FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Florida megachurch minister has resigned from his position of senior pastor after he recently admitting to cheating on his wife.
Bob Coy, 58, led Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, which is considered one of the largest churches in Florida. Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale has approximately 200,000 members across its ten satellite locations in the state. He also maintained a television and radio broadcast, which have now been suspended, along with all of his sermons on the church website.
Calvary Chapel issued a statement on Sunday outlining that Coy had resigned “after confessing to a moral failing in his life which disqualifies him from continuing his leadership role at the church.” Local media reports that the “moral failing” centers around Coy’s admission of being unfaithful to his wife.
“Pastor Bob will be focusing his full attention on his personal relationship with God and with his family,” the statement from the church outlined. “The governing board of the church is providing counselors and ministers who will help guide him through the process of full repentance, cleansing and restoration.”
Other pastors on staff will now fill in for Coy in his absence.
“Trusting in God’s providence, protection, provision and direction, the staff of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale will continue our mission to ‘make disciples,'” the statement continued, “through regular services at all campuses and through a myriad of other ministries the church has established over the years.”
Coy’s resignation letter was read before the church on Sunday, which is grieving in the wake of the announcement.
“There should have been more accountability at Calvary Chapel,” stated member Joseph LaFontaine, according to local television station WFOR. “He shouldn’t have been put on such a high pedestal and he should have never had so much power. That’s a formula for disaster.”
Others stated that while they mourned the loss of the pastor, they believe that every person is a sinner and that Coy should not have consequently been “disqualified.”
“Pastor Bob is human. Humans are sinners. Calvary only wants people who are perfect. Well, I say lay out everyone’s dirty laundry and let’s see who is perfect,” said an anonymous commenter. “Bring back Pastor Bob and help him and help his family.”
In 2003, Coy had affirmed the resignation of an area pastor who had likewise admitted to an inappropriate relationship with a woman. He stated that stepping down was the proper response.
“You disqualify yourself when something like this happens,” he told the Miami Herald. “Planet Earth is not a playground, it’s a war zone, especially for the Christian. When a fellow Christian falls, it affects us all.”
Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale is regarded as the 14th largest church in America and has assets of $135 million.