Another heart-breaking fall in Orlando: This time, it's Benny Hinn's younger brother.

sam hinnSam Hinn, the brother of famed TV evangelist Benny Hinn, is taking a leave of absence from his Orlando area church because of a supposed long-term affair, according to the Orlando Sentinel.  This comes just weeks after another popular Florida pastor resigned over a long-term affair.

According to the Sentinel, Sam Hinn is stepping aside, at least for the next couple of months.:

Sanford Pastor Sam Hinn engaged in a four-year love affair with a member of his congregation before being confronted by his wife and church officials, prompting him to step away from the pulpit, according to the woman’s family.

Chantel Wonder said Hinn, the younger brother of televangelist Benny Hinn, initiated the affair with her mother by telling her they were “soul mates” and that God approved of the relationship.

“He put her in a position that this is OK because it’s what God wants. He was using God to justify it,” said Wonder, 28, of St. Petersburg.

Sam Hinn, 51, founded The Gathering Place Worship Center in 1996, about five years before Wonder’s family joined.

Messages left on Hinn’s home phone were not returned. Church officials responded to requests for comment with a copy of the letter Hinn wrote to his congregation, which says:

“As painful as this is to confess, I have allowed myself to be drawn into a relationship that has caused much hurt and pain to my wife and family. I have repented and asked for and received their forgiveness.”

Wonder said her father became aware of the affair in December 2008 after he found text and voice messages from Hinn on his wife’s phone. At the time, his wife denied the affair. The couple, who were married June 20, 1980, divorced on Feb. 14, 2012.

Wonder said Hinn, who is married and has four children, continued the affair after her parents divorced. She said church officials confronted Hinn with evidence of the affair in December 2012, but he refused to admit he was involved with the woman.

On Jan. 14, Hinn denied the allegations of an affair to his wife, but promised not to talk to the woman again, Wonder said. Later the same day, she said, Hinn’s car was photographed parked outside her mother’s apartment.

On Wednesday, church officials read Hinn’s letter to the congregation, in which he says, “…I am taking a leave of absence from any and all ministry so I can focus my full energy on both my walk with God and restoration in my family.”


So… he’s taking a couple of months off to get it together.  Good for him.

As we continue to have this conversation about grace and restoration, I’m wondering if a good rule of thumb, even if the person involved is totally repentant, would be that they sit on the ministry leadership sidelines at least the same amount of time that they were involved in the affair or immoral activity.

Is that a stupid idea, or does it have some merit?

I’d love to hear your thoughts… please do leave a comment.

Read more here at the Sentinel.


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  • Steve Miller January 22, 2013 Reply

    It is a long process usually, not sure if there is a rule of thumb to a set time, but just the fact Mr. Hinn is saying a couple of months would be a big red flag in my book. He is saying I’ll be back when I think I’m ready; leadership correction does not work like that. You aren’t in control and you don’t get to set your own “punishment.” You place yourself in God’s hands and accept you may never come back, it is up to Him to decide if and when. And then you submit to other godly leader’s discernment and invite them to turn you deceptive heart around as God leads them and empowers them to.

    • Lisa48 February 19, 2013 Reply

      Amen brother.

    • Larry Hope March 16, 2013 Reply

      Sam was not the only leader having affairs in his church, There was another leader at the same time having an affair with now my ex wife. It was kept quiet and swept under the carpet. When Sam found out he never reached out to me….. only two people reached out to me and they were pastors in another church.

      • Wonder March 28, 2013 Reply

        Larry – When my father confronted Sam Hinn about the evidence he had and knew that they were having an affair, Sam ignored him for over 4 years! Wrote back some emails at first apologizing for what he did but NEVER met with my dad! And now it’s about the Hinn’s and not the other family, of course. The person who exposed everything has even been forgotten. Everybody there are the “christian’s” that make people not want to go to church anymore. I am so sorry to hear about your situation. I think I know who you are and I am just so sorry for what you have gone through. By the way, our family has not received an apology at all. It is like they just do not care about our family at all. If I didn’t do what I did, none of this would be going on right now.

