C.J. Mahaney, founder of Sovereign Grace Ministries, will step down as its president effective April 12 in order to focus on being a local pastor, Christianity Today reports. The news comes shortly after the beleaguered network of churches asked a Maryland court to dismiss a lawsuit alleging its leaders covered up the sexual abuse of children. Mahaney announced in a blog post that he would "be transitioning from the role as president" as SGM's proposed new policy structure "takes effect" and replaces his current role with a new executive director position. SGM's board expressed its thanks for Mahaney's service in a separate blog post. "Though no longer serving in this leadership capacity, we are grateful that C.J.'s influence and partnership do not end here," it wrote. Brent Detwiler, a former SGM leader who has become a vocal critic of Mahaney and SGM's handling of the lawsuit, claims Mahaney's resignation was requested by the board over "widespread loss of trust and erosion of confidence in him." In February, board chairman Doug Loftness, named as a defendant in the lawsuit alongside Mahaney and other leaders, resigned in order to "give more time" to his church and family; board member Craig Cabaniss also resigned. Meanwhile, SGM continues to see churches defect over the issues facing the denomination.