Popular Atlanta pastor Sam Collier announced on Friday (Dec. 1) that he and his wife, Toni, are getting divorced.
Sam Collier founded Story Church in Atlanta last year. The church formed in the wake of the shuttering of Hillsong Atlanta, of which the Colliers had been pastors.
Sam Collier became Hillsong Church’s first Black lead pastor when Hillsong Atlanta formed in 2021. Roughly a year later, he resigned the post in light of the slew of scandals surrounding the global megachurch, which included accusations of mishandling sexual abuse allegations, financial impropriety, and severe moral failures at the highest levels of the church’s global leadership.
At the time, Collier indicated that these scandals, which were taking place outside of Hillsong Atlanta, were nevertheless hindering the congregation’s ability to gain trust in the community.
Hillsong Atlanta closed upon Sam Collier’s resignation. Story Church launched a few weeks later on April 17, 2022.
Announcement of Sam Collier’s Divorce
Sam and Toni Collier announced their divorce in separate social media posts on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. In her post, Toni accused Sam of infidelity.
“I’m in the middle of the hardest season of my life. I am heartbroken, yet still hopeful. If you could see all the ways God has been kind to me and my kids, your jaw would be on the floor,” Toni wrote. “After years of discovering and enduring repeated acts of infidelity, l’ve chosen to end my marriage with Sam.”
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“Despite seasons of hope, attempts at reconciliation, and counseling, after recently discovering more infidelity, I realized this wasn’t a sustainable or God-honoring marriage anymore,” Toni continued. “I’m at a point where I have to say ‘no more.’”
“I’m taking time off the stage and social media to focus on healing with my kids. I have no desire to hurt Sam, but do want to vigorously protect my heart and my children,” she added. “Thanks for giving us privacy to do that, and for prayers that will undoubtedly be felt. Love y’all.”
In a separate post that has since been deleted, Sam fired back at Toni.
“Toni Collier is a liar and abuser. It is documented that she has abused me our entire marriage and wants to continue to. I asked Toni not to do this. As well as our team and ‘our’ lawyers. She is not divorcing me, we are divorcing each other,” Sam wrote, according to The Christian Post. ”AND I tried to divorce her 7 times and she begged me to stay and kept abusing me. I will tell more of the story later.”
In a subsequent post, Sam took a more diplomatic approach.