NASHVILLE (BP) — Early last week, the Board of Acts 29 voted to remove CEO Steve Timmis from the global church planting network after investigating accusations about his “abusive leadership” style.
“The Board of Acts 29 was made aware of some accusations of abusive leadership against our CEO Steve Timmis,” read a statement to Baptist Press. “The Board launched an investigation of these claims and found evidence that he should be transitioned out of the CEO role immediately.”
By Friday, Christianity Today published a heavily-sourced article with multiple accounts from former church members, elders and friends of Timmis describing manipulation, intimidation and spiritual abuse.
Then Sunday, the UK-based church which Timmis founded, The Crowded House, also confirmed online his resignation as a church elder.
“We have valued his ministry among us and his role in founding the church. Many of us owe him a personal debt,” The Crowded House statement read. “We also feel the weight of the stories told in the article. We are willing to hear where we may have failed people. We recognize the need to open ourselves up to external and impartial scrutiny.”
The stated mission of Acts 29, led by president Matt Chandler, pastor of The Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, is to be a diverse, global family of church-planting churches characterized by theological clarity, cultural engagement and missional innovation.
According to the 2019 Annual Report, Acts 29 has grown from just a few church plants in the early 2000s into a global family of nearly 800 churches worshiping in more than 30 languages in more than 50 nations.
Last year, Acts 29 reported planting 82 new churches, “with 51 percent of those planted from current churches in the network.”
In August of 2014, Acts 29 co-founder and pastor Mark Driscoll was also removed after allegations of “ungodly and disqualifying behavior.” (See related BP story.)