Pastor of prominent North Carolina church resigns, admits he plagiarized sermons

Posted: Friday, September 10, 2004

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Rev. E. Glenn Wagner, senior pastor of Charlotte's prominent Calvary Church and former minister-at-large with Promise Keepers, has resigned after admitting parts of some sermons were stolen from other preachers.

Wagner, 51, said ''a losing battle with depression'' led him to plagiarize sermons the past two years and asked for forgiveness in a letter read last Sunday in his absence at four worship services.

''On a number of occasions, when I felt literally empty and devoid of any creative ability, I used material from the sermons of some of my brother preachers,'' Wagner's letter said.

Gary Hubler, clerk of the church's lay board, said Wagner's plagiarism was first detected two weeks ago when a church elder heard a radio sermon that sounded like something he had heard Wagner preach.

Calvary is an independent evangelical congregation with a $39 million complex and 6,000-seat sanctuary. The church draws an average of 3,000 people to Sunday services. Wagner was credited with increasing weekly worship attendance by 1,000 after coming to Calvary in 1997.

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