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    Congregation shocked by Dr. Tony Evans' announcement: "Everyone really couldn't believe what was being said"

    By Brooke Rogers,


    Congregation shocked by Dr. Tony Evans' announcement, "He's a staple of the community" 02:08

    NORTH TEXAS — Dr. Tony Evans, the longtime pastor of a Dallas megachurch, is stepping down from the pulpit.

    Evans told the Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church congregation that the move was "due to sin," but did not go into details.

    Evans has been the senior pastor for 48 years, growing membership to around 10,000 people. Members said they support and admire Evans through this surprising change in leadership.

    James Harris, Jr has worshipped at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church for 32 years and has watched it flourish under senior pastor Tony Evans.

    "He's a staple in the community," he said. "I think he is one of the most known pastors in the nation."

    A former chaplain for both the Dallas Cowboys and the Mavericks, Evans is also a well-known author, speaker, and widely syndicated radio host. Harris was in the second service on Sunday when he learned that Evans was stepping away from his pastoral duties

    "It was a shock," he said. "Everyone really couldn't believe what was being said."

    Evans told the congregation that he had committed a sin a number of years ago and that he is required to apply the same biblical standard of repentance and restoration to himself that he has applied to others. He said, "While I have committed no crime, I did not use righteous judgment in my actions. In light of this, I am stepping away from my pastoral duties and am submitting to a healing and restoration process established by the elders. This will afford me a needed time of spiritual recovery and healing."

    Harris said his actions are a reminder that pastors are human, too, as well as an opportunity to give back to Evans what he's taught them.

    "Him and his family, they truly believe what they preach, and they act on it. And so this is just another showing of faith in God and forgiveness and healing and grace."

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