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Pastor Bob Coy

Pastor Bob Coy, Thousands of parishioners attending a special Sunday afternoon meeting at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale were stunned to learn that the megachurch’s popular founder and leader, Pastor Bob Coy, had abruptly resigned.

The reason given by church elders: “a moral failing.”

“Most people were shocked,” said congregant Robert Milne, of Wilton Manors, who attended the standing room-only meeting that drew an estimated 7,500 parishioners. “A lot of people were hurt, a lot of people are disappointed.”

Coy, 58, and his wife Diane founded the Fort Lauderdale church nearly 30 years ago. Today, it consists of the main campus and six affiliated churches in Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, West Boca, Plantation, Hollywood and the Keys.

Pastors read a letter from Coy at the special meeting saying he was sorry for his transgressions and that the church will continue to flourish. Coy did not return calls to his cellphone Sunday night.

Church elders said Coy was not present Sunday at the main church, which occupies a large tract in the 2400 block of Cypress Creek Road in Fort Lauderdale.