Nashville Presbytery Issues Statement Regarding Scott Sauls
By Staff
Christ Presbyterian Church

On Nov. 14, 2023, Nashville Presbytery released the following announcement, published here at the presbytery’s request:

Scott Sauls, a member of the Nashville Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in America, was restored to his ministerial office by the Presbytery at its November 14 meeting. Teaching Elder (TE) Sauls is a member in good standing of the Presbytery and may perform all the duties of his office. We praise God for TE Sauls’ demonstrating the fruits of repentance during his six-month suspension and for his return to gospel ministry. 

In the summer of 2022, the Session of Christ Presbyterian Church Nashville received letters containing concerns and grievances from current and former staff about the church leadership. On May 12, 2023, after a nine-month period in which TE Sauls, current staff, and former staff of Christ Presbyterian Church worked with members of the church’s Session (i.e., the governing body of the church) and the Presbytery’s Shepherding Committee, TE Sauls admitted his failings and sins and began the process of repentance toward God, the church, its staff, former staff, the Presbytery, and others. 

TE Sauls confessed to his sins and failings that were revealed during the nine months of intensive exploration of his staff relationships. He acknowledged breaking the 5th commandment (explained in Westminster Larger Catechism [WLC] 129-130) by subjecting church staff to a pattern of relational, emotional, and spiritual neglect. He also admitted breaking the 9th commandment (explained in WLC 144) by fostering a culture of mistrust among the staff. Such actions did not align with the high moral standards of a Christian and especially an elder and pastor. Although TE Sauls’ sins were contrary to biblical morals, they had nothing to do with marital strife, sexual failure, substance abuse, stealing, heretical teaching, or other behaviors commonly tied to unplanned pastoral transitions.

On May 12, the Presbytery formally approved TE Sauls’ confession and pursued a nonjudicial disciplinary resolution called a “case without process.” In these situations, a written confession is used as the basis on which a censure is determined by the Presbytery. The censures imposed can include admonition, suspension, excommunication, and deposition (i.e., removal) from office. 

TE Sauls received the censure of indefinite suspension. This censure was administered because it allowed the Presbytery to evaluate the evidence of TE Sauls’ repentance before restoring him to office. During his six months’ suspension, TE Sauls engaged in intensive counseling, pursued a process of repairing injured relationships, expressed his confession and repentance to Christ Presbyterian Church, and sought reconciliation with those he had wronged. 

At the November 14 Presbytery meeting, TE Sauls presented a statement of his repentance that included information about the steps he had taken to reconcile with those he sinned against. The Presbytery was satisfied with the demonstration of his repentance and restored TE Sauls to office. In accord with our Book of Church Order, this process, and all church discipline, strives for the restoration of the sinner, the purity of the church, and the glory of God. TE Sauls received prayerful encouragement from the elders to continue in his repentance. As TE Sauls said in his remarks to the Presbytery, “True repentance and recovery work are not temporary but ongoing.” 

TE Sauls served as Senior Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church Nashville for 12 years, and through a process of discernment during the time of his suspension he decided to resign his position with the church. On Sunday, November 12, the church voted to receive his resignation and release him from his pastoral call. On November 14, the Presbytery approved the dissolution of TE Sauls’ call with Christ Presbyterian Church. TE Sauls will continue as a member in good standing of the Nashville Presbytery although he is currently without a ministerial call. He will receive the care and support of the Shepherding Committee of the Nashville Presbytery as he continues in his repentance and as he considers other calls.

God gives a variety of callings to Christians, and we consider the pastoral call to be a weighty and noble task. They are entrusted to teach and proclaim the gospel, to shepherd and care for God’s people, and to lead the church with humility and love. Much responsibility comes with a pastoral call, and the Nashville Presbytery asks that you pray for pastors throughout the church. Pray that God would lead these pastors in service with other officers of the church as they proclaim the gospel of the glory of our blessed God with boldness and fidelity. Pray for their protection from sin, that they would be free from reproach, and that God will give them all that they need to love and serve Christ’s church.

The 98 ministers and many ruling elders of the Nashville Presbytery serve over 30 churches in middle Tennessee and southwestern Kentucky; 7 Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) and RUF International campus efforts; numerous missions efforts regionally, nationally, and internationally; and many other ministries. Our vision is to be a unified regional expression of the Presbyterian Church in America committed to extending the work of the Gospel, encouraging, and strengthening our churches, and providing a worshiping and supportive community for our members and member churches. Dr. Neil Spence is the Presbytery’s Stated Clerk, and all inquiries should be directed to him at

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