Youth Pastor Who Allegedly Sexually Abused Teen Girl From His Church Within Days Taught True Love Sexual Purity Class and Later Wrote a Book About Marriage and His Church Gave Him A Standing Ovation For Being a Sexual Abuser

Youth Pastor Who Allegedly Sexually Abused Teen Girl From His Church Within Days Taught True Love Sexual Purity Class and Later Wrote a Book About Marriage and His Church Gave Him A Standing Ovation For Being a Sexual Abuser

On top of all that, the church (or another one – I’m too lazy to re-read his work history, but do know that at least one church) found out about the abuse but later (re)hired the same guy, Andy Savage, to work for them anyway.

This deviant – that would be Savage – also has groupies who go about online (these are people at his church, or friends of his, or young ladies who used to be in his youth group), posting negative to hateful responses to any news coverage or blogs that have exposed him.

I wrote a post about such horrid and misled people a few years ago:

(Link):  Your Preacher Sucks – and People Have a Right To Say So And Explain Why 

It’s creepy, pathetic, and alarming to see so many people so mindlessly devoted to some pervert, all because he went to their church and has the title of “preacher.”

Your preacher is no more godly than a plumber, accountant, or hair dresser. There is nothing special about the job of pastor.

Savage’s church was (Link): censoring their Facebook group page, so that anyone commenting on this scandal had their comment deleted.

Summary of the Story

Savage was in his early or mid-20s at the time and was in a pastoral position (he was the teen girl’s youth pastor. This sort of thing is illegal in the state of Texas where this occurred (it’s considered clergy sex abuse), regardless if the sexual acts were consensual or not.)

However, I believe the laws were not in effect at the time of the abuse by Savage of the teenager (statue of limitations apply).

This page probably discusses more of the legal aspects:

(Link): Pastor Andy Savage Will Not Face Charges In 1998 Sexual Assault Case

Initially, the two preachers at the church, whom the teen girl informed of the ordeal, covered up for Savage.

Savage, according to reports, groomed the teen girl over a period of weeks or months, a girl who was around 17 at the time (late 1990s), and it culminated with him promising to drive her home from church one night, only for him to take a detour down a deserted road where he manipulated her into performing oral sex on him, and he molested her.

Review

Review time (before we get to the news links and so on):

-1a. Some Christian men are total pigs, therefore the “equally yoked” teaching is a waste of Christian single women’s time, and so it should be disregarded

-1b. Churches are not a safe place to meet singles, any more than a bar or nightclub, it would appear

-2. Many Christians would rather have known sexual perverts, adulterers, and sexual hypocrites (i.e., men who preach sexual purity in public but who are getting some in their private lives) than have actual adult virgins / celibates teach Christian classes or write Christian blog posts about sexual purity.

-3. Contrary to some Christian teaching on how to get married that I’ve seen in the last three decades, God does not require a person to clean up their act, become more mature, (or reach whatever other requirements), before sending them a spouse. This guy is seemingly a sexually abusive sleaze but managed to get married in spite of it.

(Link):  Tennessee ‘mega-pastor’ admits he sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl 20-years ago and that he stopped after five minutes, begging for forgiveness

(Link): Memphis Megachurch Stands By Pastor Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Teenager

(Link): Memphis mega-church pastor accused of sexual assault

(Link): Memphis pastor acknowledges past sexual misconduct with high school student

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) –

A top pastor at Highpoint Church acknowledged that he committed sexual misconduct with a high school student more than 20 years ago.

Andy Savage said he was a college student [actually, he was a youth pastor there] working for a church in Texas at the time. He said he asked for forgiveness from the teen and the church, resigned, and moved back to Memphis.

Savage is now the Teaching Pastor at Highpoint, and said he told church leaders about what happened before he was hired.

The victim recently shared her story online, emboldened by the online movement #MeToo that is encouraging sexual assault victims to speak up about things that have happened to them.

In an (Link): official statement released (around January 5, 2018), Savage also claims this was a one-time incident (I disagree after reading details of what he did to the girl victim; I think he’s done this sort of thing before to other girls or women), and he says he told his wife while they were dating or engaged about it – and she married him any way.

