Update on PJ Smyth

Monument Church PJ Smyth

Monument Church Update on PJ Smyth

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the resignation of PJ Smyth from his role as the lead pastor of Monument Church. On August 13, 2021, the Advance Movement commissioned an assessment to evaluate its handling of allegations against PJ about statements that he made in 2017 regarding his father, John Smyth.  As a result of the findings of this assessment, the Advance Leadership Team has required PJ to step down from his role to seek recovery, rehabilitation and restoration from his own past trauma as well as to address character concerns raised in the report. PJ has submitted to this action, recognizing the need to step down from that role and he subsequently resigned from Monument Church.

As a leadership team, we want to voice our deep love and appreciation for PJ and Ashleigh and the Smyth family. We want to acknowledge that as friends and brothers, this process and outcome has been painful for all involved. We are also aware and sensitive to the fact that PJ is dealing with his own trauma at the hands of his father. This all bears heavily on us as we come alongside PJ and Ashleigh to best care for them. We will be working with them on determining the best next steps in their journey of healing and we believe wholeheartedly in the power of God’s grace to redeem, restore and renew.

Despite these difficulties we have seen the evidence of God’s grace vitally at work in our church throughout this process. We would appreciate your prayers for all involved at this time as we move ahead to point people to Jesus and carry on His mission in the greater Washington, DC area.

A Statement from PJ Smyth

My dear Monument brothers and sisters

After many months of waiting, the Mullen Report commissioned by Advance is out, and Monument and Advance have interacted with me about their respected responses to the Report.

In good heart, I have resigned from leading Monument, and accept Advance’s decision to step me down from Advance ministry. I accept that I am not above reproach at this time. I accept that I have character issues that need attention. I accept I am more impacted by trauma than I realized. I accept that I need an indefinite season out of ministry to pursue healing, rehabilitation, and live out fruits of repentance. I appreciate Advance and Monument’s hope that I could be rehabilitated to ministry in due course.

In good heart, I accept the recommendations at the end of the Mullen report. I am working on my various apologies and a corrective statement to correct the errors in my 2017 statements. I accept and grieve that my errors have caused harm, and I wish I had done more in 2017 to help conclude the matter in a more satisfactory way.

I could say much to you as a church, but may I simply express my profound love and thanks to you for two wonderful years. I am particularly grateful to the Monument leaders for caring for you so well over the last nine months, and for their care, and your care, for myself and my family. I mourn the shockwaves that many of you are feeling, and I am sincerely sorry for my responsibility in that. It is unusual for a church plant to lose her leader so soon into the plant, especially under circumstances such as these. We built Monument together as a leader-pedestalization-free-zone, determined to all rely on Jesus and one another, and keep the mission front and center. For that I am grateful, and with confidence I entrust you to Jesus, one another, and your leaders.

With love,

PJ

I have made a similar statement to Advance Movement.