After confessing to a moral failing in his life that disqualifies him from continuing his leadership, Bob Coy on Sunday resigned as senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale in Florida, effective immediately.
Coy has served as senior pastor since the church was founded in 1985. More than 20,000 people call Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale their home church. The church has planted sites in Boca Raton, Boynton, Florida Keys, Hollywood, Naples, North Lauderdale, Plantation, the Villages and West Boca.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Coy confessed to key leaders on Wednesday. A board meeting was called on Thursday, in which he confessed and resigned.
"Leadership made every effort to let the staff and church hear directly from leadership rather than rumor by calling meetings for Sunday," our source, who asked not to be identified, told Charisma News.
An open church service on Sunday at 4 p.m. included worship, the reading of a letter from Coy and the reading of a statement from the board, followed by honest sharing of a reminder that Jesus is leading and that the church will move forward together. That was followed by more worship. Sources tell Charisma News there was a positive response from the staff and congregation.
Coy and family have spent much of the last few days with pastors and friends in prayer and counseling.
The media ministry, Active Word, that distributes Coy's Bible teachings through radio, television and digital media has also been suspended, according to a statement from the church board.
“Pastor Bob will be focusing his full attention on his personal relationship with God and with his family. The governing board of the church is providing counselors and ministers who will help guide him through the process of full repentance, cleansing and restoration,” the statement reads.
“Trusting in God’s providence, protection, provision and direction, the staff of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale will continue our mission to ‘make disciples,’ through regular services at all campuses and through myriad other ministries the church has established over the years,” it says.
The statement goes on to say that a team of assistant pastors already on staff will maintain their usual rotating schedule as teaching pastors for all services.
“Recognizing we serve a God of second chances and that our hope is in Him,” the statement concludes, “the leadership, staff and members of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale have joined together in prayer for Pastor Bob and his family during this time of healing.”
The first Calvary Chapel was started in Costa Mesa, Calif., in the 1960s as a small nondenominational church of 25 members, pastored by Chuck Smith. The Lord blessed that small group, and now Calvary Chapel has grown to a fellowship of approximately 1,400 churches worldwide and has been listed as one of the ten largest Protestant churches in the United States.
At 24 years old, Coy left an executive position in the music industry to serve as an associate pastor at Calvary Chapel Las Vegas. In 1985, Coy and his wife, Diane, moved to South Florida and began Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. As senior pastor, he became well known for his unique style in expounding the Scriptures and relating its truths to everyday life. His teaching style emphasized the highest standards of life application of God's truth.