Motherfucking son of a bitch pastor who preyed on my young friend when she was a teengaer, sexually groomed her, and had an affair with her has opened a new church. Of course, when it came out that this sexual predator tried to pursue a relationship with a teenager in his church, starting at the age of fourteen and continuing on until she was nearly seventeen, he was removed as a pastor. When he refused to take ownership of the affair, mostly through denial and then later, complete lies, he was asked to leave the church completely. There were people out there who were angry about it. People who insisted that my friend should have stayed silent, that she should have let him tell the truth "when he was ready". Some didn't believe her of course. And in true Christian fashion, there were some that felt that since he apologized so nicely, he should just be allowed to keep being the pastor. But the lies continued and my friend kept being dragged in front of the board to tell her story again and again until she finally put her foot down. No. You know what happened. My story isn't changing, has never changed. His story however is obviously suspect, otherwise why would you have brought me here again. So she moved away, far away to start a life over, free from church members who blamed her for the loss of their handsome charismatic pastor.
Now, despite everything, he is starting a new church. Because in the Christian community, as long as you apologized and asked for forgiveness, it's okay if you are in a place of authority over families. Over teens. Most of his parishioners will never know. They'll assume their pastor is a good wholesome family man, just like the last church did. Since these non-denominational churches have no heirarchy, there is no one overseeing any of this. A pastor who flirts and pursues relationships with teenagers can bounce from church to church. As long as the guy is handsome and friendly, no one will care.
Do I think he will do it again? Yes. Because he wasn't sorry about it. He was sorry that she told someone and that he was caught, but based on the lies, I doubt if he really thinks he did anything wrong. Maybe the next girl will be a teenager? How old will she be when he starts to talk to her? How will he hide it from his family? Convince his wife that it's no big deal that he is seeing an awful lot of that teen girl? Will he tell her that she is "almost as beautiful as his wife, although not as skinny"? Here's the bigger question...was my friend the first one?
A little backstory: This man was never charged because like a lot of sexual predators, he is smart and patient. The law in my state says the age of consent is sixteen. So for two years he developed a very close relationship with her, but never did anything. He told her how beautiful she was. He encouraged her not to date anyone outside the church. He knew her very troubled history of abuse and neglect and took advantage of it. By the time she turned sixteen, he was ready to make a move. And he did. She knew it was wrong, but loved the attention from this handsome, charismatic, older man who told her she was beautiful. Of course, even that was twisted. He would tell her that she was beautiful, but not as beautiful as his wife because she wasn't as skinny. My young friend desperately started to lose weight, trying to compete with a woman that she should never have been in competition with. I didn't know any of this was happening btw, but I could see how unhappy she was and made an effort to befriend her. When she cut if off with him, she didn't tell anyone. She didn't tell anyone for four years because she was afraid of the repercussions, of being cut off from his mother who had become a grandmother to her. When this woman died, my friend knew that she must say something. This was a secret that would eat her alive if she didn't. When she told her parents, the first thing they did was go to the police, but since she was of an age to consent and admits that she wasn't raped, there was nothing to be done. He did try to lie about it at first. That is until she came forward with evidence. Photos, emails, letters. Even then, he tried to suggest it was a one time thing, a momentary lapse in judgment on one day. He never owned up to the fact that this happened for years, not just one day. He got up in front of the church and assured his congregation that it was an "emotional affair" only. I'm sure this is what he told his wife too. Of course, people in the church stood by him. There was a petition at one point to reappoint him as pastor. In a church of almost three hundred, it got twelve signatures. The board brought in three independent investigators (pastors) from other churches to get to the bottom of the truth. In the end, they ruled unanimously that this pastor should be removed as pastor because he had 1) preyed on a teenager knowing that she was an easy target for his advances 2) was unapologetic about it and did not think it was that big of a deal 3) had willfully lied and tried to deceive the members of his church, the board, and his wife and 4) had actively tried to discredit my friend in order to make her testimony sound false. All sound reasons for someone not to be a pastor. But here we go again, because he wasn't charged and there are far too many Christians out there that think forgiving erases all. I can forgive people, but it doesn't mean I'm going to give you the opportunity to do what you did again, especially if you are completely unapologetic about it. The original church is still having a hard time handling this whole thing. Some of the people in their church are related to him and his family through blood or marriage. They play music together. My friend kept being dragged in front of the board for what I'm not sure. To see if she would drop her allegations? Hoping her story had changed? Hoping that something she said would somehow make this whole thing better? Eventually, she just cut herself off from them. No, you don't get reassurances from me. Your pastor/friend did a bad thing and you need to rectify that in your own mind. It isn't the job of this now young adult to fix this for you. The evidence is clear and the man you thought was so righteous, isn't. Deal with it. I don't interact with any of these people anymore because of the way this was handled. And it obviously makes me angry that so many people are still so supportive of him. This man should be working at a construction company not as a pastor.
This is a personal, but secret, blog archiving my deconversion from a Christian to a non-believer.