Tacoma megachurch appoints new lead pastor, moving on from dismissal of longtime leader

Life Center church at 1717 S. Union Ave.
Life Center church at 1717 S. Union Ave. News Tribune file photo

Three months after formally severing ties with its longtime leader, Tacoma’s Life Center Assembly of God has chosen a new lead pastor.

Church leaders announced Tuesday that Tyler Sollie, 39, would be appointed to the position. A news release included a statement from Nate Angelo, chairman of the the church’s board of directors, praising Sollie and his wife Amber.

“Their roots run deep in the 253 and their heart and passion for Jesus is clear,” Angelo said. “We look forward to this next season for Life Center as we celebrate 100 years. Tyler’s vision to sustain a generational church that impacts the 253 for Jesus excites us as a church body.”

Sollie is no stranger to the Tacoma campus or its estimated 4,500 members. He graduated from Life Christian Academy in 1998, and later became the lead pastor of Life Center Rainier, a branch of the church based in Frederickson.

He has also served as an interim lead pastor since Dean Curry was fired from the position in July. The dismissal followed an investigation into multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, which Curry denied.

Writing on his personal website Tuesday, Sollie said he and his wife were honored by the opportunity.

“Same church, new seat,” was the headline over his essay. “It is a different seat, but it is the same church. What I love is that we will be serving the same church, just from a different seat. Life Center is one church with multiple locations.

“Throughout this time, I have received calls, texts, emails and notes from people letting us know that they are praying,” Sollie added. “It is hard to express how much that actually means to us.”

Sollie’s parents met and married at the Tacoma church in the 1970s, church leaders said. He has worked at churches in Issaquah and Yakima, and he holds a B.A. in Youth Ministry and Biblical Studies from Northwest University.

News Tribune investigative reporter Sean Robinson won the 2016 Ted Natt First Amendment award for ongoing scrutiny of the Pierce County Prosecutor’s office. Since 2000, he has produced award-winning coverage related to criminal justice, government accountability and public disclosure.