Lead pastor at Highpoint Church resigns
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The lead pastor of Highpoint Church, which has been mired in a recent controversy involving sexual assault allegations against former pastor Andy Savage, has resigned.
Chris Conlee--who held his first service at the church in 2002--and Highpoint Trustees released a joint statement to church members announcing his resignation.
"It is with profound sorrow that we share with you the news that Chris [Conlee] has resigned as Lead Pastor of Highpoint," the statement read. "We have arrived at a point of respectfully agreeing to go in different directions for the Kingdom."
Conlee's resignation comes just three months after the departure of Andy Savage--Highpoint's popular teaching pastor.
Savage confessed to having sexual contact with Jules Woodson in 1998 when he was her youth pastor at a Texas Church.
His confession came only after mounting pressure on Conlee and the church from Woodson and advocates for victims of sex abuse.
Savage resigned from Highpoint in March.
Under Conlee's guidance Highpoint became a mega-church with three campuses. He even wrote a successful book called "Love Works."
There was no answer at Conlee's Collierville home Wednesday night. The pastor's Twitter account has been deleted.
Church members declined comment at the East Memphis campus.
"While I fully believe in the healing that forgiveness brings, accountability and justice are an important and necessary part of the process. Chris Conlee's resignation is one more step forward," Jules Woodson tweeted.
Conlee will preach one final time to his congregation on Sunday.
A Texas pastor was placed on leave and also ultimately resigned as a result of the allegations against Savage.
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