The senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, has been placed on an indefinite leave of absence after he admitted to having an "unhealthy leadership style."
Rev. Scott Sauls had served as the pastor at the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)-affiliated congregation for 11 years, CBN News reports. He is an author and blogger.
In a video message, Sauls apologized for his leadership style but reiterated that he had not committed a sexual sin or substance abuse sin.
"I verbalized insensitive and verbal criticism of others' work," he said. "I've used social media and the pulpit to quiet dissenting viewpoints. I've manipulated facts to support paths that I desire."
"I am grieved to say that I have hurt people," he added. "I want to say to all of you that I am sorry."
According to Religion News Service, Sauls' leave followed an investigation by the local church and the Nashville Presbytery of the PCA.
Elders reportedly received a letter from several former church staff members who complained about Sauls' leadership.
In a public statement released by the church's elders, they wrote that the issue was being addressed through the Nashville Presbytery.
"As such, they will ultimately determine the duration and nature of Pastor Scott's leave of absence.
"A care committee is being established to be in regular contact with Scott while he is on leave to support him and explore how best to move forward together. While Scott is away, the pulpit will be filled primarily with Elders and preachers within our church family," the statement continued.
Sauls' leadership will be reviewed at an upcoming Nashville Presbytery meeting.
"Nashville Presbytery will meet soon to deal with any matters properly brought before us," said Neil Spence, a PCA pastor and Stated Clerk of the Nashville Presbyter. "Presbytery as a whole will decide whether a censure such as suspension from office is warranted. It would be imprudent for me to try to predict what Presbytery will do."
Christ Presbyterian is a multi-site church with three campuses and about 2,000 weekly attendees.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Brian A. Jackson
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.