.
Founder and Senior Pastor Chris Hodges, speaking at the ReCreate Women’s Conference at the church on Sept. 30, mentioned that his son had a moral failing and was no longer the Greystone pastor. He gave no further details. He released his new book, “The Daniel Dilemma: How to Stand Firm & Love Well in a Culture of Compromise,” at the women’s conference.
All references to Michael Hodges were removed from the church’s website in September and his social media accounts were deactivated. Since Sept. 25, Charles Kelly has been listed on the church web site as the pastor of the Greystone campus.
Michael Hodges had previously held the position as Greystone pastor, and had been on the church staff since 2015 with other titles including director of ministry partnership and placement, and as a member of the Highlands College Team, which teaches students at the church’s ministry training program.
The church has not responded to a request for a statement on the status of Michael Hodges, or announced whether he will be reinstated to the church staff.
One current Church of the Highlands staff member, Associate Pastor Dino Rizzo, went through a plan for restoration to the ministry supervised by Chris Hodges after Rizzo left his previous church following an inappropriate relationship.
Rizzo took a sabbatical in July 2012 and then resigned as senior pastor of the Healing Place Church he founded in 1993 in Baton Rouge, La.
Hodges and other overseers devised a restoration plan which required counseling for Rizzo and his wife. It required Rizzo to step down from ministry for one year, and have a second year of supervised ministry, before he was considered restored to the ministry.
Rizzo now coordinates missions, Dream Centers, Local Outreach and Prisons ministry for Church of the Highlands.
SOURCE: AL.com – Greg Garrison