Less than eight months after Sam Hinn stepped down from the pulpit of his Orlando-area church amid a sexual scandal, the younger brother of evangelist Benny Hinn is being publicly re-ordained on Sunday.
Bishop Mark Chironna, founder and senior pastor of Church on the Living Edge in Longwood, Fla., sent out a phone message to the church's members this week announcing that Hinn would be "re-ordained" by Chironna, Archbishop Lonnie Langston and six other bishops. The message indicated that Langston, founder of Tabernacle Bible College and Seminary, would be installing Hinn as a professor at the Tampa, Fla., school.
Neither Chironna nor Langston returned Charisma News’ calls seeking comment on the re-ordination, but the message from Chironna's ministry said:
"This Sunday evening at 7:30, Bishop Lonnie Langston and a presbytery of 6 other pastors and bishops, including myself, are gonna be re-ordaining Pastor Sam Hinn at Church on the Living Edge. And I want to encourage as many of you that love Pastor Sam to come out and be a part of that.
"I've been part of the presbytery team in Pastor Sam's journey in the last number of months with everything that's gone on—and the bishops and pastors are all in hearty agreement that it's time to re-ordain Pastor Sam as he's gonna be working with the Tabernacle Bible College and Seminary as a professor. And we want to affirm that he's doing well and he certainly is, and that his family is doing well and they certainly are.
"And so Sunday night is gonna be a very special night—if you have any relationship at all with Pastor Sam, I know that he'd be blessed if you would be a part of that. So, I wanna let everyone know that's a special—special night; and we would love for you to join us and be part of that on Sunday evening at 7:30."
Earlier this year, Hinn admitted to allowing himself "to be drawn into a relationship that has caused much hurt and pain to my wife and family. I have repented and asked for and received their forgiveness. Scripture states that I must bring forth the fruit of repentance if I expect to be restored."
Hinn served as pastor of the Gathering Place Worship Center in Sanford, Fla., which holds two morning services attended by about 300 people each, plus a small Arabic service on Sunday afternoon. When Hinn admitted to an immoral relationship that lasted more than four years, the church board said, "Pastor Sam Hinn has been relieved of all ministry responsibilities and as the official board, we have outlined a restoration process. This process includes pastoral and professional counseling, as well as a mandatory time out of ministry so that all fractures in both his personal and family life may be healed."
Ron Johnson, pastor of One Church (Assembly of God) in nearby Longwood, was asked by the Gathering Place's church board to oversee the restoration process and did so for the first three months. After a disagreement over restoration stipulations, however, Johnson became estranged from the process. He told Charisma News he does not agree with timing of the re-ordination and will be making a public statement through this platform in the coming days.