New Life Christian Church & World Outreach Pastor John B. Lowe II confessed Sunday to “committing adultery” 20 years prior and said he was stepping down, but the woman involved said it was 27 years ago when she was only a teenager and she had been Lowe’s victim.
She told her story when she and her husband took to the church stage after Lowe’s confession. The confession and confrontation were recorded by a member of the woman’s family and shared thousands of times through social media and solicited just as many comments.
Though the woman’s name and image are out on social media, the Times-Union does not release victims’ names without their consent.
Information on any criminal charges against Lowe, or other legal issues, if any, from the county prosecutor’s office were not available as of the time this story was written. However, it will be updated or followed up on as information becomes available.
In the video, Lowe begins his confession by stating, “I have an announcement for you. It’s called a confession.”
He said he and his wife Debbie have been out of town for a funeral and his absence was not about self-protection.
“We were caring for hurting people. That’s why I’m here today. To follow a Biblical process of confession, repentance and forgiveness. If God wants anything out of us … it’s to bring healing to all who are involved,” Lowe continued. “I committed adultery. It was nearly 20 years ago. It continued far too long. It involved one person and there’s been no other nor any other situation of unbecoming conduct for the last 20 years.”
He said he would not use the Bible to defend, deflect or protect his past sin.
“I have no defense. I committed the adultery,” Lowe stated, acknowledging his “sin.”
Lowe said he’s been asked why he’s waited so long to deal with it and hide it all these years.
“The answer: There is no good answer. I told myself for years silence served to protect everyone, the other person, those closest to her from the hurt, from the public embarrassment. And I’d like to think that was true, but the truth is, the silence was to protect myself as well,” he said.
While applying church discipline for sexual failure, for repentance, confession, for restoration to others, Lowe admitted he himself has not been disciplined for sexual misconduct.
“Twenty years ago, I repented. Now the day for this fresh hurt, I ask you to forgive me for the deep wound I have caused. I’ll make no excuse for my sin, the betrayal of deep friendship, trust and love are beyond my ability to express,” Lowe said.
He said the church is engaged in the Biblical process to restore the congregation’s trust to the ministry for the next few weeks. He said he confessed his sin to his wife and family and they forgave him. He also repented to those he sinned against and those wounded from the fresh hurt.
In accordance with the church’s by-laws, Lowe said he was stepping aside, stepping down from the ministry and responsibilities and “have committed to the Lord and now to you that I will submit to the process and recommendations of this board.”
As he finished his comments and stepped off the stage, some members of the congregation stood up and applauded and that’s when the woman and her husband took to the stand and microphone.
The husband stated, “If you love us, please let us talk.”
The woman began, “For 27 years, I lived in a prison. It was not 20 years. I lived in a prison of lies and shame. Lying to protect the Lowe family for years. I thought I was a horrible person, having suicidal thoughts, not realizing what had truly been done to me. That I was a victim and I would still be in a prison if my brother … had not approached me, just two weeks ago, with what he had seen as a teenager that bothered him all these years: His pastor, in bed, with his younger sister, with a T-shirt and underwear on.”
She said people knew but were too afraid to come forward and they have now.
“The lies and the manipulation have to stop. I was a prisoner and you kept me in your prison,” the woman said to Lowe. “I’m a prisoner no longer.”
She was only 16 when Lowe took her virginity on his office floor, she said. “Do you remember that?” she asked him. “I know you do and I have plenty of other stories that I could bring to your remembrance. You did things to my teenage body that had never and should have never been done. If you can’t admit the truth, you have to answer to God. You are not the victim.”
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Source: Times Union Online