Seven months after revealing that he hoped to remain in his position for at least five more years, Mac Brunson, senior pastor of the 10,000-member First Baptist Church of Jacksonville in Florida, abruptly resigned on Sunday as church officials assured members his premature exit wasn’t prompted by any scandal.
“On Sunday, April 29, 2018 Dr. Mac Brunson announced his resignation as the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida. His last Sunday preaching will be May 6, 2018. This announcement came as sad news to a church that has appreciated Dr. Brunson’s ministry for so long,” the church said in a statement.
“Whenever a pastor leaves a place of service it is common for rumors of a scandal to circulate. We want to be clear that no such scandal exists at First Baptist, or in the ministry of Dr. Brunson. Dr. Brunson’s service has been characterized by moral and ministerial faithfulness, and no individual or group within our church asked him to leave.”
Brunson, 60, has been at the helm of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville since 2006. In September 2017, the church’s trustees, deacons and the congregation approved the appointment of Heath Lambert, 38, a Southern Baptist Theological Seminary professor, as his co-pastor and successor.
“I’ve been getting slower,” Brunson told The Florida Times-Union at the time. “I’ve been here 11½ years. I’ve needed help for 11½ years. I felt like this was the right time. There is only so much one person can give themselves to.”
He insisted that he was planning to retire or change careers and had anticipated a painless, unified transition of about five years.
In a statement on Sunday, however, Brunson and his wife Debbie said that almost as soon as Lambert was officially appointment as his successor they felt God was bringing their time at the church to an end.
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Source: Christian Post