Willow Creek church leaders say some allegations against ex-pastor Bill Hybels are true

SOUTH BARRINGTON, Ill. (WLS) -- Leaders of the Willow Creek Community Church released a stunning apology Wednesday night regarding allegations of misconduct involving former pastor Bill Hybels.

Hybels recently stepped down from his leadership position at the megachurch ahead of his planned retirement.

He announced he would be retiring six months earlier than planned less than a month after the Chicago Tribune published allegations of unwanted kissing and hugging, suggestive comments and other accusations of improper behavior.

The complaints were reportedly made by women in the congregation, including employees, and spanned decades.

Hybels denied the allegations. But Wednesday night Church Elders in South Barrington admitted that at least some of the allegations against him are true.

In a statement posted on their website, the Elders said in part, "We are sorry. Initially it was stated that the stories were all lies and the individuals were colluding against Bill...We do not believe the stories were all lies or that all the people were colluding against him....We believe at least some of Bill's choices were inappropriate."

The church board promised the congregation it would continue the investigation and provide periodic updates.
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