Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham and former pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has revealed that he came very close to committing suicide following his divorce and resignation from his position at the church.
Tchividjian resigned from Coral Ridge in June 2015 and admitted that he had an "inappropriate relationship." He filed for divorce later that year. He was fired from his new position at the Willow Creek Presbyterian Church last March after he told the elders that he had "some previously undisclosed failures in his life."
Liberate Network, a ministry founded by Tchividjian in 2013, was discontinued following his confession. The remaining board members have also canceled a conference scheduled for 2017.
In his article for ExPastors, he shared the note that he had written when he contemplated suicide.
"Words cannot express the pain I feel for the hurt I've caused. It has become too much to bear. Based on what I've done and the pain I've caused, I have concluded that it is safer for all those I love that I just disappear," the note began.
Tchividjian confessed that he made the decision when he felt that the people he loved wanted to steer clear of him.
"Initially, I got angry and defensive when I was told that I'm a monster, evil, disgustingly dangerous, etc. But it has sunk in and I finally believe it," he continued.
He asked God for mercy and told Christians not to turn away from other people who have encountered similar failures.
"Even if they have hurt you bad, do everything you can to help them," he wrote.
The former pastor admitted that he fell into a state of despair because he tried to establish his identity in his successes instead of the Gospel. He went on to describe his past struggles as "painful" but "liberating."
He encouraged pastors, ex-pastors and other people who are distressed by telling them that their identity is not rooted in their own achievements but "firmly anchored in Christ's accomplishment."