Albert Tate, founding and lead pastor of Fellowship Church in Los Angeles County California, is taking a leave of absence as a result of “inappropriate text messages and questionable comments” he made, according to a statement on the church’s website.
“Myself, the senior staff and the Board feel it is important that I share with you that our Senior Pastor Albert Tate, will be taking a leave of absence,” said George Saleh, chairman of the board of Fellowship Church, in the statement originally issued Sunday, Sept. 24. “This decision follows an initial review by the board and outside experts concerning inappropriate text messages and questionable comments he has made.”
“We believe in grace, accountability, and the redemptive power of Christ,” Saleh continued. “Therefore, we see this leave of absence as a necessary time for Albert to engage in a period of reflection, spiritual guidance, and restoration.”
Albert Tate ‘Had a Really Hard Year for About 3 Years’
In addition to being the senior pastor of Fellowship Church, which he cofounded with his wife, LaRosa, Albert Tate is an author and speaker. He serves on the board of trustees at Azusa Pacific University, the Global Leadership Network (GLN), and Stadia, a global church planting organization.
During a talk Tate gave this year at GLN’s Global Leadership Summit (GLS), he said, “If I’m honest, I’ve had a really hard year for about three years.”
“The year really has been rough,” he shared. “Some personal struggles, organizational struggles, challenges with navigating family and trying to find balance and priorities.”
Tate said that Life.Church pastor and GLS Champion Craig Groeschel encouraged him that “you can have a hard season and still be a good leader.” Tate exhorted church leaders “to lead where you are, regardless of if that’s from a bad place, from a struggling place, from a discouraged place. Lead where you are.” Pastors should rely on God to give them what they need on a daily basis, said Tate, and continue showing up in their roles even when they are disheartened.
In his statement to Fellowship Church, Saleh said that he had “a heart full of humility, love, and a sense of responsibility to each and every one of you who make up our wonderful spiritual community.”
“The Board and senior staff are committed to supporting Albert and his family through this season where we are all seeking clarity and the right steps forward,” said Saleh.