After taking a sabbatical in July, Dino Rizzo, the senior pastor of one of the largest churches in the Baton Rouge, La., metro, has officially resigned from Healing Place Church.
Rizzo stepped away from the pulpit in the summer saying he had not felt like himself spiritually, physically or emotionally for several months. At that time, he also said that his physically exhausted, spiritually depleted state had affected his decision-making, his family life and his ability to lead effectively.
"We feel it is best that we step down as pastors today," Dino told the congregation during the first morning service on Sunday, according to The Advocate. Rizzo’s wife, DeLynn, also resigned from the church the couple founded nearly 20 years ago.
“We feel God is moving us into a new season,” Rizzo said. “Our hearts are forever marked by your faith, your love and your generosity.”
The spirituality board of Healing Place Church determined in July that Rizzo was in need of a sabbatical rest for healing, reflection and restoration of spirit, soul and body.
“Over these last two months, I’ve needed a lot of mercy and a lot of grace,” Rizzo told the congregation, noting that his wife is “my rock.”
Although it’s unclear why Rizzo chose to resign, he did ask for forgiveness from those he disappointed as a pastor. He told the congregation his wife and three kids are on the path to “healing and hope.”
“Two months ago,” Rizzo said, “I let my spirit, soul and body get depleted and did not make good choices as a dad, as a husband, as a leader.”
Healing Place is a nondenominational church with more than 8,200 members in 10 locations. Rizzo is widely known for his concept of starting a church revolution through serving, which he calls a “Servolution.”
Rizzo is also co-founder of the Association of Related Churches, an association of relational churches working with church planters, church leaders and churches in transition.
“To keep our family as a priority and to continue keeping on with what Jesus wants us to do, we feel it’s best to step down and resign as your pastors today,” Rizzo said, according to The Advocate. “This is our choice—no one has asked us to do this.”