From pulpit, Indiana pastor admits to having committed adultery with 16-year-old

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


Given the recent bombshell report from the Southern Baptist Convention as well as myriad other sex-related crimes and sinful acts in Christian churches throughout the nation, a pastor admitting to sexual wrongdoing is unfortunately something American’s have become accustomed to. However, even in a crowded field of gut-wrenching examples of Christian leaders’ failings, the pastor’s public admittance of adultery followed by the victim taking the stage to reveal that it occurred when she was underage at the time of the incident, caused the clip to go viral.

Whatever Pastor John Lowe II of the New Life Christian Church and World Outreach in Warsaw, Indiana, hoped to accomplish Sunday, it’s unlikely he wanted his now-former congregation to become the subject of internet-wide gawking or himself to be viewed as a man who once groomed a teenager.

Yet, after a Facebook video emerged of Lowe confessing to a decades-long affair with a woman who said she was but 16 when the sordid relationship began, that is where the church and ex-pastor now find themselves.

The video, which has now received over 800,000 views, shows Lowe wrapping a service last Sunday by confessing to the congregation that he was an adulterer.

“It was nearly 20 years ago,” Lowe said. “It continued far too long. It involved one person and there’s been no other. I have no defense. … I sinned. I need to say that and you deserve to hear it.”

Lowe’s confession was initially met with a standing ovation, but those cheers were short lived as a woman, whose name has not been made public, took the microphone and added troubling context.

“It was 27 years ago, not 20,” the woman said, adding, “I was just 16 when you took my virginity on your office floor. Do you remember that? I know you do.”

She accused Lowe of being a manipulator and liar.

“I was a prisoner, and you kept me in your prison,” she said. “I’m a prisoner no longer.”

The revelation led to some members of the congregation shouting questions at Lowe, who further confessed to having committed adultery with the woman when she was a teenager. Lowe, who is now 65, would have been in his late 30s at the time.

One can only speculate why Lowe chose to reveal his adulterous ways now or what his rationale was for doing so in such a public way.

It seems the woman decided to confront the matter head on following a recent discussion with her brother, who the woman said had informed her that he once saw her in a state of undress and with Lowe.

“You are not the victim here,” she told Lowe. “The church deserves to know the truth. This church has been built on lies, but no more.”

A man identifying himself as the woman’s husband, also had strident remarks for the pastor.

“People have to be held accountable,” he said. “They can’t just bamboozle people and just say, well I just committed adultery. It was far beyond adultery.”

Lowe, who also announced he was leaving the ministry, might yet face a penalty in the Indiana court system.

According to WANE-TV, an Indiana CBS affiliate, the Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office, which would hold jurisdiction, is investigating the matter although it is unclear what potential crime or crimes the office is investigating.

However, per the website for Arnold and Terrill, an Indiana-based defense firm, the age of consent in Indiana is 16, meaning a charge of statutory rape is unlikely to be forthcoming.

A full statement from the church can be found here.

Editor’s Note: Any incidents of abuse in the church, and particularly at the hands of ministry leaders, are disturbing and a misrepresentation of God and His calling on pastors and the church. While leaders fail, God does not. FISM News’ intent is never to sensationalize the failings of anyone. However, we report on these tragedies for the sake of accountability, to shine light on the truth, and to hopefully challenge all believers to “watch and pray, lest you fall into temptation” (Matthew 26:41).