The pastor of a North Carolina Baptist church has resigned after controversy over allegations that he told members to “repent or resign” if they intended to vote for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry in the last election.
Chan Chandler left his East Waynesville Baptist Church in Waynesville on May 10 after giving a brief statement, the Associated Press reported. “For me to remain now would only cause more hurt for me and my family,” said the 33-year-old minister, who had led the church for three years.
News reports that nine church members, including three deacons, who didn’t agree politically with the minister were forced to resign raised the possibility that the Internal Revenue Service would investigate whether the church had violated its tax-exempt status. (Another 40 members allegedly left in protest.)