I have never visited 10th Presbyterian Church. I’ve only had a couple of connections to the congregation. When we were working at The Stony Brook School, an evangelical boarding school on Long Island, 10th Presbyterian pastor James Montgomery Boice helped me find housing in Philadelphia during my year as a fellow at the Philadelphia Center for Early American Studies (now McNeil Center for American Studies). Boice was a Stony Brook School graduate. Later, I taught the granddaughter of legendary 10th Presbyterian Church pastor Donald Grey Barnhouse. She was a history major at Messiah College.
I have always seen 10th Presbyterian as a flagship institution of American evangelicalism and a Philadelphia spiritual landmark. From Henry Augustus Boardman to Barnhouse to Boice to Philip Ryken (current president of Wheaton College), 10th Presbyterian has been one of the country’s great pulpits.
Here is Steve Rabey at Ministry Watch:
Liam Goligher is out as pastor at Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church, an historic and influential congregation in the Presbyterian Church in America, but critics are asking what took so long.
Goligher, who arrived at Tenth in 2011, was arrested and pleaded guilty in July 2014 to “personal conduct” charges in a city park in Lancaster, Penn., with Susan Elzey. The Lancaster Parks and Recreation Department confirmed to MinistryWatch that “personal conduct” is language often used to identify lewd or sexual behavior.
Though the incident took place nearly a decade ago, it was made public this week by a watchdog group called Anglican Watch.
But both Goligher and Elzey maintained their leadership positions in the church for nine years since the incident.
Anglican Watch is a volunteer-run nonprofit publication that advocates on behalf of “those hurt or abused by the church” in Episcopalian and “other faith traditions.” It published a series of posts, including one detailing the nine-year-old criminal dockets that included the guilty pleas of the couple.
The administrator of Tenth Presbyterian Church, Jim Hess, provided the following statement to MinistryWatch:
Dr. Liam Goligher resigned as Senior Minister of Tenth Presbyterian Church on Friday, December 1, 2023. This has been difficult news for the Tenth community. The formal dissolution of the pastoral relationship will be conducted according to the polity of the Presbyterian Church in America. Tenth Church has no further information regarding the 2014 citations of Dr. Goligher and Susan Elzey other than what is publicly available. Our denomination also has a process for addressing questions which the citations could raise. Concerns related to Dr. Goligher will be referred to the Philadelphia Presbytery and those pertaining to Susan Elzey to Tenth’s Session.
Goligher has disappeared from the church’s staff page, but you can still access hundreds of his sermons. It appears he last preached there on Nov. 26, delivering a sermon on Ephesians 1. Goligher has also had a long association with Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) and The Gospel Coalition. Both organizations have removed content by Goligher.
Read the rest here.