Church Gives Pastor A Standing Ovation For Admitting He Assaulted A Minor

Sergio Conner
January 13, 2018

According to Woodson, Savage was not immediately punished for his behavior and the church's leadership only took action after she told members of her all-women discipleship group some of what had transpired that night with the youth pastor.

In Woodson's story, however, she had revealed that Savage had begged that she take the event "to the grave", and she was the one who told the pastors.

Savage, an author and podcast host, acknowledged the "sexual incident" in a statement of his own.

Woodson wrote Savage was driving her home when he turned a dirt road and sexually assaulted her.

Woodson's account paints a slightly different picture. That flirtatious environment uh, continued to uh, move forward um, which led to um, uh, us making out, some heavy petting.

"Until now, I did not know there was unfinished business with Jules", Savage, 42, said during the service, which was streamed live online. The Montgomery County Precinct 3 Constables' office said because of Texas law in 1998, the statute of limitations has passed, and no charges are able to be filed. A pastor who worked at the same church as Savage in 1998 has been put on leave at his current church pending the outcome of an investigation.

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Even though he doesn't believe he broke the law, he did feel he was out of bounds in terms of his personal standards of sexual purity because of a "spontaneous physical moment".

"I heard snickering and laughing and that made me sick, listening to him", said Amy Smith.

When Savage lost his job at Woodlands Park and returned to Memphis, he felt like he was "starting over". He said he offered his resignation to Conlee last Sunday before addressing the Highpoint congregation, which gave him a standing ovation afterwards.

Savage's statement came after a preamble from the head pastor, in which he talked to the congregation about the power of love.

Conlee's removal from the Downline speaker line-up is the latest development after Highpoint Church, where Savage now works, responded to his apology with a standing ovation. Earlier that day, The Wartburg Watch, a Christian blog, had who'd accused Andy Savage, teaching pastor at Highpoint, of sexually abusing her in the late 1990s when she was a teenager. To that end, we are engaging a qualified, independent, third party organization to do a full audit of our church processes and Andy's ministry. While this audit is being completed, we will continue to support Andy and his family. As a result of Savage's admission, a publisher has dropped plans to release his upcoming book, titled "The Ridiculously Good Marriage".

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