Teaching pastor Steve Carter resigns after New York Times article; GLS had already lost 111 host sites.
Steve Carter, teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church, resigned Sunday after new allegations surfaced against founding pastor Bill Hybels.
Carter, one of Hybels’s two heirs at Willow, had previously apologized for the church’s handling of accusations against Hybels, who took early retirement earlier this year after allegations of misconduct.
Earlier on Sunday, one of Hybels’s former assistants accused the Willow Creek founder of repeatedly groping her. Pat Baranowski told The New York Times that Hybels allegedly touched her breasts repeatedly and rubbed against her, had oral sex with her on one occasion, and once asked her to watch porn with him as a research project.
Baranowski told her therapist about the incidents, according to the Times. She also told another pastor at the church, but asked him to keep silent until now. She is the tenth woman to accuse Hybels of misconduct.
Hybels told the Times that the allegations were not true.
“I never had an inappropriate physical or emotional relationship with her before that time, during that time or after that time,” he told the Times in an email.
Those accusations were the last straw for Carter.
“The new facts and allegations that came to light this morning are horrifying, and my heart goes out to Ms. Baranowski and her family for the pain they have lived with,” he wrote on his blog, announcing his resignation. “These most recent revelations have also compelled me to make public my decision to leave, as much as it grieves me to go.”
The new allegations and Carter’s resignation come days before the annual Global Leadership Summit (GLS), which opens this week at Willow Creek and simulcasts worldwide.
Hybels’s shadow …