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Bill Gothard Resigns from IBLP Presidency
On March 6, 2014, Administrative Director David Waller communicated via email to ATI families that Mr. Gothard has “resigned as president of the Institute in Basic Life Principles, its Board of Directors, and its affiliated entities.” Mr. Waller indicated the board’s desire to appoint interim leadership, and named Chris Hogan as one who “will play an active role in the upcoming conferences as president of ATI.” This follows the report on February 27 in which World Magazine confirmed that the Board of IBLP had placed Bill Gothard on administrative leave, “in order to further investigate the mounting claims of sexual harassment and misconduct that have been reported on the Recovering Grace website.”
The letter goes on to state that Mr. Gothard has “communicated to the Board of Directors his desire to follow Matthew 5:23–24 and listen to those who have ‘ought against’ him” and states that his resignation is motivated by a desire to give full attention to the issues at hand (view the full letter).
On February 3, Recovering Grace made a public case that Bill Gothard had disqualified himself from ministry by his actions. In doing so, we called for Mr. Gothard to repent and be reconciled to those who have been damaged under his ministry and teachings. While we acknowledge the range of emotions that our readers are likely feeling in light of this letter, we do not take joy in this announcement, and we understand the gravity and sadness of this situation. Mr. Gothard’s resignation will doubtless produce relief in some of our readers and deep disappointment in others. Nonetheless, we realize this is an important moment.
The Recovering Grace leadership team agrees that this is a good first step. We will pray for the senior leadership of IBLP as they begin the process of investigating and addressing the physical and spiritual abuse, as well as reexamining many of IBLP’s questionable teachings in light of Scripture. We appreciate that Mr. Hogan has reached out to Recovering Grace in the past weeks, and we believe him to be a man of integrity who understands the issues and challenges that lie ahead. We will also continue to pray for the board of IBLP, and we strongly call them to bring in an independent third-party to serve as the investigator and/or conciliator of these matters—one who has experience in investigating allegations of sexual abuse within Christian environments.
We thank our readers for your support, your comments, your phone calls and emails to the board, and especially for your response to our “Call to Prayer” today. We are sincerely grateful for a community committed to bringing truth to light, and recovering and living in grace.