(There is truly a lid for every pot. I don’t rape or molest any one and can’t make it to the marriage altar even once, hmmm.)

Savage says he apologized to the victim, but I don’t think so. The victim was saying she’s never received an apology from him.

After the alleged sexual attack, Savage was rehired later by the same church, and if I remember right, worked at another one before being rehired at the first one, and gave a speech at some kind of sexual purity “True Love Waits” seminar for Christian young people just a few days after the assault.

This  (Link): Tweet is from Savage’s Twitter account:

By Andy Savage on Twitter, November 2017:

“So saddened to hear of another high profile person in the midst of sexual misconduct allegations. It’s beginning to seem that sex on our own terms isn’t working. Go figure.”

MLtweet

Yes, he Tweeted that knowing that he himself had allegedly sexually abused a teenager years earlier.

Savage also dispenses advice to single adults (not just on his site but via second parties on (Link): his Twitter account):

singlesGTTweet

Andy Savage was using the hash tag #SexNation on Twitter to promote a sex related sermon in 2015. The church Savage was working for, High Point, was tweeting about it; for example:

(Link): High Point Tweet Link

(Link): Andy Savage Sex Nation Tweet

According to some sources I’ve seen, Savage’s “Sex Nation” sermons were opposed to pornography, homosexuality, and something he called “sexual atheism.”

Some on other sites were puzzled by the phrase “sexual atheism,” but I would assume it probably refers to the tendency of many Christians to say they believe in the Bible’s teaching of remaining a virgin until marriage but not practicing this belief (they’re having sex outside of marriage anyhow).

I agree that the Bible is against fornication and that many Christians violate this teaching, but, it’s very distasteful that a sexual abuser would be the one delivering such a message.

Remember, the man promoting this Sex Nation content allegedly sexually assaulted a teen-ager who was one of his parishioners:

(Note – this Tweet is no longer visible because Savage has since made his Twitter account private; many of the other Tweets by Savage on this page are from screen captures):

https://twitter.com/andysavage/status/586158649271316481

One (Link): site says that after Savage’s alleged sexual assault on the victim:

She [the victim] was told that the associate pastor would inform the head pastor and the church would deal with the situation [after she told him about the assault].
In the days that followed Savage went on as though nothing was outside of the norm.
In fact, he even taught a workshop titled “True Love Waits” about sexual purity and abstinence. The workshop wasn’t merely about sexual abstinence, it was a full-force, no kissing, no touching form of abstinence workshop.

I saw someone else mention that some where that on Savage’s site, he has a page recommending the Billy Graham Rule; he argues that men and women cannot merely be friends, because the two opposite sexes will always be attracted to one another, so, men and women should never, ever be left alone.

Andy Savage has a site where (Link): he has a web page where he’s been marketing a book called The Ridiculously Good Marriage (page on his site promoting that book has (Link): since been removed).

(However, as of the writing of this post, this is still available on Savage’s site: (Link): “Five Ways to Make Your Marriage Ridiculously Good in 2018”)

From that page (that has since been deleted):

  1. Give the overdue apology. Offenses in marriage can stack up over time. We are all guilty from time to time of letting the cobwebs of conflict exist in the corners of our marriages.
    If you owe your spouse an apology (even if it is long overdue), give him or her the apology they deserve.
    This suggestion always generates the reaction, “But they don’t deserve an apology!”
    Emotionally healthy people understand that an apology is deserved because I have done wrong, regardless of what my spouse has or has not done. If you caused harm (or even think you might have), give your spouse the grace of an apology.
    /// end of page quote

Savage has never apologized to his alleged victim, though he is claiming he has.

He has a section on his site called “Stuff Andy Likes” that I don’t think I want to risk clicking on and viewing.

Other hypocritical or vomit-worthy content from a guy known to allegedly prey on teen-aged girls that resides on his site:

(Link): How To Raise Boys to Be Men

I have no desire to listen to the podcast on that page, but I doubt Savage teaches any one to teach their sons to respect girls and women and don’t use any positions of authority to pressure them into sucking on their penises.

Or, I suppose even if that material was on there, it would be hypocritical, as in, why didn’t you follow your own advice?

