Tennessee pastor accused of sexual assault has book canceled

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Savage made a confession during the weekend at Highpoint Church in Memphis, Tennessee, several days after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her in 1998 when she was just 17 years old and he was a youth minister at a suburban Houston church.

"I don't want reading this to minimize anything, I've never wanted to minimize anything about what's taken place", Savage told the church, going on to say that he was involved in a "sexual incident" with a female high school senior while he was on staff at The Woodlands church.

In response, Savage received a standing ovation from the congregation, with Highpoint's lead pastor Chris Conlee stressing that his audience does not have to "choose a side" between Woodson and Savage.

Highpoint Church leaders said they're working to release a statement.

Woodson said in a letter posted on a blog that Savage continued to take a leadership role in the church, including leading a two-day event at the church called "True Love Waits" that promoted abstinence from intercourse before marriage and abstinence in any physical contact that might lead to sexual arousal.

'I remember him pleading, while he was on his knees with his hands up on his head, 'Oh my god, oh my god. The incident happened before Amanda [Mr Savage's wife] and I were engaged and I shared every aspect of this situation with her before I asked her to marry me.

The pastor had also tried to silence his sexual assault victim, telling her, "You can't tell anyone Jules, please".

"It's disgusting", Woodson said while crying. Savage left the church weeks later.

"I was and remain deeply remorseful for the incident and any pain I caused her and her family", Savage said. "We both got back in the truck".

'Until now, I did not know there was unfinished business with Jules, ' Savage said during the service.

Woodson says she complied, and went along again when he took off her bra and touched her, but said she "was scared and embarrassed". "My fear and shame quickly turned to anger".

She recalled being without a ride after spending the evening with friends at the Texas church in the Spring of 1998.

Church members then stood up and applauded him for about 20 seconds while the lead pastor pledged his support for Savage, who he said was one of the people "hurt by the ripple effect of the consequences of that sin".

On Tuesday, Highpoint Church issued a statement saying "there will be additional information from Andy and the church soon".

Woodson insisted to WMC Action News 5, however, that Savage is lying about how he handled the incident.

Conlee said in a statement Friday that in light of everything that had been done by Savage to make amends for his action, officials at Highpoint Memphis are standing by their embattled colleague.

Bethany House Publishers announced January 8 that publication of Savage's latest book, The Ridiculously Good Marriage, has been canceled.

"It's very hard to tell your story". "While evangelicals profess great faith, I think they are also effectively dismissive of their faith's power because, if they actually recognized the power that they afford to their faith leaders, they would demand the implementation of accountability structures".

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