Tony Evans will remain headliner for Christian cruise despite stepping away from pulpit

Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Pastor Tony Evans appears in a promotional video for a cruise to the Mexican Riviera scheduled for fall 2024.
Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Pastor Tony Evans appears in a promotional video for a cruise to the Mexican Riviera scheduled for fall 2024. | Screenshot/Inspirational Travel

Despite stepping away from his pastoral duties at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship for "healing and restoration" after confessing to an undisclosed sin, renowned Evangelical leader Pastor Tony Evans will remain a headliner for a Christian cruise to the Mexican Riviera this fall.

A representative of The Urban Alternative, a Christian Bible teaching and resource ministry founded over 40 years ago by Evans, which is hosting the cruise set for Nov. 9 – 16, told The Christian Post Wednesday the event remains on track even after Evans stepped away from the helm of his church earlier this week.

An agent with Inspiration Travel, which is administering the cruise that features suites costing up to nearly $4,000 per traveler, told CP Tuesday that the cruise is still on because The Urban Alternative is a separate entity from Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. The agent noted that The Urban Alternative has a contractual obligation to continue with the cruise.

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Evans is headlining the cruise with his eldest child, Chrystal Evans Hurst, as well as his son, musician Anthony Evans.

"Throughout the cruise, we'll experience powerful teachings, encouraging messages from Chrystal Evans Hurst and uplifting music from Anthony Evans, Jr. We will also find moments of pure relaxation as we soak in the beauty of God's creation," a note from Evans on the Inspiration Travel website says. "We'll visit exciting and vibrant Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta ports and take in the hospitality and elegance of the Holland America Koningsdam."

In another video on the website, Evans described the cruise as "a great time of fun, food, fellowship and strengthening our faith."

The 74-year-old Evangelical icon is the first black American to earn a doctorate in Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He is also the first African American to write and publish a full Bible commentary and study Bible.

In a written statement on Sunday, Evans confessed that though he did not commit any crimes, he fell short of the biblical standards espoused by his ministry "a number of years ago," 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."

A spokesperson for The Urban Alternative did not respond Wednesday when asked if they expect Evans to complete his restoration process before the cruise this fall. 

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

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