Churchgoers in Indiana were stunned when their pastor told them he was resigning during a service due to having had an adulterous relationship. But then it got even more shocking for the congregants, when the woman he had the affair with stood up, took the mic, and exclaimed that she was only 16 at the time!
Pastor John B. Lowe II of the New Life Christian Church & World Outreach, located in Warsaw, announced he was stepping down from his position during a recent Sunday worship, telling his congregants that he had “committed adultery.” However, after he walked away from the microphone, a now-adult woman claimed that was only the “partial truth” and that she was 16 at the time, according to the stunning video footage that has been viewed by thousands on social media.
The Church acknowledged the accusations against Lowe in a statement on their website, writing in part, “We are hurting and broken for a woman who has lovingly attended and served in the church for many years, as well as for her husband and family.”
The incident unfolded at the end of the service, as Lowe claimed that his infidelity occurred “nearly 20 years ago” and “continued far too long,” according to the video.
“It involved one person, and there’s been no other,” he continued. “I sinned. I need to say that, and you deserve to hear it.”
After asking for forgiveness from “those that I sinned against,” Lowe announced that he would be stepping down, in accordance with church bylines and the recommendations of the board.
Although he immediately got overwhelming support from parishioners in the way of a standing ovation at the end of his speech, a hush quickly came over the crowd when a woman and her husband approached the microphone.
“For 27 years, I lived in a prison. It was not 20 years,” said the woman, who described herself as a victim of Lowe’s. “I was just 16 when you took my virginity on your office floor. Do you remember that? I know you do.”
The woman, who has not been publicly identified by name, is now in her 40s, while Lowe is 65, according to the Washington Post.
As she addressed the congregants, the woman said that for decades she lied “to protect the Lowe family” and “thought I was a horrible person.”
She claimed that she “would still be in a prison” today if not for her brother, who approached her two weeks earlier with his recollection of what he had seen when they were teenagers.
“You are not the victim here,” she said to Lowe. “The church deserves to know the truth. This church has been built on lies, but no more.”
“People have to be held accountable,” added her husband. “They can’t just bamboozle people and just say, well, I just committed adultery. It was far beyond adultery.”
Then, the voices of several churchgoers could be heard, demanding to hear from Lowe. “If you did it, you need to admit it,” one person could be heard yelling out.
Around the 12-minute mark, the video shows how the pastor addressed questions from the congregation, saying, “She was 16 years old.”
“It was wrong,” he said. “I can’t make it right. I can’t make it any better. That’s just the way it is.”
“If I could go back and redo it all, I would,” he added at another point. “I can’t, and all I can do is ask you to forgive me.”
The Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office told news station WANE 15 that there is a pending investigation into the matter.
However, later a spokesperson said in a statement to WANE that “after reviewing the Indiana Rules of Professional Conduct, Kosciusko County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Hampton is not permitted to disseminate any information regarding alleged misconduct.”