On the main page of his site, as you scroll down, is this:

Andy’s personal mission statement is simply, “Making God make sense, starting at home then everywhere else.” Andy serves as the teaching pastor at Highpoint Church in Memphis, TN which he helped start in 2002.
Andy devotes his time to speaking, writing, coaching parents, and teaching both married couples and single adults the “how-to’s” for effective, God-centered relationships.
Andy has written two books, the Hero Handbook a devotional book for men and Giant Love a unique children’s book to help parents share the Gospel story with their kids.
/// end of page quote

No. This single adult does not need or want your advice, especially knowing what you did to a teen-aged girl who trusted you.

On the Resources page is this:

The Hero Handbook. This devotional book engages men in the process of becoming the hero God intended them to be. This journey is designed to stretch you spiritually and challenge you practically. Don’t quit. Stay with it and watch God transform your life. Whether you are short or tall, young or old, single or married, God wants to expand the five character traits o
/// end of page quote

We have a Christian person who worked as a youth pastor who allegedly sexually abused an underage girl in his charge, whose trust he had, and he violated that.

The churches he was affiliated with then and later covered for him, kept him on, and he later goes on to have the audacity to write books, Tweets, make podcasts and sermons, where he gives advice about sexual morality, sexual purity, marriage, dating, and singleness.

There are a small number of Christian sites that cover abuse cover up by churches dealing with this story, but overall, I’d say that the church fails and has failed at protecting kids, and holding abusers accountable. They may say they support sexual purity, but in their actions, it’s obvious they do not.

January 15, 2018

Since I last began working on this post (a few days prior to January 15), several new things came to light, such as:

His church, Highpoint Memphis, held a service about one Sunday ago, where the pastors had Savage take the stage.

After Savage spoke and one of the other pastors spoke, where they all admitted that Savage engaged in a sexual sin (he abused a teen), the church congregation gave this pervert applause and a standing ovation. Video of this event was online at one time, either on You Tube or on the Church’s site or Facebook group.

Of course all sane, even half-way decent people, especially those still not trapped within the Evangelical or Church Bubble, read about this and were appalled and found it disturbing.

What kind of group of people cheers for a man who admits to sexually coercing a teen-aged girl? A bunch of immoral people is who.

The most charitable I can get is others have suggested that some in the church audience probably did not understand how severe Savage’s actions against Woodson were.

From New York Times:

(Link):  Memphis Mega Preacher Admits to Sexual Assault

Savage’s perversion even made it to a “Twitter Moment”-

(Link): Pastor admits to ‘sexual incident’ with a minor, gets applauded by congregation

Church Gives Standing Ovation

You know, if their intent is to show the world that Jesus forgives any and all sinners, they have missed the mark.

Atheists and other Non-Christians – and even some Christians – view this reaction by the church as being Pro- sexual pervert, Pro- rapist. This church is now viewed as supporting perverts and marginalizing sexual abuse victims.

I really suspect the true motive is money, money, money.

This church doesn’t want to have to give up the tithes of the members.

Savage, the perv himself, probably doesn’t want to lose his cushy preacher job – one source I saw online says his house is worth $400,000.

At one point, I believe video of the church giving Savage an ovation was online somewhere (You Tube maybe?) but may have been removed.

However, some news sites embedded a copy of the video, so it may be available on one of these sites (way to go, Highpoint Church, you’re giving Jesus Christ the WRONG kind of Public Relations):

(Link – on You Tube): Via CBS News: Pastor gets standing ovation after confessing to “sexual incident”

(Link – on You Tube):  Ben Shapiro REACTS to MEMPHIS PASTOR Getting STANDING OVATION for Sexual Incident Confession 

Just go to You Tube and search for a phrase such as “Andy Savage Highpoint Church Ovation,” you’ll see several other videos turn up.

(Link):  Memphis pastor admits to ‘sexual incident’ with teen 20 years ago, gets standing ovation – published January 14, 2018

(Link):  Tennessee pastor who admitted ‘sexual incident’ with teen, prompting standing ovation, placed on leave – published January 13, 2018

(Link):  Pastor Gets Standing Ovation from Church After Admitting to “Sexual Incident” With Teen

(Link): Memphis Megachurch Stands By Pastor Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Teenager 

(Link):  TENNESSEE PASTOR GETS STANDING OVATION AFTER ADMITTING ‘SEXUAL INCIDENT’ WITH TEEN

Excerpts:

A Tennessee pastor who publicly confessed to having a “sexual incident” with a high school student in 1998 received a thunderous standing applause when he asked to be forgiven.

