Why Did Lon Solomon Leave McLean Bible Church?

Lon Solomon’s departure from McLean Bible Church, a prominent evangelical church in Virginia, has raised questions and sparked discussions within the religious community. Solomon served as the senior pastor of McLean Bible Church for 37 years before transitioning to the position of Pastor Emeritus in 2017. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind his departure and the controversies surrounding the church during that time.

Lon Solomon’s Background at McLean Bible Church

Lon Solomon joined McLean Bible Church in 1980 as its pastor, helping to transform it into one of the largest and most influential churches in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. He was known for his dynamic preaching style and ability to connect with people from all walks of life. Under his leadership, the church experienced significant growth and became a beacon of hope for many in the community.

However, after nearly four decades of service, Solomon announced that he would be stepping down as senior pastor and transitioning to the role of Pastor Emeritus. This decision raised eyebrows and led many to speculate on the reasons behind his departure.

Controversies Surrounding Elder Selection

One of the major controversies surrounding Solomon’s departure from McLean Bible Church was related to the process of selecting new elders. Allegations of voting fraud and claims that certain leaders were too “woke” or “left” surfaced, leading to a tense atmosphere within the church. Critics accused opponents of practicing cancel culture and attempting to silence dissenting voices.

Some church members expressed concerns about the elder selection process and the direction the church was taking. These issues raised questions about the transparency and integrity of the decision-making process within the church’s leadership.

Changes in Church Leadership

Another factor that played a role in Solomon’s departure was the change in church leadership. After Solomon transitioned to Pastor Emeritus, the church underwent significant changes under the leadership of David Platt, who stepped into the role of senior pastor. Platt, who was already an evangelical celebrity in his own right, brought his own vision and approach to pastoral ministry.

This transition of leadership, combined with the controversies surrounding elder selection, created tensions within the congregation. Some long-time members of the church felt disillusioned and uncertain about the future direction of the church.

The Role of Theology and Social Justice

Another aspect that contributed to Solomon’s departure from McLean Bible Church was the theological differences and debates surrounding social justice issues. Solomon, known for his conservative theological stance, made a statement in opposition to what he considered the social justice heresy. He signed the Dallas Statement on Social Justice and the Gospel, which opposed certain tenets of the social justice movement.

The growing prominence of social justice issues within the church and society at large created divisions among the congregation. Some members believed that the church should engage more actively in social justice initiatives, while others felt that the focus should remain primarily on traditional biblical teachings.

Discontentment and Internal Struggles

Aside from the controversies surrounding elder selection and theology, it is important to consider the personal factors that may have factored into Solomon’s decision to leave McLean Bible Church. Pastors, like all individuals, experience struggles and inner turmoil that can influence their decisions.

Lon Solomon reportedly went through a period of intense personal struggle, which led him to consider suicide as “the only reasonable way out.” This indicates that there may have been deeper personal issues at play. Lon Solomon’s departure from McLean Bible Church may have been a result of a combination of these personal struggles, discontentment with the direction of the church, and theological differences.


The reasons behind Lon Solomon’s departure from McLean Bible Church are multifaceted and complex. Controversies surrounding the elder selection process, changes in church leadership, theological differences, and personal struggles all likely played a role in his decision to step down as senior pastor. However, it is important to approach these issues with grace and a recognition that pastors, like all individuals, face challenges and make decisions based on a variety of factors.