Divisions deepened at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, the Fort Lauderdale mega-church, as two elders resigned Tuesday night following the first service of a breakaway congregation on Sunday.
The two have accused Pastor Tullian Tchividjian and his officers of retaliating against members who tried to have him fired, criticisms that Coral Ridge officials have denied.
“I’m not trying to fuel any fire. I just couldn’t agree with the course of the leadership,” said Dan Westphal, who resigned from the church’s board of elders along with Roy Christie. “We had a golden opportunity to reconcile rather than be punitive.”
The developments follow the exit last week of organist Samuel Metzger and John Wilson, director of the traditional worship service. Both men helped lead music at the Sunday service of 400 dissidents at Butterfly World in Coconut Creek.
Elder Bill Ashcraft said the dissident service did not surprise him. He said a church expert had told a Coral Ridge transition team that any new pastor would probably lose 300 to 400 members.
“We actually prayed for that church,” Ashcraft said. “It’s better for the majority at Coral Ridge to get what they wanted, and for those people to get what they wanted.”
In an interview last week, Tchividjian said he believed some people opposed him because they “feared the unknown.”
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