Before asking for forgiveness, Andy Savage, the megachurch pastor, sat on a wooden stool on the stage at Highpoint Church in Memphis on Sunday and admitted that he was guilty of sexual activity with a teen, according to video footage of the event.

“As a college student on staff at a church in Texas more than 20 years ago, I regretfully had a sexual incident with a female high school senior in the church,” he said.

After his confession, the congregation congratulated the pastor for his honesty with loud cheers and a standing ovation.

The victim, Jules Woodson, claimed that Savage assaulted her 20 years ago, when she was a 17-year-old student. On Friday, Woodson went public with her story on Watch Keep, a Christian blog, after the rise of the #MeToo hashtag empowered her to come forward and break the silence that protected her assaulter.

According to Woodson, the assault occurred when Savage, a 22-year-old youth minister, was giving her a ride home from the Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church, just north of Houston.

Woodson wrote that Savage pulled over the car, unzipped his jeans, pulled out his penis and asked her to perform oral sex.

…In a recent video released by CBS, Woodson said she complied with Savage at the time because she was in shock, scared and didn’t understand what was happening.

“An apology does not change the fact that what happened to me was against the law and that it was wrong,” she said.

Petition to Have Savage Fired

(Link):  Petition:  Force Andy Savage to resign from Highpoint Church

Interview with Ferguson

A friend of Savage’s had him on a radio show/ podcast. Initially, the friend apparently edited the interview to remove the more unflattering – to – Savage portions but later put up the entire interview, after online backlash. You can read a transcript of the interview here:

(Link):  Andy Savage on the Ben Ferguson Show 

The toad is claiming it was a consensual situation – no. Review of just some of the elements that made this entire ordeal non-consensual:

He was several years older than her, she was a teen, he misled her (said he’s be driving her home, instead drove her to a deserted area in the middle of the night), he was in a position of trust, influence, and authority to her (as her youth pastor).
He had previously groomed her (spent time alone with her, more time one on one with her than with the other students, ticked her alone in a room, etc). This guy is a sexual predator, and I highly doubt that Jules Woodson is his first or last victim.

If this ass hat were truly repentant, he would have been forthcoming about the entire thing 20 years ago (and not allowed his pastors to depict it as “Just a kiss”), and he would have permanently stepped down from any roles or offices of authority or power within the church.

But he went on to work as a pastor again, and to write Christian-based books giving marital advice and so on. He has not shown repentance

(Link):  Memphis Pastor Andy Savage Insists Sex With Teen Was ‘Consensual’ as He Takes Leave of Absence – published January 12, 2018

(Link):  4 Problems with Andy Savage’s Apology

Regarding this next link, remember, Savage sexually assaulted a teen-aged girl in his vehicle at night:

(Link):  Andy Savage: A search for truth on the road to justice

Excerpts:

On Andy Savage’s website, andysavage.com, a page promoting his recently canceled book, “The Ridiculously Good Marriage,” directs readers to instructions for a “Drive Thru Date Night” as a fun way to keep marriage fresh.

The instructions are in the form of a “road map,”  [pdf file] offering step-by-step tips on how to carry out the evening, including a series of questions to ask one another in the car while driving to dinner. Among the questions: “What’s the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into in a car?”

It’s a question that today drips with unwanted irony for Savage, an author of two other books on family living for whom the cancellation of his latest book’s summer publication is the least of worries.

The events between him and a woman, then girl, in a car on a Texas night in 1998 have in recent days reached across the years to alter Savage’s life.

Jules Woodson has come forward saying she was sexually assaulted by Savage, her youth pastor at the time at a church in suburban Houston. Her life, she says, was altered as well.

To many, it’s clear all fault lies with Savage — a 22-year-old college student not much older than 17-year-old Woodson, but an authority figure still.

To others listening to both accounts, it’s a more nuanced encounter in which both (each of legal age under Texas law) could honestly see what happened differently. Savage said in a (Link): radio interview he remembers the event more as a “mutual, organic moment” they shared.

