Pastor Gets Applause For Admitting He Sexually Assaulted Teen

Megachurch Pastor Andy Savage is Accused of Sexual Assault

Andy Savage's confession before hundreds of members of the Highpoint Church comes just days after Jules Woodson accused the church leader of sexually assaulting her decades ago while he was youth minister at Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church in Texas.

Maybe he'll get more than a standing ovation after all. And she says the church encouraged her to remain silent so pastors could deal with the problem within the church.

"As a college student on staff at a church in Texas more than 20 years ago, I regretfully had a sexual incident with a female high school senior in the church".

He was treated to a 20-second standing ovation while Woodson, watching online, was left in tears, per the New York Times.

Church members and people from all over are taking to Facebook about Highpoint Church pastor Andy Savage, who addressed his congregation Sunday. The accuser, Jules Woodson, alleges in a blog post that in 1998, Savage, then 22-years-old, was driving Woodson, then 17-years-old, home from his then-Texas church when he drove to a deserted road and forced Woodson to perform oral sex on him.

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"Until now, I did not know there was unfinished business with Jules", Mr Savage said, in remarks live streamed on the church's YouTube page. In response to the allegation, Christian publisher Bethany House has dropped an upcoming book by Savage. For any painful memories or fresh wounds this has created for anyone, I am sorry, and I humbly ask for your forgiveness. I remember feeling that this must mean that Andy loved me. "I was and remain very remorseful for the incident and deeply regret the pain I caused her and her family, as well as the pain I caused the church and God's Kingdom". "You have to take this to the grave with you.' He said that several times".

Savage told the crowd after the incident he resigned from the ministry and moved back to Memphis.

She said she emailed Savage last month and he responded Monday - again apologizing. She then told the head pastor, Steve Bradley, who eventually talked to her mother but twisted the story so that it only seemed like Savage and Woodson had shared an "innocent kiss". She also said she had spoken to a detective in Texas, although it is unclear whether a statue of limitations would be in effect.

"An apology does not change the fact that what happened to me was against the law and that it was wrong", Woodson said. I was scared and embarrassed, but I did it. She told the incident to their associate pastor Larry Cotton who was completely unsupportive and unsympathetic to her plight. Instead, they held a going away reception for Andy at the church in which he was allowed to simply say that he had made a poor decision and that it was time for him to move on from our church'.

The pastor had also tried to silence his sexual assault victim, telling her, "You can't tell anyone Jules, please".

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