Scott Sauls, who for the past six months has been indefinitely suspended from his role as pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church (CPC) in Nashville, Tennessee, officially resigned Sunday, Nov. 12. The congregation resoundingly approved Sauls’ decision to step down, with 517 voting in favor and 122 against, according to Liam Adams, reporter for The Tennessean.
Prior to the vote, Sauls read a letter to hundreds of people gathered Sunday evening to deliberate over his proposed resignation. The pastor said he had originally hoped to continue serving at CPC, “but we now believe the most merciful thing to do is step aside so the church can seek new leadership and we can seek the Lord’s will for whatever comes next as well.”
Scott Sauls Resigns as Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church
Scott Sauls served at Tim Keller’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City prior to pastoring Christ Presbyterian Church for 12 years. He has appeared on “The Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast” and is the author of several books, including “Beautiful People Don’t Just Happen,” “A Gentle Answer,” and “Jesus Outside the Lines.”
On May 7, CPC announced it had placed Scott Sauls on an indefinite leave of absence following an investigation by the church and the Nashville Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America. That investigation was prompted by an August 2022 letter from former staffers, alleging that Sauls had created a toxic working environment.
In a video to the church, Sauls apologized for how he had abused his leadership. “I verbalized insensitive and hurtful criticism of others’ work,” he said. “I’ve used social media and the pulpit to quiet dissenting viewpoints. I’ve manipulated facts to support paths that I desire.”
“Although I want to live by what I write and preach, my sin and my blind spots have created gaps between my message and how I show up and lead,” Sauls said.
“I am grieved to say that I have hurt people,” he added. “I want to say to all of you that I am sorry.” Sauls has not been accused of substance abuse or sexual abuse.
Elder David Filson also apologized for how the church’s leaders had failed in their responsibilities to safeguard the culture. “We recognize the gravity of this moment and acknowledge that leadership in a church like ours does not happen in a vacuum. We are sorry for the ways we have failed to lead well,” he said.
A May 6 note on Sauls’ Substack said that he is taking a break from writing.
On May 12, the Nashville Presbytery indefinitely suspended Sauls from ministry. Elders and preachers from within CPC took over Sauls’ preaching duties.