This post preserves the email that Jason Webb sent out to the congregation of Elmbrook Church in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. This is the first of two posts about the situation at Elmbrook Church.
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:30-31 NIV
The Milwaukee, Wisconsin skyline
On Wednesday September 19, 2018 at 2:19 in the afternoon Gary Gregg sent out the following email to the Elmbrook congregation. Elmbrook is a congregation of 7,000 attenders that is located in Brookfield, Wisconsin which is a suburb of Milwaukee. In my next post I will analyze how Elmbrook should handle the situation in a way that is good for the Webb family, Elmbrook and the Milwaukee community.
September 19, 2018
Dear Elmbrook Family,
We have some very difficult and sobering news to share with you. Late last week our Senior Pastor, Jason Webb, tendered his resignation due to multiple marital infidelities. The Council of Elders has unanimously accepted his resignation and would like you to hear from Jason in his own words.
Dear Staff and Congregation,
It is with deep remorse that I write you this letter. As you are aware, over the last two years I have been on a journey towards emotional, spiritual and relational health. While I have been open with you about much of the journey, there is one part that I have kept hidden. I have also been struggling with a serious addiction, which has led to many betrayals, including unfaithfulness to my wife, Heather.
Words cannot fully describe how sorry I am for my sin. The gravity of all of this is not lost on me. I have lied to Heather, my counselor, the men in my life, the elders, the staff and the church. I am so very sorry.
As I come to terms with this, I must take two difficult steps for myself, my wife and my children. First, I will immediately seek intensive inpatient treatment for addiction over the next six weeks. Second, I am offering my resignation as Senior Pastor of Elmbrook Church.
Elmbrook will always be dear to me. I will continue to count it one of the greatest honors of my life to have served under the Elmbrook umbrella in various capacities for the last seventeen years, and as Senior Pastor these last four years.
Elmbrook is caring for the Webb family, and Heather will continue in her role as our Global Partnership Director. However, we have mutually agreed with Jason that going forward he will not be returning to ministry at Elmbrook. We are working diligently on an interim plan in the absence of a Senior Pastor and will communicate a way forward as soon as possible.
We understand this is unimaginable news. It is a staggering loss, and we share your sorrow and sense of betrayal. It would be easy to lose hope, but let’s gather together as a family this weekend to find solace and anchor our souls to Jesus, the only One who is capable of calming the chaos.
“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation: he is my fortress, I will never be shaken” (Psalm 62:1-2)
Chairman – Council of Elders