A LEADING evangelical preacher and Bible teacher has resigned after 25 years of ministry and left his wife because of a relationship with a male member of his congregation.|
Roy Clements, 53, pastor of the Eden Baptist Church in Fitzroy Road, Cambridge, since 1979, is renowned in evangelical circles for his fundamentalist teaching and has served on the council of the Evangelical Alliance. He announced his resignation from the council and other Christian charities, including World Alive, by letter earlier this month.
The Evangelical Alliance released a carefully-worded statement saying Mr Clements had left "following the breakdown of his marriage which is related to his celibate friendship with another man". It is understood that the relationship began seven years ago when the other man, whose identity has not been revealed, began worshipping at the church.
The two men have now left Cambridge and moved to the North-East. His wife, Jane Clements, has moved into a house she has inherited from her family in Cambridge. The couple have three children aged 12, 20 and 25.
The affair has deeply embarrassed the alliance which represents a staunchly evangelical constituency which believes homosexual relationships are sinful and homosexuality a spiritual affliction which can be cured.
Viscount Brentford, chairman of the alliance's executive committee, said: "The council wants to affirm Roy for the work and ministry he has undertaken. He has shown integrity in his decision to resign from the alliance and other evangelical bodies. We are praying for Roy and his family and would strongly urge they now be given time, space, support and prayers."
Before his resignation, Mr Clements was regarded as a leading light in the evangelical church who had built up a congregation of 600 with a large ministry among Cambridge students.
21 January 1998: Evangelicals say sorry to homosexuals