Megachurch Pastor Chuck Swindoll Stepping Down

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James Lasher

Accomplished Christian author and pastor Chuck Swindoll is closing a huge chapter in his life effective May 1.

The elders at Stonebriar Community church in Frisco, Texas, put out a statement that Swindoll will be stepping down as the senior pastor of the church, and Dr. Jonathan Murphy, the chair and professor of Pastoral Ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary, will step into the role.

Swindoll will then become the Founding Pastor and remain on the board of elders.

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“In these roles, Pastor Chuck will continue to preach God’s Word at the pulpit on Sundays, while Jonathan will shepherd our day-to-day ministries and fill in at the pulpit when requested. Pastor Chuck will continue to serve as mentor and advisor to Jonathan, and at the appropriate time in the future, Jonathan will then assume primary pulpit duties,” the announcement says.

According to the statement, this transition has been two years in the making, and led by a prayer effort to search for the Lord’s will in the matter.

“We believe the Lord has gone before us in this decision from the beginning. Two years ago, as some of us elders gathered to pray, we talked about considering Jonathan as a candidate for the future role of Senior Pastor,” the statement continues.

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As the elders moved forward in faith, they found out that the Lord had already fit the pieces in place for a smooth, and intentional, transition for Stonebriar leadership.

“When we approached Pastor Chuck with the idea at that time, we were happy to find out that he had already been mentoring Jonathan for the past several years, and he excitedly agreed that Jonathan would be a great fit for the position. We then extended a letter of intent to Jonathan, and he gladly set his expectations to become our Senior Pastor in the future. In March of 2024, after prayerful consideration, Pastor Chuck and the entire elder team unanimously decided that now is the time for Jonathan to step into his new role,” the statement adds.

While many leadership transitions have caused ruptures within church communities, Stonebriar Community Church and its leadership have demonstrated that seeking the Lord first in prayer and submission is the best way to move forward into a new season.

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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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