(Courtesy)

Popular apologist and writer Lee Strobel broke his silence about sexual allegations against former pastor Bill Hybels.

"My heart breaks for Pat Baranowski and all victims of Bill Hybels at Willow Creek. I never saw any hint of misconduct when I was there. Still, I know these women and they are Godly and credible. I believe them and weep for them," Strobel tweeted after news broke of further sexual allegations against the former Willow Creek pastor.

Strobel linked to a story by Scott McKnight that calls for Willow Creek to acknowledge the truth about Hybels and believe the women who accused Hybels of sexual misconduct.

Strobel and Hybels have a long relationship. Hybels led the first Willow Creek service Strobel attended.

According to a story from Grand Canyon University:

Although he was an award-winning journalist for the Chicago Tribune, he had a mess of a life, saying that his young daughter feared his arrival home from work. When his wife, Leslie, was befriended by a Christian woman in their condo building and made a decision to accept Christ, Strobel wasn't impressed but figured he had nothing to lose in accompanying Leslie to church one Sunday.

The service was in a movie theatre, the preacher was Bill Hybels, the topic was "Basic Christianity"—and Strobel left with a lot on his mind.

"If this stuff is true," he told himself, "it has huge implications for my life."

Strobel was baptized on Nov. 8, 1981 at the age of 29, The Catholic Register reports. After 14 years as a journalist, he left the Tribune to become a teaching pastor at Willow Creek in South Barrington, Illinois. He served in the role for nearly 12 years until he left to join Rick Warren at Saddleback.

Strobel and Hybels authored the Contagious Christianity curriculum along with Mark Mittelberg.

Jessilyn Justice @jessilynjustice is the director of online news for Charisma.

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