Former Hillsong Atlanta Pastor Sam Collier Returns to the Pulpit Amidst Pending Divorce

Sam Collier

Former Hillsong Atlanta pastor, Sam Collier, says he's returning to the pulpit for Christmas Eve service after taking a three-month sabbatical that culminated in an announcement about their pending divorce. Currently, Collier is the lead pastor of Story Church in Atlanta. The church formed in the wake of the shuttering of Hillsong Atlanta.  

"I'm in disbelief, to be honest. I'm in disbelief," Sam told Christian Post just days after his wife Toni announced that she was seeking a divorce, alleging that he had been unfaithful - a claim he denies.    

"I never thought that I would be in this position at all," he said. "It was never the dream for this."

In response to allegations that he was unfaithful in the marriage. Sam calls her claim of infidelity a "gross depiction" of their relationship and says he tried hard to save their marriage even though he admits to trying to divorce her seven times.

"Here's what I have learned from counseling couples that are in very, very difficult and dire marriages. ... In marriage, especially when it's difficult, you find yourself in spaces and places, and thinking things, saying things, that you come out of your character," he said.

"I've counseled so many couples that have done that. And so, for me, in the marriage, because of the level of difficulty that took place, [I] developed unhealthy coping mechanisms that I'll leave right there," he said, noting that he has been to therapy for those unhealthy coping mechanisms. "I can confidently say that the claims of infidelity and what that communicates is very inaccurate."

Two weeks ago, the couple issued dueling statements on Instagram just minutes apart, publicly confirming the end of their love story. 

"I'm in the middle of the hardest season of my life. I am heartbroken, yet still hopeful. If you could see all the ways God has been kind to me and my kids your jaw would be on the floor. After years of discovering and enduring repeated acts of infidelity, I have chosen to end my marriage with Sam," Toni Collier announced.

"Despite seasons of hope, attempts at reconciliation, and counseling, after recently discovering more infidelity, I realized this wasn't a sustainable or God-honoring marriage anymore. I'm at a point where I have to say 'no more.' I'm taking time off the stage and social media to focus on healing with my kids. I have no desire to hurt Sam but do want to vigorously protect my heart and my children," she added before ending with, "Thanks for giving us privacy to do that, and for prayers that will undoubtedly be felt. Love y'all."

In a separate post that has since been deleted, Sam Collier accused his wife of being a "liar and abuser" and insisted that they made a mutual decision to divorce.

"Toni Collier is a liar and abuser. It is documented that she has abused me our entire marriage and wants to continue to. I asked Toni not to do this. As well as our team and 'our' lawyers. She is not divorcing me, we are divorcing each other," he wrote. "AND I tried to divorce her 7 times and she begged me to stay and kept abusing me. I will tell more of the story later."

Following that post, Sam Collier released a separate, formal statement and an apology: "I would like to apologize for my earlier comments regarding my divorce. It did not reflect the leader I am or my sincere feelings. I was emotionally overwhelmed and angry at the highest level. These past two months have been extremely exhausting." 




Tags : Hillsong Hillsong Atlanta Sam Collier Sam Collier divorce Sam collier scandal Toni Collier

Hot Trends

Most Popular

popular videos