Agape Christian Fellowship’s board has fired the church’s founder and pastor, Terry Hornbuckle, because of his sexual assault convictions, according to a statement released Tuesday.
His wife, Renee Hornbuckle of Colleyville, will take over as senior pastor for at least four months.
A group of pastors and bishops from around the country will evaluate her based on “her readiness and capacity to serve as senior pastor on an indefinite basis,” the statement read. Renee Hornbuckle had been assistant pastor at the southeast Arlington church.
Board Chairman Charles Richardson declined to say who is in the advisory group.
The statement also said the church’s bylaws prohibit a person convicted of a sex offense from returning to the church in any official capacity.
Hornbuckle, 44, who founded the church in an abandoned Dairy Queen in the mid-1980s, was convicted Aug. 22 of raping three women, two of whom were former congregants. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
He said that the sex was consensual and that the women, who filed a lawsuit, were after money.