The Bishop at St. Mark Baptist Church has resigned. The announcement came during the Sunday sermon, when Bishop Steven Arnold told the congregation he would no longer be leading them. That statement stunned the parishioners.
Bishop Arnold is well known in the Little Rock community, and he didn't elaborate on his reason for stepping down. He's been the Senior Pastor at St. Mark Baptist church for the last 20 years, and is known for creating the fast-growing church on 12th street that's seen explosive numbers in membership. From just a few hundred members, to now close to 7,000, St. Mark is the largest African-American church in Arkansas.
Bishop Arnold also ministered to thousands with a television broadcast. Now, there's not even a mention of his name on the church's website. In Arnold's last sermon on Sunday, he asked the congregation for forgiveness for what he calls "personal indiscretions," and resigned from his position.
No one from St. Mark is talking about why the Bishop resigned, but the church did release a statement saying they would address the situation Tuesday afternoon.
St. Mark recently broke ground on a new worship center expected to cost several million dollars. It's unknown what will happen now as the church re-groups and changes leadership. It's also unclear who will lead the church now, and will those thousands of worshipers stay with the church, or leave.
The church has appointed Elder Lamarr Bailey was the person of contact who will be addressing the Bishop's resignation. He was not available Monday. An official statement is expected Tuesday after 3pm.