Tullian Tchividjian Groomed Me, Says Woman He Had Affair With

Tullian Tchividjian was deposed from ministry at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church after an affair.Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church

One of the women with whom Billy Graham's grandson Tullian Tchividjian had affairs has gone public with her version of the events.

The woman, 'Rachel' – her real name, though her surname has not been released – has worked with the Spiritual Sounding Board website on her account.

Married with two children, she says she and her husband moved to Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, where Tchividjian was pastor in the summer of 2014. She also says she and her husband lent him money to hire a private detective to investigate his wife Kim, who he thought was having an affair, posting a copy of the payment invoice and receipt.

Rachel says he "groomed" her and that their relationship became sexual in 2015. It came to light in June 2105 when Tchividjian was called by a staff member at the church saying the contents of his phone could be read on the church's public server. She ended the relationship soon afterwards, though she had "convinced myself I could still be a friend to Tullian if not a lover". Rachel's husband left her and abandoned his faith.

After being deposed from ministry at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Tchividjian was given a non-ministry position at Willow Creek Church and attempted to relaunch his LIBERATE ministry. Rachel posted on the organisation's Facebook page accusing him of failing to repay the money he had borrowed for a private investigator and saying there was a "trail of carnage in Fort Lauderdale covered up by lies and schmooze". She had also contacted Pastor Kevin Labby of Willow Creek asking for his help. The money was repayed shortly afterwards and Tchividjian was fired from Willow Creek after details emerged of a previous adulterous affair Tchividjian had had at Coral Ridge in 2014. The LIBERATE organisation was wound up.

Spiritual Sounding Board has two more parts of Rachel's story yet to post.

Tchividjian has been asked to comment for this story and has yet to respond. However, on November 23 – before Rachel's account was published on November 29 – he posted on Facebook a long statement beginning: "Unfortunately public figures have to make public statements about matters that are very private. It's never comfortable to deal with private issues publicly, but from time to time it is wise and necessary to do so."

He says: "As I have previously said both publicly and privately, I am guilty of, and I continue to grieve, some decisions I've made, some things I've said, and people I've hurt throughout my entire life, but specifically in 2014 and 2015. I wish I could go back in time and do those things differently. I can't."

He also says: "As far as things that have been said and written about me (especially recently) some of them are true and some of them are absolutely false. There is nothing I can do about any of it. I cannot correct every falsehood and I cannot go back and right every wrong thing I've done or said."