Willow Creek Crystal Lake‘s Lead Pastor Marcus Bieschke today announced he’s resigning his position with the church, saying his “heart and values are not in full alignment” with the church’s current direction. Bieschke is the second campus pastor to resign from one of Willow Creek Community Church’s eight Chicago-area campuses this year. Just three months ago, Reece Whitehead resigned as lead pastor from Willow Creek Wheaton.
Since March 2018, when several women accused former Willow Creek Senior Pastor Bill Hybels of sexual misconduct, the church has been in turmoil. An independent investigation earlier this year found that the women’s accusations were credible. But attempts at reconciliation by Willow Creek’s new elder board has sparked additional controversy.
“I’ve longed for and encouraged Willow to pursue a different path toward healing,” Bieschke said. “But due to a difference of opinion on what that path should be, I believe I must depart.”
Beischke said Dave Smith, executive pastor at Willow Creek Crystal Lake, will assume the role of interim lead pastor. Bieschke said he shared news of his decision at a core meeting today and said he would share the full announcement with the congregation at services on October 20.
Below is the email Bieschke sent to the church today:
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