Memphis megachurch pastor Andy Savage admitted he sexually assaulted a high school senior who was 17 years old.
According to Fox 13, the pastor admitted the act on his social media platforms. Twenty years ago, Highpoint Church leader was in college and working as a staffer at a Texas Baptist church now known as StoneBridge. He said in his statement that he apologized immediately and asked for forgiveness from the victim.
“I apologized and sought forgiveness from her, her parents, her discipleship group, the church staff, and the church leadership, who informed the congregation,” he said on the church website. “In agreement with wise counsel, I took every step to respond in a biblical way.”
The response from Savage came after the woman came forward with graphic details to The Wartburg Watch, a site started by two Christian women who pursued their faith, but saw “disturbing trends within Christendom.”
“He turned onto a dirt road and continued to drive. There were trees all around. I could not see the main road anymore, from which he turned,” Jules Woodson said of her experience. “I asked what was back here. He told me they were building a church. I thought, maybe that’s what this was about, maybe he has some secret to tell me, like perhaps he was moving to another church.”
Then he turned the truck around and parked.
“He turned the headlights off. Suddenly, Andy unzipped his jeans,” she continued. “I was scared and embarrassed, but I did it. I remember feeling that this must mean that Andy loved me. He then asked me to unbutton my shirt. I did. He started touching me over my bra and then lifted my bra up and began touching my breasts.”
Shortly after that, he got out of the truck and ran to her side of the truck, fell to his knees and begged for her forgiveness. She said she got out of the truck feeling “terrified and ashamed.” he continued to plead with her.
“Oh my God, oh my God. What have I done? Oh my God, I’m so sorry. You can’t tell anyone Jules, please. You have to take this to the grave with you,” she remembered him saying.
“I couldn’t concentrate at school. I couldn’t think about anything else. The fear, shame, anger and hurt consumed me,” she continued. “As embarrassing as it would be for me to tell all the ‘dirty’ details of this horrible secret, I had no other choice. What happened to me was not right nor had it been my fault. I had to report this. Little did I know, the very people I was about to entrust to protect me and help me would not only victimize me all over again but would also engage in a cover up to protect my abuser and the image of the church.”
When word got back to the head pastors they were forced to act. Savage was removed from a youth group trip skiing and rumors were beginning to spread. Still, the church never told the congregation about what happened.
Woodson said that she was motivated to reveal her story when she saw Savage’s social media posts about other men in the news who had sexually harassed or sexually assaulted women.
“So saddened to hear of another high profile person in the midst of sexual misconduct allegations. It’s beginning to seem that sex on our own terms isn’t working. Go figure,” the pastor wrote with a link to the story of Matt Lauer’s allegations.
Woodson sent him an email, for which she never received a response.
Savage has continued his war on sex with a “Sex Nation” series railing against homosexuality, pornography, divorce and sexual atheism.