David Tarkington has been silent since the story broke, refusing to speak to the news media, but did feel an obligation to speak to his church - very reminiscent of how Jerry Vines handled the controversy when his sermon at the 2002 SBC Pastor's Conference gained national news attention. Vines did not speak publicly on the controversy until he was in front of his people the following Sunday, when he gave a brief statement and has been mostly silent since about the controversy.
But Sunday David Tarkington did address the Lotto tithe gift controversy, and you can listen to his statement and his sermon by clicking here:
This link is a download of the entire .mp3 file, and it may take several minutes to download.
In his statement he explains that he did struggle with the decision, that he made his decision because God spoke to him through His word, and he stated that he is friends and pastor of the family offering the gift and they agreed with his decision. He said that since, his decision has been confirmed by people, pastors, and friends who have spoken to him. When I listen to David Tarkington I hear a humble man, a man who desires to be a shepherd of his people, a man who genuinely loves his people, who made a decision that was in the best interests of his church.
Lord bless you David Tarkington. You made the right decision, and God has been glorified, and you have shepherded your church well. May other pastors learn a lesson in all of this.