Skip Heitzig, who founded the
The announcement was made by Interim Senior Pastor Dave Row, who has led the church since March.
"We have come to this decision as a pastoral staff after much prayer and careful counsel," Row said to the congregation.
After the announcement, a majority of the congregation stood and applauded. "I expected this," said Jackie Sherwood, a church member for about 12 years. "I have no hard feelings about the decision."
Heitzig was not present for the announcement, but a letter from their new leader was read to the congregation, saying he welcomed the invitation to once again serve the church.
The announcement of Heitzig's return was to be repeated at the church's three services today - 8, 9:30 and 11:15 a.m.
Heitzig, who left in 2004 to lead
Nelson was Heitzig's handpicked successor, but their relationship soured. In his resignation letter in February, Nelson cited a power struggle with Heitzig regarding appointments to the church's board of directors and financial decisions.
Heitzig resigned from the church board in March after a group of church members asked him and other out-ofstate board members to resign.
The group also sought more transparency in financial and personnel dealings. Since then, the church's board of directors initiated three audits - all conducted by outside entities - addressing financial, organizational and pastoral issues.
According to Tom Garrity, a
Speculation about Heitzig's return as
Last week, Heitzig also fueled speculation of his return when he apologized during a
Philip Brent, an
"He's probably one of the best Bible teachers in
GREG SORBER/JOURNAL A majority of Calvary Chapel Albuquerque members stood and clapped when it was announced Saturday that Skip Heitzig will return as senior pastor. Heitzig founded Calvary Albuquerque in the 1980s.
HEITZIG: Church founder is named senior pastor
Copyright 2006 Albuquerque Journal