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Report finds claims against Hybels credible

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 3/01/19, 12:58 pm

Independent investigators found that the accusations of inappropriate conduct by Willow Creek Community Church founder and pastor Bill Hybels were credible and would have warranted discipline had he not resigned last year, according to a report released Thursday by the church. The elders of the suburban Chicago megachurch initiated the investigation, which an outside anonymous donor paid for, after a cascade of accusations in 2018 led to Hybels’ departure and the mass resignation of church leaders and elders.

“Over multiple decades, the Willow Creek Community Church boards were unable to provide effective oversight of Bill Hybels,” the report stated. It detailed what it called credible accusations of sexual misconduct with women and intimidating behavior toward male and female colleagues. The report’s authors also said Hybels’ influence did not affect all levels of the organization, and they expressed hope that some of the problems his behavior created could be resolved in his absence.

The nine members of the church’s new elder board, instituted in January, said in a statement they were “prayerfully looking at our church culture, policies, and governance model in light of the … report in order to better honor Jesus Christ and His testimony in and through our church.”

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital's managing editor. She is a graduate of World Journalism Institute, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Lynde resides with her family in Wichita, Kansas. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  • JerryM
    Posted: Fri, 03/01/2019 05:48 pm

    For those in (and outside) Chicage, the recent events surrounding Bill Hybels and James MacDonald church leadership scandals are calling the church to deep reflection, prayer and repentance.  I hope and pray the church will do so...