JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Longtime Senior Pastor Mac Brunson preached his final sermon at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville Sunday.
Brunson is resigning after preaching at the 10,000-member church for the past 12 years.
During his tenure, First Baptist Church of Jacksonville opened the First Baptist Academy and this fall the academy will expand to include a high school.
The church also expanded it sprawling downtown venue to include a huge South campus and will break ground for a third campus in a few weeks.
Brunson was not available to speak to News4Jax but we were able to talk with his replacement, Pastor Heath Lambert, 38.
"I just feel really honored and excited about picking up that mantle and being faithful with it going into the future," Lambert said.
The church released the following statement regarding Brunson's departure:
"Whenever a pastor leaves a place of service it is common for rumors of a scandal to circulate. We want to be clear that no such scandal exists at First Baptist, or in the ministry of Dr. Brunson."
"Dr. Brunson's service has been characterized by moral and ministerial faithfulness, and no individual or group within our church asked him to leave."
Next Sunday, First Baptist Church will have a guest preacher take the pulpit. Lambert will preach his first sermon as the sole senior pastor on May 20.