Pastor Admits To ‘Sexual Incident’ With A Minor Then Gets Applauded By Congregation


This is top trending today. For real.

Inspired by the #MeToo movement, Jules Woodson went public with her own experience of sexual assault by Andy Savage, a pastor at the High Point megachurch in Memphis. Savage apologized for what he called a “sexual incident” with Woodson, but many believe he and the church aren’t taking proper responsibility.

Memphis megachurch pastor Andy Savage publicly admitted to being sexually involved with a minor after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her when he was a youth minister. Savage received a standing ovation during the church service he confessed at.

“Until now, I did not know there was unfinished business with Jules,” Mr. Savage, 42, said during the service, which was streamed live online. “Jules, I am deeply sorry for my actions 20 years ago. I remain committed to cooperate with you toward forgiveness and healing.”

After he finished addressing the congregation, church members stood and applauded him for about 20 seconds. The lead pastor at Highpoint, Chris Conlee, told the congregation that he supported Mr. Savage, who he said was one of the people “hurt by the ripple effect of the consequences of that sin.”

In a phone interview on Monday night, Ms. Woodson said she was in disbelief watching the video, which was posted on the church’s YouTube page.

“It’s disgusting,” Ms. Woodson said through tears.

She said that the episode had not been “dealt with” because it had never been reported to law enforcement authorities. On Monday, she said she reported it that day, speaking with a detective in the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, which is just north of Houston. A sheriff’s department spokesman did not return a phone call and an email seeking comment on Monday.

It is not clear whether the case could be investigated. In Texas, most sexual assault crimes have a statute of limitations that would have expired by now.

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