CHICAGO (AP) — The pastor of a Chicago church has resigned after revealing he sexually abused an underage female relative when he was a teenager.
The Chicago Tribune reports The Rev. Charles W. Lyons left his post at Armitage Baptist Church after 45 years leading the congregation. The 68-year-old Lyons told the Tribune church leaders learned of his transgression two years ago. He said his conduct was not an automatically "disqualifying" offense. Lyons says he resigned in July.
In a statement posted to its website Wednesday, the church said Lyons' resignation was largely spurred by "unresolved concerns regarding his leadership over the years and the ramifications of sexual abuse committed years before he became a pastor."
An Armitage Baptist minister, Leandro Gomez, says church leaders contacted the victim, consulted with legal experts and conducted interviews to ensure no congregants were abused by Lyons.
Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com