Memphis megachurch pastor Andy Savage has been accused of sexual assault, but his church is standing by him.
Savage reportedly sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl who was in his youth group when he led the youth group at a previous church. The girl recently made the decision to speak out. Her story can be read here.
Savage is now a pastor of Highpoint Church in Memphis, and church leadership there say they knew about the incident previous to the new report.
“This information is not new to me or to our leadership,” stated Highpoint head pastor Chris Conlee.
“On behalf of the elders, pastors, staff, and Trustees of Highpoint, I want to affirm that we are 100% committed to Andy [Savage] … and his continued ministry at Highpoint Church,” Conlee continued, according to The Huffington Post.
Savage himself seemed not to deny the incident, stating, “I was and remain very remorseful for the incident and deeply regret the pain I caused her and her family, as well as the pain I caused the church and God’s Kingdom.”
The girl, identified as Jules Woodson, who was reportedly assaulted by Savage, recounts that she was in his vehicle with him as he was supposedly giving her a ride home, but he instead drove the vehicle to a remote location where he sexually assaulted her.
Woodson was reportedly emboldened to come forward with her story in the wake of the #MeToo movement and calls for the Church to be more transparent about sexual abuse, embodied in the hashtag #SilenceIsNotSpiritual.
Photo courtesy: Facebook/Andy Savage
Publication date: January 9, 2018