International News

Church leader receives standing ovation after admitting to “sexual incident” with a teenager

"You have to take this to the grave with you," his alleged victim claims he begged.
Loading the player...

A pastor stood in front of his congregation and admitted to a “sexual incident” with a high school student. Instead of condemnation, he was met with a standing ovation.

Jules Woodson claimed Andy Savage, who was the youth minister at her church at the time, offered to drive her home but first took her to a wooded area and demanded she perform oral sex on him when she was 17-years-old.

“You have to take this to the grave with you,” she accuses him of saying.

Loading the player...

Savage didn’t share those lurid allegationswith his congregation in Tenessee, telling them simply he had sinned, taken responsibility for it and never kept it a secret.

“Until now, I did not know there was unfinished business with Jules,” Mr Savage said in a live streamed service.

“Jules, I am deeply sorry for my actions 20 years ago. I remain committed to cooperate with you toward forgiveness and healing.”

Church members then stood up and applauded him for about 20 seconds while the lead pastor pledged his support for Savage, who he said was one of the people “hurt by the ripple effect of the consequences of that sin.”

“It’s disgusting,” Ms. Woodson said through tears to New York Times.

Related stories

Unwind and relax with your favourite magazine!

Huge savings plus FREE home delivery