C.J. Mahaney, who was recently accused in a lawsuit of covering up sexual abuse of children, has withdrawn from participation in the April 2014 Together for the Gospel (T4G) conference in Louisville, Ky., a biennial pastors’ conference he co-founded in 2006.
A May 23 statement that voiced support for Mahaney from pastors Mark Dever, Al Mohler and Ligon Duncan has been removed from the Together for the Gospel website.
Mahaney says he wanted to draw any type of negative attention away from the conference that might have stemmed from the civil lawsuit, which was dismissed in May by a Maryland judge and is now on appeal.
“I love these men and this conference, and I desire to do all I possibly can to serve the ongoing fruitfulness of T4G,” says Mahaney, president of Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) and pastor of Sovereign Grace Church in Louisville. “Unfortunately, the civil lawsuit filed against Sovereign Grace Ministries, two former SGM churches and pastors (including myself), continues to generate the type of attention that could subject my friends to unfair and unwarranted criticism.
“The lawsuit could prove a distraction from the purpose of this important conference. My withdrawal is not intended to communicate anything about the merits of the suit. My decision simply reflects the reality that my participation could create a hindrance to this conference and its distinct purpose of serving so many pastors.”
Mahaney was named as a defendant in the lawsuit charging that he and other leaders of Sovereign Grace Ministries permitted the abuse of children to occur in churches that formed part of the group. Sovereign Grace, an association of 80 Reformed evangelical churches, is based in Louisville.