Q. What happened?
A. On Thursday, May 20, Pastor Tim Armstrong (Senior Pastor) asked for the resignation of Pastor Mike Castelli (Campus Pastor, Green). Pastor Tim made this decision based on his belief that there existed under Pastor Mike’s leadership a culture among the staff at the Green Campus that did not support Pastor Tim’s overall vision for the church. Pastor Tim felt that these cultural differences were contributing to a breach in the foundational unity of our church. When Pastor Mike declined to resign, Pastor Tim terminated Pastor Mike’s employment.
Around the same time, concerns of a very different nature were brought to the Board of Trustees, involving claims against Pastor Tim of harshness and fear-based leadership toward The Chapel’s staff. On Friday, May 21, and Saturday, May 22, the Chairman of The Chapel's Board of Trustees called a committee to conduct an inquiry into these claims, in accordance with Constitution Policy C-19. (This policy can be reviewed in its entirety at the link in the Resources section below.)
The Committee engaged The Center Consulting Group to help with the necessary fact-finding to discern an appropriate path forward. Additionally, the Trustees placed Pastor Tim, along with Executive Pastor Jim Mitchell, on a voluntary administrative leave. In their absence, Pastor Mike was reinstated and also placed on administrative leave while the inquiry ran its course.
Q. What’s going on now?
A. In late May, the Constitution Committee engaged the services of The Center Consulting Group, an independent, third-party firm that assisted The Chapel in the fact-finding measures necessary to bring about resolution to our present situation. Their work included many one-on-one interviews, a broad analysis of our staff team, and more. The Center delivered their comprehensive findings to the Committee in a formal presentation in early July, along with a number of recommendations for the Committee to consider.
This inquiry uncovered a consistent pattern of conduct that substantiated the concerns raised about Pastor Tim Armstrong’s leadership. Given this troubling and consistent fact-pattern, The Constitution Committee unanimously recommended to the Trustees that Pastor Tim, in accordance with language outlined in The Chapel’s Constitution, was unable to fulfill the duties of senior pastor and therefore cannot be restored to the role of senior pastor of The Chapel. The Trustees unanimously voted to affirm that recommendation. In late July, Pastor Tim agreed to resign, effective immediately. In August, Pastor Jim Mitchell also voluntarily resigned.
It is the intention of The Chapel and Pastor Mike Castelli that he would be restored to his role as Lead Pastor of the Green Campus, following a 6-week period of healing, coaching, and rest.
Q. What additional decisions still need to be made?
A. We recognize the critical need to now shift our attention toward making additional decisions about The Chapel’s ministry model. The current inquiry has highlighted some of the inherent challenges that exist within our multi-site model. In the very near future, we will begin assembling an exploratory team that will evaluate and recommend updates to our model.
We also understand that our constitution was written when The Chapel gathered in only one location, and that our church, currently gathering in 7 locations, requires an updated constitution. Therefore, at the close of the ministry model evaluation, the Interim Senior Pastor will call a Constitution Committee to do the work of assessing and amending the constitution, in accordance with language outlined therein.
Q. What should I do now?
A. Pray. Cover our church, our pastors, our staff, our trustees, and their families in prayer. And then, submit yourself fully to the Lord and acknowledge His sovereignty, in this and in all things. Allow your trust in Him to be unwavering, because it is in trust that we can rest.
Q. When will we learn more about the Summary of Findings?
A. We look forward to entering the next phase of this process with you and bringing more clarity to light. To that end, we will offer 3 townhall-style presentations where we will briefly review the Summary of Findings document and spend time answering questions. Choose to attend any one of the following meetings, regardless of your typical campus affiliation. The meetings will be identical in content and format.
- Friday, October 8 | 6:30-8:30pm | Akron Campus Worship Center
- Saturday, October 9 | 9:30-11:30am | Green Campus Worship Center
- Saturday, October 9 | 2-4pm | Akron Campus Worship Center
Q. Are RSVPs required?
A. Yes, advance RSVPs are required. During each meeting, we will offer a section where masks are required and social distancing is maximized, for those who desire to be more cautious with regard to COVID-related protocols. Be sure to indicate your preference on the RSVP form if you wish to be seated in this area. Please note that there will be no childcare available during the meetings.
Q. Who will be presenting this information and answering the questions at the meetings?
A. Each meeting will be approximately 2 hours long and will include Pastor Zac Derr, the Trustee board, and consultants from The Center Consulting Group.
Q. Will there be an alternative option if I cannot attend one of these meetings?
A. There will not be a livestream or recorded option available; however, after all three meetings have taken place, we will prepare and distribute a PDF that will include a recap of the most pertinent questions and answers addressed.
Q. Can I send notes of encouragement to the pastors or other staff members?
A. Absolutely. Cards for our pastors, staff, and their families may be dropped off at any Welcome Desk on Sunday mornings, and we’ll deliver them appropriately.
In the early stages of this crisis, all-church emails were sent periodically by our trustee board with updates for our entire congregation. Moving forward, in an effort to avoid overwhelming your inbox, we will skip this step and immediately post new information here, as soon as it becomes available.
To view our earlier communications, tap any button below.
As a church body, we are committed to walking through this process with honesty, integrity, and transparency. Tap the buttons below for other helpful resources, including a directory of our trustee board members and a copy of our church constitution, or to contact our church staff with specific questions.