In a rare public statement regarding former Vision Forum Ministries president Doug Phillips, the leaders of Boerne Christian Assembly (BCA) announced Phillips had joined another church without receiving a letter of transfer from BCA. Millions of Americans change churches without such a letter, but Phillips previously had emphasized the importance of following church procedures. The July 6 church statement called the development “a matter of great concern” to the BCA.
Phillips resigned as president of the Christian organization Vision Forum Ministries (VFM) in October, admitting to a lengthy, inappropriate relationship with an unmarried woman. (Phillips is married and has eight children.) Two weeks later, the board of VFM announced the ministry would close immediately.
Phillips is also a founder and former elder of BCA—an independent, Baptist congregation north of San Antonio. (Phillips resigned as an elder in January 2013.) During his ministry, he emphasized the importance of accountability and submission to church leaders. He remained a member of BCA after he publicly confessed his sin and acknowledged he “behaved without proper accountability.” On Monday, the church announced Phillips’ departure:
“As previously noted, Boerne Christian Assembly has sought to exercise oversight and accountability with our former elder, Doug Phillips, who last year publicly confessed to an inappropriate, long-term relationship with a woman other than his wife and verbally expressed his repentance for his behavior. Recently, contrary to the position established many years ago at Boerne Christian Assembly under his eldership and which he reaffirmed on multiple occasions, Doug Phillips has left Boerne Christian Assembly and advised that he has become a member of another church without a letter of transfer from Boerne Christian Assembly. This is a matter of great concern to the body at Boerne Christian Assembly and we are attempting to work through this entire situation in a manner that would be honoring to our Lord. We continue to pray for restoration, wisdom, and grace as we determine how we should proceed.”
WORLD has reached out to Phillips for comment and will offer an update with any response.
The church news comes as Phillips faces a lawsuit related to his extra-marital relationship.
In April, the woman with whom Phillips had the relationship filed suit in a Texas court against Phillips, VFM, and Vision Forum Inc., the for-profit company Phillips owns. The complaint identified the woman as Lourdes Torres-Manteufel, a former member of BCA while Phillips was an elder. The Bexar County Court website lists the case’s status as pending.