January 25, 2012
Sovereign Grace Ministries Reinstates C.J. Mahaney as President
Six months after CT reported that C.J. Mahaney was taking a leave of absence from his role as president of Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM), the organization announced Wednesday it has returned Mahaney to his role.
In a July 6 statement, Mahaney said he was taking leave because Brent Detwiler, a former SGM pastor, had raised concerns about “various expressions of pride, unentreatability, deceit, sinful judgment and hypocrisy” committed by Mahaney. SGM installed an interim board of directors that same month and established three separate review panels to determine if Mahaney should remain as president.
“After examining the reports of these three review panels, we find nothing in them that would disqualify C.J. from his role as President, nor do they in any way call into question his fitness for gospel ministry,” the Board said in a statement. “Therefore the Board has decided unanimously to return C.J. to the office of President, effective immediately.”
CT’s original report noted that Detwiler accused Mahaney of resisting correction and accountability at times, being heavy-handed in his leadership, and dealing unfairly with other leaders who disagreed with him.
"[SGM] has been a wonderful organization committed to planting Gospel-centered churches in the United States and parts abroad," Detwiler wrote in an e-mail to CT. "There are many outstanding pastors and people in the denomination. But temptation and sin come with rapid growth and recognition.
"That was especially true for C.J., and we did not serve him well by allowing him to play by a different set of rules—a double standard. We certainly share the blame for his fall. But C.J. genuinely loves the Lord and people, so I am confident he will respond to God's discipline in his life."
The Board noted that it has been a “trying season” for SGM and Mahaney, writing, “Our hope and prayer is that all of us evaluate these matters humbly, apply the forgiveness that comes through the gospel appropriately, and relate to one another about these matters graciously as we work together to reform what needs reforming, reaffirm the goodness of God in our midst, and continue to plant and build local churches with our chief aim the glory of God through the gospel.”