Christianity Today editor who called for Trump’s removal is retiring Friday

Mark Galli, the editor-in-chief of Christianity Today who infuriated nearly 200 evangelical leaders by writing a December editorial calling for President Trump’s removal from office and describing the president as being “profoundly immoral,” is stepping down at the end of this week.

Galli confirmed his departure in a Twitter message on New Year’s Eve.

“Well, my retirement is a couple of days away,” Galli wrote. “Will be posting here more often now that I have more time on my hands. Well, given last week, maybe not.”

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On Wednesday night, the magazine’s Twitter account also confirmed that Galli will be leaving, and wrote that his future plans include continuing a weekly newsletter.

“Our editor in chief for two more days,” the magazine posted, followed by a crying emoji.

“If you’re wanting to keep up with Mark after he retires, he will still be sending out his weekly newsletter each Friday,” CT added in a second message.

Galli’s Dec. 19 editorial, titled “Trump Should Be Removed From Office,” came one day after the House of Representatives approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump, making the nation’s 45th president the third in history to be impeached – behind Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. (Richard Nixon resigned in 1974, before the House could vote to impeach him.)

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Mark Galli is stepping down Friday as editor-in-chief of Christianity Today. (Facebook)

Mark Galli is stepping down Friday as editor-in-chief of Christianity Today. (Facebook)

The Galli editorial, in a leading publication for the nation’s evangelical Christian community – and one that was founded by the late Rev. Billy Graham in 1956 – sparked an intense reaction, including from Graham’s son, the Rev. Franklin Graham.

“My father knew Donald Trump, believed in Donald Trump, and in this last election, he voted for Donald Trump,” the son of the late pastor – and president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association – told Fox News in December. “And if he were here today, I'm sure he would tell you that himself.”

“My father knew Donald Trump, believed in Donald Trump, and in this last election, he voted for Donald Trump. And if he were here today, I'm sure he would tell you that himself.”

— The Rev. Franklin Graham, son of the late Rev. Billy Graham

While many liberals hailed Galli, saying his decision to oppose Trump showed “courage,” nearly 200 evangelical leaders condemned what he had written, saying the anti-Trump editorial had “offensively questioned the spiritual integrity and Christian witness of tens-of-millions of believers who take seriously their civic and moral obligations.”

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In his editorial, Galli invoked the mission of Billy Graham, to "help evangelical Christians interpret the news in a manner that reflects their faith."

"We want CT to be a place that welcomes Christians from across the political spectrum, and reminds everyone that politics is not the end and purpose of our being," Galli wrote. "That said, we do feel it necessary from time to time to make our own opinions on political matters clear — always, as Graham encouraged us, doing so with both conviction and love. We love and pray for our president, as we love and pray for leaders (as well as ordinary citizens) on both sides of the political aisle."

Galli acknowledged that Democrats "have had it out for [Trump] from day one" and that the president "did not have a serious opportunity to offer his side of the story" during the impeachment process.

However, Galli added, “the facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”

Galli, 67, a native of California, had previously announced his departure plans in October.

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“I’ve been EIC for about seven years now,” he wrote in CT at the time, “and as it goes with many jobs, I think I finally understand what I should have been doing all along! It has been quite a ride for the ministry, economically and journalistically. Some definite lows, to be sure, and some wonderful highs. Aside from a strong sense of God's call, what's given me most joy is the people I have worked with — men and women who are passionate about their faith and dedicated to their work, and have a sense of humor to boot."

Christianity Today CEO Dr. Timothy Dalrymple announced at the time that Galli’s successor will be Dr. Daniel Harrell, a longtime minister and author.

Fox News’ Caleb Parke, Frank Miles and Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this story.