BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (ABP) — Baptist pastor and football chaplain Rick Ousley, founder of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., has temporarily withdrawn from his evangelistic ministry after admitting to an extramarital affair.
Ousley and the directors of his Quixotic Ministries agreed to the removal earlier this month, soon after he admitted to the affair. Ousley also agreed to resign from his post as chaplain of Samford University's football team.
“I have sinned a great sin, and I have brought shame to my Lord and my family and the family of faith,” Ousley told The Alabama Baptist March 23. “I know my heart is right with God, with my wife and with my children. I pray it can be right with the people who know us. All I know to do right now is take the highest road I know: to confess and forsake the sin, and to cling to God and my family.”
The affair was publicized by Donna Jones, 43, of Katy, Texas, who was quoted in the March 23 issue of The Birmingham News. Jones said the relationship began in 1981, after Ousley and his first wife divorced, and then resurfaced at least twice. The News said Jones was 18 years old when she became involved with Ousley and said the contact continued after he married his current wife.
According to Jones, she most recently met with Ousley during his trips with Samford's football team and when he preached at Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston.
The 55-year-old evangelist said in a March 23 statement that he has acknowledged his sin “to God, my wife, my family and to my ministry team. We are all now attempting to deal with this as God leads. I ask for your prayers during this difficult time.”
Ousley was senior pastor of the Brook Hills church for 15 years and led the church to grow from 37 members to more than 4,000 in worship attendance. He retired from the church in 2005 after undergoing two brain surgeries.
He had continued preaching through Quixotic Ministries, which he founded in 2005. A well-known and much sought-after evangelist, Ousley has canceled his speaking engagements and ministry-related activities for 90 to 120 days. After that term, the Quixotic board of directors will re-evaluate Ousley's tenure.
— This story first ran in The Alabama Baptist newspaper.