C.J. Mahaney, a 30-year veteran and founder of Sovereign Grace Ministries, announced his resignation as president this week. The office of the president is closing to make way for an executive director position, but Mahaney announced in October that he would not submit his name for consideration. In a post on the Sovereign Grace website, Mahaney wrote that he was “eager to once again devote his attention to pastoral ministry.”
“Returning to the pulpit of a local church last September has only confirmed for me what I believe God has called and gifted me to do: pastor, preach, and fulfill a role in building the local church for the glory of God,” wrote Mahaney.
“The pastors and church members that make up Sovereign Grace are among the most grateful, most encouraging folks on the planet,” he added. “And your heart to serve is a pronounced evidence of grace that characterizes each church. Serving you has been a humbling privilege.”
Sovereign Grace Ministries, according to their website, is a Reformed, charismatic evangelical ministry in Louisville, Kentucky “passionate about advancing the Great Commission through church planting.” Founded in 1982, it is a network of about 80 churches, mostly in the U.S. and partnering with ministries in 21 countries.
SGM responded to Mahaney’s post with one of their own, thanking Mahaney for his three decades of leadership. “C.J.’s leadership and example have helped to instill so many of the values that have shaped our family of churches, and none more so than our gospel-centrality,” a post from the board read. “We are grateful for the central role his preaching and personal passion have played in making the gospel more clear and more precious to all of us in SGM.”
According to The Christian Post, Sovereign Grace Ministries is currently fighting a lawsuit filed by former SGM members alleging a cover-up of child physical and sexual abuse at the hands of some ministry leaders. Attorneys representing the network are attempting to have the suit tossed out due to the vague nature of the allegations. Mahaney is among those named in the lawsuit, but he did not mention the lawsuit in his recent remarks on the site.
Mahaney will step down from the presidency effective April 12. He will continue to preach and pastor at Sovereign Grace Church in Louisville.