Pastor Isaac Hunter, the son of Florida megachurch pastor Joel Hunter, resigned earlier this week from his Orlando church after admitting he had an affair with a former church staff member.
"Monday morning, Isaac Hunter offered his immediate resignation, citing as his reason an affair with someone previously on staff at Summit," John Parker, the newly appointed lead pastor, said in an announcement Wednesday on Summit Church's blog.
The statement was identical to the letter he sent to the church family earlier that day.
"This moral failing has made it impossible for him to continue in ministry," stated Parker in the letter. "We have accepted his resignation."
Hunter founded Summit Church in 2001 along with a small group of friends that included Parker. The church held its first worship service in September 2002 drawing around 300 people. Today, Summit has over 5,000 worshippers who gather at one of the five campus locations in the Orlando area.
Hunter married his wife, Rhonda, in November 1999 and together they have three children.
His father, Joel C Hunter, is a prominent evangelical who is known to pray with President Obama and advise him on spiritual matters. The elder Hunter is the senior pastor of the 12,000-strong Northland, A Church Distributed, and a board member of the National Association of Evangelicals.
By Thursday, Hunter's biography and blog had been removed from the church's website.
Robert Andrescik, spokesman for Summit Church, issued the following statement Thursday to The Christian Post:
"We are all hurting right now, and we don't have all the answers to fix the hurt. But we know that the vision God has given Summit hasn't changed, and will not change. God has been the head of this place from the beginning, and it's God who builds His church," he stated.
"Our prayers are also with the Hunter family, and we're committed to protecting the space around them right now."
Parker, who noted he was writing the letter with a "heavy heart", also requested prayers for the Hunter family, the church's strategy team and campus ministers.
He added, "On a personal note, I am hurting for my friend, for the pain he has caused others and himself, for our staff, for the church, and even for myself. In midst of the hurt, I am so grateful for this community. God has done so much good in this place, and my great hope is that He will continue to have Summit Church be a place where lost and hurting people find hope and love."
Parker encouraged church members to attend one of the services this week, where he hopes they can "discuss this as a church family and collectively look to Christ for His grace and healing".