Less than two years after he resigned as pastor of Northstar Church in Dallas over an extramarital affair, Blaine Bartel has joined the ministry team at Gregory Dickow’s Life Changers International Church in Chicago.
"Through the amazing grace of God and the support of faithful friends, it is clear that God's hand is on Blaine's re-entry into ministry, and we're honored that his re-entry is with Life Changers,” Dickow says.
“We are blessed to have seen Blaine's commitment to his character to be pleasing to God and to have given his full attention to God's healing in his life and family for the past couple of years,” Dickow continues. “God is a God of restoration, and the souls and lives of untold thousands await the ministry re-birth of Blaine Bartel."
Bartel stepped down from the 600-member Northstar Church on March 31, 2010, saying he had been unfaithful to his marriage vows. Bartel and his wife, Cathy, have been married for about 30 years. Bartel was not available for comment by press time.
"I know of very few people ... who have gone to the height and depth of spiritual diligence, doing far more than any of his confidantes asked of him, to distance himself from past struggles,” says Ron Luce, founder of Teen Mania, who served as one of the trustees for Northstar Church.
Dickow did not offer specific details about Bartel’s responsibility at Life Changers. The published statement only says Bartel joined the ministry team to work alongside Dickow to “embark on a powerful journey” and that the “new alliance will help continue the successful growth for Life Changers International Church.”
Bartel has written 10 best-selling books. His work has been featured on The Early Show, and in both The Washington Post and Seventeen magazine. The Bartels are known for their work in youth ministry, including hosting Fire by Nite, a television series for young adults in the 1980s, and leading the Oneighty youth ministry that ministered to 3,000 students weekly.
Stay tuned to Charisma News for more on this developing story.