Pastor Andy Savage Is Planting New Church after Resigning over Sexual Assault

Will Maule | Contributor | Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Pastor Andy Savage Is Planting New Church after Resigning over Sexual Assault

Pastor Andy Savage Is Planting New Church after Resigning over Sexual Assault

The former teaching pastor at Highpoint Church in Tennessee, Andy Savage, has launched a new church after resigning from his previous post because of a sexual assault that took place when he was a youth pastor.

Savage’s victim, Jules Woodson, broke the news of her encounter with Savage in a bombshell interview with the New York Times in March of last year, noting her disgust that Andy was applauded for his admission before his church – during his address, Savage passed the assault off as a “sexual incident” and reiterated that it had taken place 20 years prior.

Responding to the news of Savage’s new ministry exploits, Woodson, expressed astonishment that her former abuser was free to return to the pulpit.

“He was my ordained Youth Minister. He knew me and groomed me since I was 14,” she tweeted. “This was not a mistake it was a crime! Per TX law it is non-consensual sexual assault. Fine, let him move on & sit in the pews, but he has absolutely disqualified himself from the pulpit.”

Her sentiments were echoed by many leading ministry figures. “A common tactic of church leaders who have used their power and authority to sexually victimize is to place themselves back into positions of leadership while piously gaslighting and guilting those who object by accusing them of being unforgiving, unmerciful, & un-Christian,” tweeted Boz Tchividjian, executive director of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE).

“Such dark tactics must be exposed over and over again until they are seen for what they are ... the protecting and empowering of offenders and the attempted silencing of truth.”

Bible teacher Beth Moore also responded to the news. “Jules, I can’t imagine how devastating that must be. I am so sorry,” she tweeted at Woodson. “Thank you Beth. I am heartbroken and angry. Jesus weeps,” Woodson responded.

“Yes, He does, Darling,” Moore concluded.

Savage, whose new project is called “Grace Valley Church,” has yet to issue comment. The website for the church simply directs people to a questionnaire that requests a plethora of personal details. It is thought Savage is currently gauging interest in his new ministry launch.

Photo courtesy: Ben White/Unsplash