      • dawn May 11, 2013 Reply

        Lord help us!! Leaders dont know the impact they have not only on their family but on other people lives. Well I quess 2013 is the year God is pulling off the covers of every secret sin. The coming of the Lord is near and the church need to be in order. The fear of the Lord is not in the church anymore. We have everything else coming out of the closet like never before because the church is part of the closet. May God raise up true men and women of God that will impact the world in these last days for the Kingdom of God. Much Love

  • Scott January 22, 2013 Reply

    1Timothy 3 tells us that an overseer is to be above reproach, a husband to one wife (literally in the Greek a one woman type of man). So the question perhaps needs to be asked in a few months or even years, is Mr Hinn known as a faithful man, a man of one women? Does the accusation of being unfaithful to his wife “stick”? I would suggest erasing this stigma from the memory of his church will not happen over night. It will take time, a lot of counseling/accountability and transparency. Trust has been blown, that is why we see in scripture that character of a pastor being emphasized over ability.

    Hopefully this is a reminder to all men ( not just pastors) that there will be serious consequences to actions of unfaithfulness with many innocent people being hurt.

    • Lisa48 February 19, 2013 Reply

      Amen to that too.

    • Sharon February 14, 2014 Reply

      Having worked in the ministry for quite a few years I’ve seen this happen over and over again. Its almost like some of these church leaders are thinking they can go ahead and please the flesh – that God will forgive them. Yes, God does forgive, however, look at the impact this event has on the congregation, especially the vulnerable youth. To let this person come back into leadership is a big mistake for all those concerned. It doesn’t matter who owns the building…the building is not the church. The church is the people. In my humble opinion the people should oust that pastor permanently and look for someone more reputable to lead them. God Bless all the people who got caught up in this act of unfaithfulness, and pure sin.

  • Bruce January 23, 2013 Reply

    Amen to that.

  • turby January 23, 2013 Reply

    In any other profession you loose your license. The church has super morality, right?

  • Stephen Teale January 23, 2013 Reply

    Deception of any kind destroys the ability to be believed. If he has used the voice of God to justify this “relationship” for this long how can anyone believe he has ever been listening to the voice of God. Ministry should be the last thing he is allowed to do. Repentance is not what he has done he is simply sorry that he got caught and would still be doing it if he had not, evidenced by the fact that he denied the relationship even when presented with evidence, and then lied to his wife about having further contact with the other woman. This is the last man i would want teaching me or anyone i know about scripture.

    • Lisa48 February 19, 2013 Reply

      That’s right.

  • Lynn January 23, 2013 Reply

    It amazes me when these leaders say, ” I will be back in a couple of months.” Long term affair, lied several times yet kept doing it, did not admit until caught, justified it by the word of God, etc. The issue is not forgiveness but a restoration of integrity and trust. Thankful to be a part of a fellowship where a substantial amount of time in a restorative process is required.

    • Lisa48 February 19, 2013 Reply

      It would take at least a year or two to find out if he “has truly repented.” But he has to “know and agree that he sinned and committed adultery” and he most likely will also need “deliverance” to break all ungodly soul ties from this woman and from the spirits of LUST AND ADULTERY and other spirits that he allowed to control him. God help him. We need to pray for his wife and children. God help them too.

  • Nathan J January 23, 2013 Reply

    I thought of the same thing as Steve. Mr. Hinn denied having the affair. Let me use the biblical term “Adultery.” He sounds to me to not being very repentant. The saddest issue for me is the destruction of one marriage and possibly two. Both families are hurt. We as Christians should be more concerned about the restoration of the relationship with Christ then a restoration of a man so he can preach again. Without the first, forget the rest!

  • donjones January 23, 2013 Reply

    Ditto on the adultery comment – this wasn’t a “four-year love affair” = it was four years of adultery

  • Stephen Canfield January 23, 2013 Reply

    Well if you know anything about the Hinn’s family theology, this isn’t any different. If you use the Bible for “blab it and grab it,” or “name it and claim it,” then its probably safe to assume he was within his own theological boundaries blabbing and grabbing something that did not belong to him. This stinks of similarity to Benny and Paula White. All signs point to the idea that these aren’t men of substance but pomp and prominence.

  • josh miller February 8, 2013 Reply

    According to God’s standard even if you look upon a women lustfully you have committed adultery in your heart.This is why we need saving. If you check out who God used to write Psalms or other books of the bible who murdered and adultery. Then you would have to discredit most of the Bible. Who can God use? He is the God who justifies the ungodly. I qualify how about you?

