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Oh Look, Another Megachurch Pastor Caught Having Affairs

Dog bites man, winter is cold, water is wet and — gasp — another megachurch pastor has been caught having affairs with women in his church while posing as a paragon of moral virtue and, most amusingly, giving seminars on how to have a healthy marriage.

The married lead pastor of a mega-church in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert has been forced to resign after church leaders discovered that he has been engaging in multiple extramarital affairs with women from his congregation.

Mark Connelly admitted to his sins and resigned as lead pastor of Mission Community Church on December 30 after being confronted about the affairs and asked to leave.

Connelly and his wife, Kay, have been married for 29 years and have two children, Luke and Naomi, together.

An estimated 6,000 people attend services at the Arizona church every weekend and members received news of Connelly’s misdemeanor at worship on Jan. 4 and 5.

‘We are committed to helping Mark rebuild his marriage and we have offered all of the mercy and counseling resources of our church to help him and his family through this time,’ said Executive Pastor of Ministries Gary Sutliff, who has been named interim lead pastor.

We’ve reached the point where this is so routine that the people of the church probably breathed a sigh of relief when they found out the affairs were with women.

Comments

  1. dingojack says

    Oh he said it was with a female adult parishioner….
    But based on the likelihood of child sex abuse in fundie churches and the fundie habit of habitually lying…..
    Much, much less then reasonable doubt?!?
    Dingo

  2. raven says

    Hypocrisy is one of the fundies 3 main sacraments.

    As their motto says, xians aren’t better just forgiven. They have a get out of jail free card.

    It’s time anyway to bring out their all purpse excuse. It was all the fault of satan and the demons. Who according to xians, seem to be far more powerful than their missing in action gods.

  3. Matt G says

    Healthy marriage seminars? That’s the second irony meter I’ve had to replace in the last week.

  4. Larry says

    So, Pastor Mark, were you thinking about boinking your little sex toy while giving us your lectures on healthy marriages?

  5. Drew says

    Clearly the instructions the male pastors get for counseling their congregations must read something like this,

    When counseling members of your church it is important for you to remember that the key for them to have healthy marriages is thus:

    Husbands should let their wives have sex with you, and should also have sex with you if you desire.

    Wives should let their husbands have sex with you, and should also have sex with you if you desire.

    Your wife should have sex with you, and only you, as often as you want, and should let you have sex with pretty much anyone else you want to have sex with, which may or may not include men.

  6. says

    Of course it’s possible that he’s still being a hypocrite, that he and his wife had the kind of relationship where she had no problem with him fooling around, but of course they can’t admit that if they want to stay in the pastor business.

  7. Artor says

    colnago80, really?

    Well, at least it was girls.

    Let’s instead hope it wasn’t girls, but rather consenting adult women. I don’t think a pastor diddling girls is any better than one doing boys.

  8. felidae says

    I’ll pop for a truckload of stones to see if the good pastor is committed to the inerrancy of the Bible and strict enforcement of its laws

  9. freemage says

    Odds that the megachurch in question teaches ‘traditional marriage’ views in which men are the source of authority in the household?

  10. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    winter is cold

    It’s about 60 F in the Sacramento central valley. >.>

  11. Nihilismus says

    I don’t get how these pastors are able to convince their female parishioners that what they are doing is not sinful under the rules of their own religion. Or is this a case where the female parishioners have become aware of the megachurch scam and want in on some of the lavish lifestyle?

  12. John Pieret says

    Mildly amusing but, really, is the hypocrisy of people who spend their lives telling other people they are “sinners” for doing what comes naturally (sticking tab A in whatever slot B you find attractive) a news flash?

  13. says

    ‘We are committed to helping Mark rebuild his marriage and we have offered all of the mercy and counseling resources of our church to help him and his family through this time

    Obviously, the counselling services the church offers are pretty compelling, if you include the sexual harrassment.

    That raises a question: if a psychiatrist starts having sex with a patient, they are violating the hippocratic oath (no sex with anyone in the household, free or slave) and there are all kinds of questions about whether or not it’s consensual in a care provider/patient relationship. Why isn’t a religious authority figure’s taking advantage of the flock (as if fleecing them isn’t bad enough!) rape or at least malpractice?

  14. Sastra says

    Nihilismus #15 wrote:

    I don’t get how these pastors are able to convince their female parishioners that what they are doing is not sinful under the rules of their own religion.

    I think the ‘rules of their own religion’ also include a lot of muck about how God brings people in your life for a reason, “soul mates,” and God closing a door and opening a window. In other words, it’s incredibly easy to think that an unhappy marriage was “not meant to be” and God has brought you and this pious man together through promptings from the power of the Holy Spirit itself.

    I read one of those true crime books which gave details of a parishioner-affair- with- pastor which led to a murdered husband. It included some of the illicit love letters and there was a load of “look into your heart and hear the voice of God” rationalizations. From both sides. Nobody is easier to fool than yourself — and mystical checks and balances do neither.

  15. says

    Alright confession time!

    When I was still a Christian, my wife and I attended a marriage ceremony at this church that was led my, crap I’m ashamed to say it, Mark Driscoll. Remembering these two assholes pontificating about their strong, godly marriages makes my skin crawl now. Damn I was blind, but thankfully, now I see.

  16. Alverant says

    #11
    Considering the power this pastor had over the women, can we really say it was consensual? I think there would at least be a hint of coercion involved.

  17. John Hinkle says

    An estimated 6,000 people attend services at the Arizona church every weekend…

    Holy crap, that church must rake in some good cabbage. I’ll bet if another church wanted to open nearby, there’d be some rent seeking and payola going on.

  18. Michael Heath says

    Nihilismus writes:

    I don’t get how these pastors are able to convince their female parishioners that what they are doing is not sinful under the rules of their own religion.

    This part is easy. These same women already slavishly accept the fact this denomination, like most conservative Christian churches who claim an inerrant Bible, leverage biblical verses that falsely assert women are defective relative to men simply for being women.

    Whatever woman accepts this outrageously false and misogynist premise and the treatment they receive given this premise, should have little problem going along with something as trivial as a philandering pastor.

  19. grumpyoldfart says

    He won’t be fully forgiven until the Sunday collection gets back to the same level it was before the scandal broke.

  20. says

    “An estimated 6,000 people attend services at the Arizona church every weekend and members received news of Connelly’s misdemeanor at worship on Jan. 4 and 5.”

    Misdemeanor? According to the Bible, it’s a death penalty offense.

  21. Childermass says

    somnus @ 26: Misdemeanor? According to the Bible, it’s a death penalty offense.

    I thought misdemeanors were capital offense according to Moses. And a few civil offenses as well. ;-)

  22. says

    Phoenix, lest we forget, is the city where a catholic bishop hit a pedestrian and then he then drove home and hid the car in the rectory’s garage. No jail time, despite his conviction–because he outed a shitlton of paedophile priest whom he knew about for years and kept from being prosecuted.

  23. postwaste says

    In a year he’ll be heading another ministry. Evangelicals love this stuff. When I trained for the ministry, we were advised to use these things as proof of the power of the Holy Spirit. As long as you’re one of the in-group, the level of forgiveness is infinite.

  24. LightningRose says

    This is entirely consistent with the Reich Wing definition of marriage:

    One man, one woman, and all the ass he can get on the side.

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