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A Memphis, Tennessee, megachurch pastor who confessed to a sexual encounter with a teenager has been put on leave. Congregants broke into 25 seconds of applause last week after pastor Andy Savage, 42, confessed to a "sexual incident" with a teen and asked for their forgiveness. Savage was 22 at the time and a youth minister at Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church outside Houston when the incident with thenyear-old Jules Woodson occurred.
Highpoint Church issued a leave of absence for Savage to begin immediately, Chris Conlee, the church's lead pastor, said in a statement Thursday night. Conlee said the church is asking "a qualified, independent, third-party organization to do a full audit of our church processes and Andy's ministry. During a Sunday service, Savage said he "regretfully had a sexual incident with a female high school senior in the church.
I took every step to respond in a biblical way. The encounter, which he said happened before he was engaged to his wife, Amanda, was "dealt with in Texas 20 years ago," he said without elaborating, "but in the last few days it has been presented to a wider audience. He added, "In hindsight, I see that more could have been done for Jules. I am truly sorry more was not done.
Until now, I did not know there was unfinished business with Jules. So today, I say, 'Jules, I am deeply sorry for my actions 20 years ago. I remain committed to cooperate with you toward forgiveness and healing. And I mean that. In a YouTube video of the sermon, several congregants on the front row can be seen standing up amid the applause.
Lead pastor Chris Conlee then le the church in prayer. Woodson's heart in a way that only you can and heal her of the pain that was caused from this sin 20 years ago? CNN does not normally name juveniles involved in sexual incidents, but Woodson identified herself in a blog post two days before Savage confessed to the congregation.
Woodson declined to speak to CNN directly but she wrote that "there are triggers that take me back to that night, there are nightmares that haunt my dreams. On Tuesday, a case was opened and a detective from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office interviewed Woodson, the department said in a statement.
The sheriff's office said it had worked with the local prosecutor, who researched the law and determined the statute of limitations had passed, based on the law at the time of the crime. Dan Zientek.
Woodson wrote that her "hope in finally coming forward with my story is not only that I can begin to get closure and healing for all that has happened to me, but more so, that my story might have a positive impact on others and effect positive change in how these types of situations are handled within the church. Surfside search-and-rescue to shift to recovery operation.
News National. Actions Facebook Tweet. Memphis pastor Andy Savage put on leave after admitting to sex encounter with teen. By: CNN. Copyright Cable News Network, Inc. All rights reserved.Sex with brazilian girl in Memphis Tennessee
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