The grandson of famed evangelist Rev. Billy Graham stepped down from his Fort Lauderdale megachurch pastorship yesterday after admitting to an extramarital affair. In a statement provided to the Washington Post, Tullian Tchividjian writes, "Last week I was approached by [Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church] leaders and they asked me about my own affair." He says he admitted to cheating on his wife of 21 years, and "it was decided that the best course of action would be for me to resign." Tchividjian’s statement seems to place the impetus for his action at his wife's feet, however. "As many of you know, I returned from a trip a few months back and discovered that my wife was having an affair," the 43-year-old wrote.
"As her affair continued, we separated. Sadly and embarrassingly, I subsequently sought comfort in a friend and developed an inappropriate relationship myself." He yesterday tweeted, "Welcome to the valley of the shadow of death...thank God grace reigns here." Kim’s statement to the paper was more reserved, noting that her husband's statement shared his side of the story only and asking for privacy "during this difficult time." Tchividjian is the son of Graham's daughter Virginia and the founder of Liberate—a ministry that focuses on grace and forgiveness. Coral Ridge is a "cornerstone of the Religious Right evangelical movement in the US," according to NBC News, and the Post framed Tchividjian as "a rising star in evangelicalism." No word on who will replace the senior pastor.