So what happens next when such instances occur in churches, sanctuaries charged with balancing forgiveness with justice? Some say it’s that very nature, and the patriarchal structure, that makes the kind of #MeToo moments that have toppled entertainers and politicians unlikely.

Katelyn Beaty, editor at large of Christianity Today, is one such voice.

“Two themes here highlight why we won’t see a #metoo outing in evangelical circles,” Beaty tweeted. “Sexual abuse is framed as individual sexual sin and not also a crime, (and) quickness to forgive (male) perpetrators, who retain control of the story in church community.”

She did think it, at least, was positive that Bethany House (Link): canceled publication of Savage’s newest book.

“This is one form of justice …” she wrote. “If your church won’t fire you, at least your publisher can stop selling your books.”

Andy Savage Ministries

Looks like Savage continues to make profit selling all things Jesus related. There’s this:

(Link): Andy Savage Ministries

Christians Want to Hear About Sexual Purity From Sexual Perverts

Yes, good that they cancelled his dating or marriage advice books -but why on earth do Christians keep promoting or giving a platform to, adulterers, child molesters and other assorted sexual sinning dirt bags to pontificate about sexual purity?

I’ve seen several people online who have gone over Andy Savage’s site and blog with a fine tooth comb note that the guy often wrote about sexual purity, he led sexual purity classes at his church, he wrote blog posts giving dating or marital advice.

This makes no sense. Churches should seek out adults who actually are celibate – such as myself – who are not engaging in sexual sin, and asking us to give lectures, write books, or give advice about resisting sexual sin. But Christians repeatedly show a preference to give attention and a mega-phone to people who are known sexual sinners, even ones of the worst kinds.

More information (from other sites):

(Link): The Andy Savage Story: Christian Culture MUST Hold Abusers Accountable

(Link):  How the Evangelical Culture of Forgiveness Hurts Victims of Sexual Abuse by R. Graham

(Link):  Today at Highpoint Church: When a Worship Song Is Blasphemous

Via Twitter:

Tweet by Becky Castle Miller which reads (Tweet link):

#andysavage previously helped cover up another sexual abuse of minors case.

Tweet by Amy Smith (Link to Tweet):

In the future, if Savage wants anyone to suck on his penis, he can go to a Yoga class, become flexible and suck on it himself. What a pig.

And what a disgrace that this church permits this reprobate to stand in the pulpit and give advice, lectures, or write books and blog posts with sexual purity or dating or marital advice.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: most Christians do not support sexual purity, celibacy, and virginity until marriage. They only say they do. But not in practice, and they do nothing to support the adults out there, like myself, who are actually walking the walk.


Related Post (on this blog):

(Link):  Church Allows Pedophile To Lead Bible Studies, Hails Pedo as a “Hero” – Meanwhile, Many Churches  Refuse to Allow Celibate, Single Adults to Hold Any Sort of Leadership Positions

(Link): How About Using Celibates as Role Models For Celibacy? (Oddity: Christians Holding Up Non-Virgins [Fornicators] As Being Experts or Positive Examples on Sexual Purity)

(Link): I thought Christians “worshipped” virginity? Guess not: TLW (True Love Waits) Spokesman Says TLW Will NOT “Elevate Virginity” – LifeWay to Relaunch “True Love Waits” Campaign

(Link): Let’s Rethink Sex by C. Emba

(Link): Churches Would Rather Hear From Ex Porn Stars Than Adult Celibates or Virgins – Church Invites Ex Porn Star to be Guest Speaker

(Link):  Past Sin Does Not Make You A Better Spiritual Leader by P Cooke

(Link):  Many Christians Really Do Prefer to Use Sexual Failures as Role Models As Opposed to Success Stories – The Tullian Tchividjian Come back

(Link):  When Adult Virginity and Adult Celibacy Are Viewed As Inconvenient or As Impediments

(Link):  Churches Uses Adult Married Man Who Raped Teen as a Worship Team Member in their Church

(Link): Focus on the Family Members Practice Infidelity or Homosexuality and Get Divorced and Remarry – links to exposes

(Link):  Update on Married Father Who Worked as Christian Radio Host And Who Rapes Children

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