In January, the Memphis megachurch pastor whose congregation applauded him after he repented and admitted that he had engaged in a “sexual incident” with a high school student in 1998. In 1998, Savage was a 22-year-old youth pastor in Texas, and it is said that he sexually coerced a 17-year-old girl, Jules Woodson. When Woodson told another pastor about what happened, she has said, the church asked her to be silent.
Savage said this in his resignation letter on Highpoint’s website about what he learned:
“Throughout the last two and a half months, I’ve had the opportunity to spend much time in prayer and God’s Word, as well as to reflect on the thoughts shared by so many who responded to the post by Jules Woodson and to my statement on January 7th. Your passionate opinions on this important matter have truly helped me to gain perspective that I simply could not have achieved on my own. I have come to understand Jules’ vantage point better, and to appreciate the courage it took for her to speak up.
As I’ve reflected during my leave of absence, I have come to see that many wrongs occurred in 1998. Another wrong was the failure to follow due process afterward; Jules deserved, and did not get, a full investigation and proper response 20 years ago.
Of course, this does little to relieve the suffering Jules experienced because of my mistakes and the neglect of due process that followed. I sincerely want to get this right. I want the Church to get this right. I want Jules, finally, to see it gotten right.”
We pray for healing and restoration for all parties involved.
Image credit: Highpoint Church, Screenshot via YouTube