Staffers Quit Venue Church After Confronting Pastor With Allegations of Affair, Misconduct
Dec 23, 2021
by Leonardo Blair
At least eight employees of Venue Church, a fast-growing congregation based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have reportedly quit their jobs over alleged misconduct by Pastor Tavner Smith, who is allegedly shown kissing a woman who is not his wife in a video that recently surfaced online.
Last Friday afternoon, staff and volunteers confronted Smith about the video recorded in North Georgia, The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.
Two former employees and four volunteers or members previously connected to the church told the newspaper that the eight employees quit after confronting the pastor about a rumored affair with a church employee.
….Court records show that the pastor and his wife, Danielle Smith, who have three kids, began divorce proceedings in May, according to The Times Free Press.
Before the report, several individuals who said they are former members or employees of the church publicly made significant allegations of pastoral abuse and misconduct against Smith and his leadership team, including what they suggest is a pattern of marital infidelity.
….He [Former Venue Church employee Colt Chandler Helton] recalled once watching the church’s worship pastor “slam his wife against a wall in the green room prior to going on stage.” Helton insisted that the pastor would “talk to her like a dog” and scream “submit to me, women.’”
…Helton also suggested that Smith may have been intimately involved with females in the church other than his wife.
“I witnessed on many times the lead pastor have ‘alone time’ with females on the worship team and congregation,” he wrote, while pointing out how the church’s theology devolved into something resembling the “prosperity gospel.”