Say What Now? Pastor Tells Congregation He Committed Adultery 20 Years Ago, Churchgoer Steps Forward and Says He Sexually Assaulted Her When She Was 16 [Video]

Pastor John B. Lowe of New Life Christian Church in Warsaw, Indiana confessed to committing ‘adultery’ 20 years ago — but he left out the fact that his transgression was actually the sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl.

Moments later, the girl-now-woman he assaulted took to the stage to correct him — telling the congregation the details of his crime.

Then..the church embraced the pastor.

Actually, he didn’t come out and say that. He only confessed to “adultery.” It was only when the victim took the stage moments later to correct the record—she was 16 and he assaultedher—that he finally acknowledged it.

And then the church embraced… the pastor.

The entire service was streaming live, but cut off right before the pastor made his confession.

Thankfully, someone in the church audience kept recording the service on her phone.

According to a rough transcript from OrangeBean, here’s what Pastor Lowe said:

… That’s why I’m here today. To follow the Biblical process of confession, repentance, and forgiveness. If God wants anything out of us, as we just heard, it’s to bring healing to all who are involved.

I committed adultery. It was nearly 20 years ago. It continued far too long. It involved one person, and there’s been no other, nor any other situation of unbecoming conduct for the last 20 years. 

I will not use the Bible to defend, protect, and deflect my past sin. I have no defense—I committed the adultery. To say it plainly, I didn’t make a mistake, I didn’t have an issue, I didn’t have an affair, I didn’t make a misjudgment. I sinned. I need to say that and you deserve to hear it.

I have been asked why did I wait so long to deal with it? Why hide it all these years? The answer? There is no good answer. I told myself for years silence served to protect everyone: the other person, those closest to her, from the hurt and from the public embarrassment, and I’d like to think that was true. But the truth is that silence was to protect myself as well. 

While applying church discipline for sexual failure, for repentance, confession, and restoration, I myself had not been disciplined for sexual misconduct. I will not use the Bible to defend myself or to beat you into Scriptural submission. 20 years ago, I repented. Now, the day for this fresh hurt, I ask you to forgive me for the deep wound I have caused. 

I make no excuse for my sin. The betrayal of dear friendship, trust, and love is beyond my ability to express. The church is engaged in a healthy, biblical process to restore your trust to the ministry here at New Life. Meanwhile, I hope you believe God called you here… Perhaps for such a time as this.

To believe. To forgive. To heal. So that God can reveal His goodness in you. For the next few weeks, while this church is in this biblical process, please be in a lot of prayer. Stay faithful in Jesus.

To my wife and family who I have deeply hurt, I have confessed my sin. They have gracefully forgiven me and expressed their love to me, which also is deeply humbling.

To those that I sinned against, many years ago and recently, by keeping this in the dark, and to those of you who are wounded from this fresh hurt. To you, the church, I repent for the adultery and my silence. Please forgive me.

In accordance with our church by-laws, I’m stepping aside, stepping down, from ministry responsibilities and have committed to the Lord and now to you, that I will submit to the process and recommendations of this board.

Of course, the church applauded the pastor — which prompted the woman and her husband to take the stage.

She addressed the congregation herself.

For 27 years, I lived in a prison. It was not 20 years.

I lived in a prison of lies and shame. Lying to protect the Lowe family for years. I thought I was a horrible person, having suicidal thoughts, not realizing what had been truly done to me. That I was a victim and I would still be in a prison if my brother—and many of you know him…—had not approached me just two weeks ago with what he had seen as a teenager that bothered him all these years: His pastor, in bed, with his younger sister. With T-shirt and underwear on.

People knew but they were too afraid to come forward. And they have now. The lies and the manipulation have to stop.

I was a prisoner and you kept me in your prison. I am a prisoner no longer. I was just 16 when you took my virginity on your office floor. Do you remember that? I know you do and I have plenty of other stories that I could bring to your remembrance.

You did things to my teenage body that had never and should never have been done. If you can’t admit the truth, you have to answer to God. You are not the victim here.

I tried to tell someone but all that was done was cover-up. No one ever came to to me. No one every helped me. No one ever got me counseling. I have wanted to talk to somebody all of these years and never… You have! You have somebody that you’ve talked to. I never have.

The church deserves to know the truth: This church has been built on lies. But no more.

The lies need to stop. I could give story after story after story to what you did to me.

At this point, she spoke to a young man in the crowd: “Michael, I—your dad is not the victim here. A partial truth is not true.”

Her husband appeared to say to Michael, “She was telling the truth. Don’t you dare call her a liar.”

Then she continued:

… If I would have gotten counseling, your dad would be in prison. It might not be the way that every time you covered up [unintelligible] my best friend was my age when your associate pastor was molesting his two daughters. And you know that! You sent him to be a pastor at another church. We can call [the two girls] right now. They sat down with you. You sent [girl] away. Don’t look at me like that. You know the truth…

Then her husband chimed in:

Listen. My wife—this is not just adultery. It’s another level when it’s a teenager.And I will not let this man talk about my wife like that. It happened for nine years.When she was fifteen, sixteen, the sexual [unintelligible] started. And it lasted until she met me and we started dating. This is the truth and that’s all we’re going to say…

He then dropped a necklace on a podium, saying it was a “ministry gift.” He also returned the “covenant purity ring which she wore while this man had sex with her.”

Then, after saying “We’re done,” the two of them walked off stage.

Some members of the congregation demanded the pastor admit what he did. You can hear shouts of, “If you did it, you need to admit it.”

The pastor responded, “I told you I committed adultery. I told you it went on far too long.”

Someone in the audience wasn’t having it and kept heckling the Pastor until he admitted she was 16.

“It was wrong… That’s just the way it is… It’s not all true, but that did happen, yes.”

He didn’t elaborate on what may not be true.

He ended by asking for forgiveness — again.

“It’s been 20 years… I guess it doesn’t count for anything. We love them. I deeply hurt them. I deeply hurt you. I ask you to forgive me, and that’s all I can do.”

Others in the congregation shouted out “We love you” before church members embraced him in a giant group prayer.

Unbelievable. Watch the whole ordeal unfold below.

Update: The church has released a statement addressing Pastor Lowe’s confession.

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