    • Lisa48 February 19, 2013 Reply

      These people you are talking about payed dearly for their sins. They repented, but they suffered the consequences of their sin, and so did some members of their family. The sins of the fathers… King David was one of them.

  • Anne H. Sunnarvik February 19, 2013 Reply

    That is absolutely a very good idea. There should always be a time of stepping back and not be in the spotlight after having had an affair or other situations that necessitate the person to draw back.

  • Frank February 19, 2013 Reply

    It seems to me that the bible says that we are not to judge and that we are not to be talking behind peoples back and defaming others integrity. Dont you think we as “Christians” should
    uphold God’s commands and not be found guilty of breaking them. We dont want these spirits to get into our spirits. Love him, encourage him, pray for him and leave him to God for judgement.

  • Connie Stuart March 7, 2013 Reply

    People love to follow the lives of their favourite celebrity (idol). These (pastors) are just part of the unreal entertainment world. American Idol !! What is really disturbing to me is that many of these wives stay with the abuse and public humiliation while, in this case, the husband promptly divorces and moves on. Mrs. Haggard and Mrs. Swaggart are the real heads of the family now…

  • liberty1 March 11, 2013 Reply

    the fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffi i feel for the people claiming to be christians who are sincerely searching for a relationship with god, being duped by a man unable to control his life. am familiar with this type of ministry and sorry to say since i have been out of it i havent seen any great revelation more than i used to preach 12 years ago. same old thing; give give give. use your mansion and mercedes to pay the bills, shylock and do the people a favor and get a real job.

  • LH March 15, 2013 Reply

    There was another leader at Sam Hinns church having affair at the same time.

  • jairou April 5, 2013 Reply

    This affair makes me angry because it was not a temptation and fall and then recovery; but a temptation, fall and keeping doing it for 4 years, and during that time getting the tithes of the church, leading the worship, blessing the Lord’s supper with absolute disregard of God himself. Sam Hinn also confesses to the church pornographic addictions on his past after being converted, so here is a case of a person filled with lascivious thoughts and far from the spirit of God, leading two congregations and even ministering to pastors and leaders.

  • Scott Johnson May 16, 2013 Reply

    The sin of adultery by someone in the pulpit is a very heinous sin. Not only is this a blatant and basic example of the definition of hypocrisy, it is also immensely painful to not only family members but the people who look up to that person as a representative of God. I believe in repentance, but sometimes saying, “I apologize” isn’t enough. God forgives, but people shouldn’t be foolish and allow the fox into the hen house of their lives again.

  • JAMES (@1bryden1) May 21, 2013 Reply

    God forgives IMMEDIATELY, but men are slow to forgive. What if God required the same length of time that we have been guilty of smaller offenses before He would use us again??? It is NOT up to men to pass judgment, that should be left to his wife. It is a disgrace for Christians to act as a Sanhedrin, for “who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own Master he stands or falls.” Why are professing believers so quick to get on the bandwagon of judging others???

    • Isaac May 21, 2013 Reply

      When you are a sinner without Christ, yes, you are forgiven immediately; but when someone is a preacher born again many years ago, who knows adultery and fornication is hated by the Lord, have that sin with him for 4 years, leading praise and worship, ministering the Lord’s supper, pressing the church to give money all the time and leaving a life high above the medium income standard, is different; and when you are a member of that church is different.
      This should not be tolerated.
      ! Christians should be jealous of the church of Christ !

  • Ella Adkins February 12, 2014 Reply

    I am just lost for words.. Here again we have a picture of man who is weak, This is a proven point that anyone can fall, and will fall. yet they don’t have to keep going with the sin.. I know the family is the one who hurts most. Sam Hinn was always one of my favorites, wondering why hasn’t he been on T.V for awhile! never thinking that he was doing something like this. They are not above sin, they are human to. Yet they are suppose to be above it. Yes repent, get out of the pulpit and stay out of it until God puts you back in it. You can’t sit your own time to go back and think its going to work. It won’t you have got to grow in faith an strength also mending bridges that you have made with the people you hurt. Lord help us all, no wonder the sinners don’t want to go to church. its things like this that keeps them from wanting to be a Christian. Praying for his wife and kids, and the other family that he has destroyed.. God be with them all is my prayer.

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