At the end of last Sunday mass (22/05) in the US city of Warsaw, Indiana, Reverend John Lowe II said he had a confession: “I have committed adultery.”
The pastor of New Life Christian Church and Global Outreach, who has been married for 45 years, said he had “mistaken” in a relationship that lasted “for too long”, which happened “20 years ago”. He announced his resignation from his duties.
At the end of his speech, followers paid tribute to Lowe, 65, after he admitted his infidelity.
Shortly thereafter, a woman, whose identity has not been revealed, stepped onto the stage and said she would like to tell her version of this story.
He said that did not happen “20 years ago” but “27 years ago”. She also revealed that she was 16 years old at the time of the accident.
He said, “I was 16 when I took my virginity on your office floor. Do you remember that? I know I do.”
A 14-minute video posted to Facebook by someone who attended Sunday mass shows the pastor and the victim speaking.
“I did things to my teenage body that I should never have done,” the woman said.
She said the relationship lasted nine years and that she lived in a “prison of lies and shame”.
He said people in the congregation know what happened but are “too afraid to take action.”
“No one came to me, no one ever helped me, no one gave me advice,” says the woman, who described having struggled with suicidal thoughts and blaming herself for years for her affair with a married pastor.
“This church is built on lies, but no more,” said the woman – Image: Procreation/Facebook via BBC
After the woman finishes her talk and leaves, a portion of the devotees approaches the pastor and circles around him to begin the prayer.
However, other devout patrons took issue with the report that he had started an affair with a 16-year-old girl – something he confirmed, though he always used the word “adultery” to sum up what happened.
The age of majority in Indiana is 16 years.
The church said its leaders confronted Lowe after the woman told them a “long-kept secret” they had no prior knowledge of.
“It is our prayer and obligation to love, support, encourage and assist her in the healing process in any way we can,” reads a note from New Life Christian Church & World Outreach.).
According to local television, the county attorney general is investigating what was revealed.
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