Monday, 25 June, 2018

USA pastor gets standing ovation after admitting 'sexual incident' with teen

Members of the Highpoint Church in Memphis Tennessee applauded Pastor Andy Savage when he admitted to and apologized for a sexual incident with a high school student 20 years ago Pastor receives standing ovation from congregation after admitting to 'sexual incident' with teenager
Johnnie Parks | 12 January, 2018, 18:13

A United States church pastor who admitted to and asked forgiveness for alleged sexual misconduct in front of his congregation received a standing ovation from them - but the victim says it's not enough.

Megachurch pastor Andy Savage made a confession this past Sunday at Highpoint Church in Memphis, Tennessee.

Woodson said her Texas church never contacted police.

Woodson told the paper that she found the standing ovation "disgusting", and pointed out that he pleaded with her not to tell anyone as soon as she stopped performing oral sex on him.

Woodson said she complied because she was confused and scared.

"Until now, I did not know there was unfinished business with Jules", he said during the service, which was also streamed live online.

According to Woodson's account, in spring 1998 she was hanging out with a group of kids at their church, Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church.

Woodson claimed she notified Larry Cotton, associate pastor of the Baptist church, after the incident in 1998, but was told to keep quiet.

Savage's statement came after a preamble from the head pastor, in which he talked to the congregation about the power of love.

A pastor at a U.S. megachurch has been given a standing ovation after admitting a "sexual incident" with a teenage girl.

Yet instead of following the course of so many recent sexual harassment scandals - reports that have toppled the careers in Hollywood, media and politics - Savage's public outing seems to have failed to upset his position. "I remain committed to cooperate with you toward forgiveness and healing, and I mean that".

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But he said that they stood with Savage and that he had taken "every step to respond in a biblical way".

"I respect your response", Chris Amos Thomas wrote on Facebook in response to a post on Savage's Facebook page directing viewers to his written explanation of the incident on the Highpoint website.

She wrote: "I couldn't concentrate at school".

She says he told her to keep what transpired a secret, and then he got back in the auto and drove her to her home. The pastor concluded his remarks saying 'My repentance over this sin over 20 years ago was done believing God's forgiveness is bigger than any sin, and I still believe that, ' to which the audience cheered.

He added that he told his now-wife about the incident before they became engaged, and that his employers at HighPoint Church were also aware of it before he was hired.

"An apology does not change the fact that what happened to me was against the law and that it was wrong", Woodson explained. "He never came to me, the church told him he couldn't talk to me and they told me I couldn't talk to him".

She said she remained silent until she saw a Twitter post by Savage commenting on the firing of NBC Today show host Matt Lauer for sexual misconduct.

After the incident, she says Savage begged her to take it to her grave.

In the wake of Savage's weekend "confession", Christian publishing company Bethany House said Monday that it had canceled the July publication of Savage's book "The Ridiculously Good Marriage".

"I just hope that by me coming forward that I would give courage to one other person", Jules told the Times.

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