What we know about megachurch pastor Matt Chandler of The Village Church

North Texas megachurch pastor Matt Chandler announced on Sunday that he will be retiring from preaching and teaching due to an inappropriate online relationship with a woman.

In an in-person announcement to his congregation, Matthew Chandler, 48, told his church leaders The Village Church felt his communication with the woman, who is not his wife, “crossed a line” and violated the church’s internal social media policies. .

Here are four things to know about Chandler:

When announcing to his congregation, Chandler, the senior pastor and elder of The Village Church, said a friend of the woman involved approached him several months ago and raised concerns about the communication that he had.

After informing the church elders of the encounter, the church elders looked into the matter and hired an outside firm to investigate.

Chandler said elders discovered his communication with the woman was not ‘romantic or sexual’, but the messages were ‘reckless and reckless’, leading church leaders to furlough him, effective immediate.

“The concerns were really about frequency and familiarity. We believe in brother-sister relationships here, and yet there was a frequency that exceeded that and there was a familiarity that translated into rude and stupid banter,” Chandler said in a video recording of the announcement on the site. Church website. “It doesn’t sit well with someone in my position as a senior pastor, and as an elder I’m held to a higher standard and I haven’t reached that higher standard.”

In a written statement, the church said Chandler’s leave was “disciplinary and developmental,” and added that “the timing of his return will be dictated by the expectations elders have set for his development.”

“They disclosed that Matt did not use appropriate language for a pastor, and he did not model behavior that we expect of him,” the church said in a written statement Sunday.

Chandler said he agrees with the decision of the elders of the Southern Baptist Church.

Chandler was hired as pastor of the First Baptist Church of Highland Village in 2002, before the church was renamed The Village Church, according to his online church profile.

He was born near Seattle and his father served in the military, the biography states. His family eventually moved to the Houston area. Chandler wrote that he didn’t “really know and follow Jesus” until he was 17.

Chandler was the young pastor of a small church near Houston before attending Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. While in college, he taught at an interfaith Bible study group called Grace, and he also served on staff at Beltway Park Church.

Chandler moved to the Dallas area after several years in Abilene and married his wife Lauren in 1999. They have three children.

In addition to his role as senior pastor at The Village Church, Chandler served as chairman of the board of Acts 29, a group that establishes new churches.

Chandler was asked by Acts 29 to step down from speaking engagements following The Village Church’s announcement, according to a written statement on the band’s website.

“We hope Matt can use this time without speaking to focus on the process that [The Village Church] the elders have fitted out for him,” the statement read.

Chandler is also the author of several Christianity-focused books, including “The Explicit Gospel,” “Family Discipleship,” and “The Mingling of Souls: God’s Design for Love, Marriage, Sex, and Redemption.”

In an article published in The Dallas Morning News in November 2010, Chandler told the story of his cancer diagnosis after collapsing from a seizure the previous year.

He was diagnosed with anaplastic oligodendroglioma, a type of cancer commonly found in the cerebral cortex, according to National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health.

Chandler underwent chemotherapy treatment for his malignant brain tumor. In the article, Chandler described her experience with the disease as a teachable moment.

Chandler said in the 2010 article, “At the end of the day, I don’t believe God gave me this cancer, but I believe He could have stopped it and didn’t. … God does not punish me, but somehow, for my joy and glory, he let me endure this and guided me.

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