When the livestream broadcast of New Life Church’s Sunday service was interrupted, parishioners later shared their own videos of what transpired during the service, and it has thrown the Indiana congregation into turmoil.
The livestream featured Pastor John B. Lowe, who said that he was at the service to take part in “the Biblical process of confession, repentance, and forgiveness.”
“If God wants anything out of us, as we just heard, it’s to bring healing to all who are involved,” Lowe said. “I committed adultery. It was nearly twenty years ago. It continued far too long. It involved one person, and there’s been no other, or any other situation of unbecoming conduct for the last twenty years.”
Why did he hide it all these years? Lowe said there is “no good answer.”
“I told myself for years the silence served to protect everyone: the other person, those closest to her, from the hurt and from the public embarrassment, and I’d like to think that was true. But the truth is that silence was to protect myself as well,” he said.
Lowe continued to speak, and the congregation seemingly was on his side, affirming his words with the occasional “amen,” but after a standing ovation at the end of his words, a 30-year-old woman and her husband took the stage and picked up the mic. “If you love us, please let us talk,” the man said before handing his wife the mic.
“For twenty-seven years, I lived in prison—it was not twenty years—I lived in a prison of lies and shame. Lying to protect the Lowe family for years I thought I was a horrible person having suicidal thoughts, not realizing what had truly been done to me. That I was a victim,” the woman said. I would still be in a prison if my brother—and many of you know him [name]—had not approached me just two weeks ago with what he had seen as a teenager that had bothered him all these years: his pastor, in bed, with his younger sister with T-shirt and underwear on.”
“You did things to my teenage body that have never and should never have been done. If you can’t admit the truth, you have to answer to God. You are not the victim here. I tried to tell someone but all that was done was coverup. No one ever came to to me, no one every helped me, no one ever got me counseling. I have wanted to talk to someone all of these years and never…You have!” she continued. “You have somebody that you’ve talked to. I never have. The church deserves to know the truth: this church has been built on lies, but no more. The lies have to stop. I could give story after story after story about what you did to me. Michael, I—your dad is not the victim here.”
Later in the confrontation, the woman’s husband took the mic and declared that Lowe’s actions with his wife were not a simple case of “adultery,” but something much worse since his wife’s age at the time of Lowe’s repeated abuse was 16.
“It’s another level when it’s a teenager,” the man said. “And I will not let this man talk about my wife like that. It happened for nine years. When she was fifteen, sixteen, the sexual [unintelligible] started. It lasted until she met me and we started dating. And this is the truth and that’s all we’re going to say except…”
Many on the congregation still seemed to back the pastor even though he was just accused of child sex abuse.
Watch the video below: