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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

"America's Manliest Church" Pastor Heath Mooneyham Resigns after DWI Charge

  • Carrie Dedrick
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2014 Sep 29
  • Comments

Heath Mooneyham, pastor of Ignite Church in Joplin Missouri, has apologized to his church and stepped down from his position after receiving a DWI charge on Sept. 16. 


Mooneyham said to the Ignite congregation, "My actions and behavior have led to grief and disappointment for my family, Ignite Church and the people of Joplin. For that I am truly sorry."


The pastor said, “Reality is me using alcohol to self-medicate. I use it sometimes to sleep, to calm frayed nerves after a difficult day, and sometimes just simply to escape pain and reality. As a result, I have been leading from a place of very real weakness, hurt and vulnerability.” 


Mooneyham has committed to personally abstaining from alcohol. 


Ignite is known as “America’s manliest church” and is geared to attract men between 18 and 35, assuming that the men’s wives and children will join them. The church held a gun raffle to attract new members on Father’s Day in June 2014. 



Publication date: September 29, 2014