Married Texas megachurch pastor blames his old BRAIN CANCER diagnosis for exchanging messages with married woman – after receiving standing ovation from congregation when he returned from suspension
- Matt Chandler, lead pastor of the Village Church in Dallas spoke of his bout with brain cancer in 2009, a time he said that revealed some ‘unhealth’ in him
- Chandler asked the congregants for forgiveness after sharing that he had gone through intense therapy after a three-month hiatus
- The religious leader shared ‘not sexual but unguarded’ Instagram DMs with a woman who is not his wife
- Friday marked Chandler’s 20 year mark as Village Church’s chief pastor
- The 48-year-old pastor is married with three children. His wife, Lauren,42, is a deacon at the church
A married Texas megachurch pastor has blamed his old brain cancer diagnosis after he exchanged messages with a married woman.
Matt Chandler, 48, bared his soul on Sunday seeking forgiveness for any ‘additional weight or hardship,’ he may have caused his congregants and spoke about the intensive counseling he endured.
During his sermon – his first since August 28 – he spoke about his bout with brain cancer in 2009 and the ‘disorientation,’ he experienced and the ‘accusation’ that revealed some ‘unhealth’ in him, and a ‘blindspot he couldn’t see.’
Chandler was suspended for violating the church’s social media policy after he was found to have shared ‘not sexual but unguarded,’ Instagram DMs with a woman who was not his wife, and stepped down from his role after the salacious news broke.
Matt Chandler, 48, made his triumphant return to the Village Church, a Southern Baptist congregation located just outside of Dallas, and told his congregation: ‘I’m sorry, I failed you’
Chandler, pictured here with his wife, Lauren, 42, said Sunday: ‘If my foolishness created any additional weight or hardship for you, then please forgive me’
He got choked up as he apologized to worshippers at the Village Church in Dallas saying, ‘I’m sorry, I failed you,’ adding that he felt as if he had ‘fallen short of the glory of God.’
His wife, Lauren Chandler, 42, whom he shares three children with and is a deacon of the church, stood by his side.
During his return to the stage, Chandler was greeted with a standing ovation by congregants and spoke of the two intensives and neurological exam he had to undergo as part of his healing journey.
‘I said back on the (August) 28th, I was real disoriented when this happened because I didn’t understand how it happened. I mean I’m a man who guards his life and Doctrine fairly closely and so I was disoriented by the fact that the accusation came and then I was confused by even some of the things that progressed after that.’
‘I do think that it revealed some unhealth in me. That was a blind spot that I just couldn’t see and so I couldn’t be more grateful.’
‘If you don’t know my backstory we probably needed to do that. Right? I don’t have a frontal lobe. If you remember that back in ’09, if you’re a guest, I had brain cancer. I had to do some surgery. I think that process has given me insight into exactly what happened.’
The frontal lobes are thought responsible for ‘mood, personality, self-awareness, as well as social and moral reasoning,’ according to the National Library of Medicine. A common characteristic of frontal lobe damage is difficulty interpreting feedback from the environment, which can look like risk taking.
Chandler has been the lead pastor at the Southern Baptist Church for 20 years, and Friday marked his anniversary at the church.
An investigation was underway within the church after a woman had approached Chandler with concerns about his direct messaging ‘on Instagram with a friend of hers.’
Chandler underwent intense therapy before he was reinstated as the leader of the church, a position he has held for the last 20 years
The Chandler family was on the pulpit at the end of Sunday’s sermon
Last week, church elders were sent an email informing them that Chandler would be returning to the church after time away to reflect and heal.
In a pre-Thanksgiving Instagram post – November 24 – he shared the terrifying ordeal he went through that brought him to the emergency room due to a ‘grandmal seizure’ that, he said, happened in front of his children, and the grim diagnosis he was given.
‘I hit my head on the mantel, bit through my tongue and was unresponsive. At the hospital they found a golf ball sized tumor in my right frontal lobe that we would find out after a resection of my right frontal lobe was Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma WHO grade III with a prognosis of 2-3 years,’ he wrote, in part.
‘That began radiation followed by 18 months of high dose chemotherapy. That entire holiday season was brutal,’ he wrote.
How do brain tumors cause personality changes?
Brain tumors and surgery can cause extreme personality changes.
As a brain tumor grows, it puts pressure on surrounding tissue affecting the function, process or part of the body that is controlled by that area of the brain.
Personality changes are most common in people when the tumor is located in their frontal lobe, which controls personality, behavior and emotions, problem solving and long-term memory.
Personality changes can also be caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland which controls hormone levels.
This can result from treatments including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Changes in personality and behavior that have occurred as a direct or indirect result of these treatments usually pass gradually as people recover.
Large tumors can have a greater effect as they affect a greater area. However, even a small tumor in a key structure of the brain can have a significant impact.
Personality changes might also be experienced as a natural reaction to the diagnosis and treatment.
The emotional impact of the diagnosis, undergoing treatment, and the lifestyle changes that are often necessary for a person living with a brain tumor, can affect mood, general persona and can cause a person to become more irritable.
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