BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The pastor of one of the largest churches in metro Baton Rouge is taking a leave from the church.
Pastor Dino Rizzo told members of the Healing Place Church during services Sunday that he needed to take time off, several members confirm.
The church issued a statement Tuesday saying that the Healing Place spirituality board determined that Rizzo needed the sabbatical.
The church statement says Rizzo has "humbly and willingly embraced the board's plan."
The statement also included comments attributed to Rizzo. "I have not felt myself, spiritually, physically or emotionally for several months now," Rizzo said. "My physically exhausted, spiritually depleted state has affected my decision making, my family life and my ability to lead effectively," Rizzo said.
The statement from Healing Place says a length for the sabbatical will "depend on the healing process" and has not been determined.
"We have a strong team of pastors and leaders who will continue to work in Pastor Rizzo's absence," the statement said.
The full statement from the Healing Place Church reads:
Healing is what Healing place church is all about. After 20 years of uninterrupted outreach to hurting people, lead pastor Dino Rizzo has found that he also needs a time of healing.
"I have not felt myself, spiritually, physically or emotionally for several months now" said Pastor Rizzo. "My physically exhausted, spiritually depleted state has affected my decision making, my family life and my ability to lead effectively"
It has been determined by the spirituality board of Healing Place church that Pastor Rizzo is in need of a sabbatical rest for healing, reflection and restoration of spirit, soul and body. Pastor Rizzo has humbly and willingly embraced the board's plan, which does not include a predetermined period of time. That will depend upon the healing process.
Healing Place Church was never built upon one person or personality, but solely on Jesus Christ. We have a strong team of pastors and leaders who will continue the work in Pastor Rizzo's absence. Healing Place Church will continue in all of its activities including weekly services and a large variety of ministries and outreaches. We will continue to humbly serve our community by being a Healing Place for a hurting world.
Healing Place Church is a nondenominational church with more than 7,000 members in 10 locations. The main church is on Highland Road in Baton Rouge.