Pastor Tony Evans steps away from Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship leadership ‘due to sin’

Pastor Tony Evans
Pastor Tony Evans | Baptist Press/Karen McCutcheon

The leader of the 11,000-member Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship church in Dallas, Texas, Pastor Tony Evans, is stepping away from his pastoral duties for a season of restoration "due to sin," the church announced.

"On Sunday, June 9, at both services, Dr. Tony Evans announced that he will step away from his senior pastoral duties at OCBF. This difficult decision was made after tremendous prayer and multiple meetings with Dr. Evans and the church elders," the church's elder board said in a statement posted on the church website. 

The board stated that it is "obligated to govern the church in accordance with the scriptures." 

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"Dr. Evans and the elders agree that when any elder or pastor falls short of the high standards of scripture, the elders are responsible for providing accountability and maintaining integrity in the church," the elder board said in response to Evans' announcement. "We serve a God that is merciful to forgive and gracious to restore. In the days ahead, Pastor Bobby Gibson and the elders will provide more information regarding interim leadership and the next steps for the future of our church."

While Evans, who has pastored the church for 48 years, did not provide specific details on why he was stepping away, he confessed in a written statement that though he did not commit any crimes, he fell short of the biblical standards espoused by his ministry, suggesting it was "due to sin."

"The foundation of our ministry has always been our commitment to the Word of God as the absolute supreme standard of truth to which we are to conform our lives. When we fall short of that standard due to sin, we are required to repent and restore our relationship with God," Evans stated.

"A number of years ago, I fell short of that standard. I am, therefore, required to apply the same biblical standard of repentance and restoration to myself that I have applied to others. I have shared this with my wife, my children, and our church elders, and they have lovingly placed their arms of grace around me," he added. "While I have committed no crime, I did not use righteous judgment in my actions. In light of this, I am stepping away from my pastoral duties and am submitting to a healing and restoration process established by the elders."

Evans said during his "season" of "spiritual recovery and healing," he will become a worshiper like the members of his flock.

"I have never loved you more than I love you right now, and I'm trusting God to walk me through this valley. Thank you for your love, prayers, support, and forgiveness as I continue my spiritual healing journey. As we walk this journey together, keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith," he said.

Evans' announcement comes just months after his December 2023 wedding to Carla Crummie in a "private ceremony surrounded by family and close friends" four years after the death of his first wife, Lois.

Tony Evans was married to Lois Evans for 49 years before she died of biliary cancer at the end of 2019 at age 70. In a 2020 interview with The Christian Post, Evans said: "There's no part of my life and ministry where her footprints aren't felt."

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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