In the wake of an affair, David Loveless has stepped down from his role as lead pastor of Discovery Church, Orlando. The elder board of the church released the following statement to the congregation over the weekend “It is with great sadness that we announce the immediate resignation of our lead pastor, David Loveless, following his acknowledgement of his participation in a wrongful relationship over multiple years with a woman not his wife. While David indicates that the relationship was ended approximately three years ago, we were only made aware of it when he informed us in recent days … David has relinquished his pastoral responsibilities at Discovery Church and will be succeeded, on an interim basis, by Director of Ministry, Don Cousins … While we believe David Loveless can be restored to Christian fellowship and productive Christian service, we do not believe he can serve as a pastor at Discovery Church.”
According to CharismaNews, Loveless is the third Orlando pastor in the past six months to step down because of an affair. Isaac Hunter, former pastor at Summit Church, and Sam Hinn, former pastor of the Gathering Place Worship Center, have also resigned.
David Swanson, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Orlando, told the Orlando Sentinel that the high position of pastor can elevate a person to the point of isolation, and without trusted accountability partners, megachurch pastors can find themselves at risk.
“Every pastor needs a group of male friends he trusts, who will ask him what is going on in your life, are you walking the talk?” Swanson said.