FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A year after the grandson of evangelist Billy Graham resigned from his role as pastor of a Florida megachurch following his admission to being involved in an inappropriate relationship, and subsequently being counseled to divorce his wife, Tullian Tchividjian has now remarried.
In social media post on Wednesday, Tchividjian repeated his remorse for his affairs in 2014 and 2015, stating, “I wish I could go back in time and do those things differently. I can’t. ”
“I am now, and have been, focused on my relationship with God, my new wife Stacie, my three kids and one daughter-in-law, and my grandson,” he said.
Tchividjian’s new wife also posted a wedding photo to social media on Nov. 8, and last week, shared an audio message that Tchividjian had delivered as a recent guest at Spring Hills Community Church in Santa Rosa, California.
“What an honor it was to be invited to Spring Hills Community Church and sincerely welcomed by such a loving staff & congregation!” she wrote. “Our time in Santa Rosa was too short, but SO wonderful… Tullian Tchividjian (my amazing hubby!) delivered an authentic, powerful message…”
“Until we see how bad we are, we will never see how good God is,” Tchividjian declared in the sermon. “Grace will become nothing more than white noise to us until we see how desperately we need it.”
He said that the good news of the gospel is not that Jesus is our example, but that Jesus is our substitute.
“Jesus being my example is not good news to me, okay? And it shouldn’t be good news to you. He was perfect!” Tchividjian exclaimed. “Jesus being my example further reminds me of how far I have fallen short of God’s glory.”
“[But] this passage show us that sinners are loved by a God who infallibly bends toward us, even while we perpetually bend away from Him,” he said. “He loves bad and broken people because bad and broken people are all that there are. Make not mistake about it: God loves train wrecks because train wrecks are all that there are. He loves us because He loves us. Not because we are good, not because we are clean. He loves us because we are bad and dirty. All of us.”
As previously reported, Tchividjian, 43, the son of Virginia Graham, took over the pulpit of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in 2009 following the passing of founder D. James Kennedy. However, the selection divided the congregation, as some approved and others disapproved of his leadership. Several months after he accepted the job, Kennedy’s daughter and others began calling for his removal.
When a vote was taken over the matter and it was decided to keep Tchividjian as pastor, some left the church and started their own congregation.
As an author, Tchividjian wrote against what he saw as “spiritual performancism” and legalism in the Church, outlining his beliefs in the hyper-grace book “One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World.”
“The Gospel of Jesus Christ announces that because Jesus won for you, you’re free to lose; because Jesus was strong for you, you’re free to be weak; because Jesus was extraordinary, you’re free to be ordinary; because Jesus succeeded for you, you’re free to fail,” he wrote.
Tchividjian announced in June last year that he had resigned as senior pastor of Coral Ridge after admitting to leadership that he had inappropriately become close to another woman after he discovered that his wife Kim had been having an affair.
“I resigned from my position at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church today due to ongoing marital issues,” he wrote in a statement. “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. Sadly and embarrassingly, I subsequently sought comfort in a friend and developed an inappropriate relationship myself,” Tchividjian continued. “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.”
The former megachurch leader was then stripped of his ministerial credentials, and soon filed for divorce from his wife. Paul Tripp, a pastor who counseled Tchividjian following his admission, wrote in a public statement that he had concluded that Tchividjian’s marriage was “irreparably broken,” suggesting that he had recommended the divorce.
“Sadly, there are times in this broken world where things that have been damaged by sin don’t get put together again,” he wrote in part. “It has been with sadness that I, along with others, have come slowly and cautiously to the conclusion that his marriage is irreparably broken.”
Less than two weeks after the filing, Willow Creek Presbyterian Church in Winter Springs announced that it had hired Tchividjian to serve as Director of Ministry Development. Some expressed concern over the timing of such a move.
But in March of this year, the church fired Tchividjian as he confessed to another affair, stating that he had actually been in yet another inappropriate relationship before his wife was unfaithful to him. Willow Creek Presbyterian expressed concern that he had only confessed to one inappropriate relationship and had not provided the whole truth.
“The feeling of the elders was that Tullian had a long period of time to share that with the church and for one reason or another he elected not to,” leader Kevin Labby told the Christian Post. “I can’t really comment on what motivated him to not come out with that, but one thing that led him to come out with the confession was the knowledge that there were rumors swirling in Florida where he was previously ministering.”
Tchividjian told reporters in September that he had contemplated suicide over the guilt he felt about the matters.
“The hurt I had caused felt too much to bear. The level of shame and guilt and regret was so deep, I literally did not want to live any longer,” he told the Religion News Service. “I had betrayed and disappointed and caused suffering to those who depended on me to provide the opposite. The thought of killing myself was relieving to me. I actually found momentary peace in the idea that I would soon be dead.”
On Wednesday, he publicly asked for forgiveness for his behavior.
“From the bottom of my heart, I am truly sorry for the pain I’ve caused and the hurt I’ve induced and I humbly ask you to please forgive me,” he wrote. “In conclusion, I wholeheartedly agree with Charles Spurgeon who, when looking back on dark seasons in his own life, said, ‘I bear witness that I owe more to the fire, and the hammer, and the file, than to anything else in my Lord’s workshop.'”
As previously reported, Israel Houghton, former worship leader at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church, recently remarried after obtaining a divorce and admitting that he had been unfaithful to his wife several years ago. He stated that he viewed a new marriage as another opportunity to “get it right.”