Pastor Matt Chandler returned to his Megachurch in Dallas on Sunday, garnering a standing ovation following a three-month leave of absence.
“And if my foolishness created any additional weigh or hardship for you, then please forgive me,” Chandler told the congregation, according to a video posted by The Village Church – Flower Mound.
Chandler had reportedly left the Church in August following an alleged message exchange with a woman who was not his wife. Although the messages were not sexual in nature, the Church elders believed his language was inappropriate and asked Chandler to leave, though they did not disqualify him from returning, according to a church statement.
Matt Chandler, the pastor of a Southern Baptist megachurch in Dallas, received a standing ovation as he returned a few months after going on indefinite leave over an “inappropriate” online relationship.
“I’m sorry, I failed you,” he told the congregation. https://t.co/Wq1ZfBvOS6
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 5, 2022
During his hiatus, Chandler went through “intensives” counseling from specialists who work in Christian Leadership, and a neurological assessment, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Chandler reportedly had his right frontal lobe removed due to a brain cancer diagnosis in 2009, the outlet noted. A Church spokesperson told the New York Times that there was no sign of the cancer returning. (RELATED: Buddhist Monks Leave Temple Empty After Each One Tests Positive For Meth)
“The elders affirm Matt’s reinstatement to the pulpit,” lead pastor Josh Patterson announced.
Chandler clarified that there was never “beef” between himself and the elders, saying that he agreed with their decision, according to the stream. “I’m grateful that they loved this Church, they love Jesus, they love us enough that they’re driven by conviction enough to model what needed to be modeled here.”