A northern Indiana pastor stands accused of having sex with a woman for years, starting when she was just a teenager.
Pastor John Lowe II admitted to his congregation at New Life Christian Church and World Outreach in Warsaw on Sunday that he committed adultery nearly 20 years ago. Directly following his confession, a woman stepped forward to the microphone and accused the pastor of taking her virginity on his office floor when she was just 16 years old.
The exchange was recorded on video and has since gone viral online.
Lowe begins by saying, "I committed adultery. It was nearly 20 years ago. It continued far too long. It involved one person and there's been no other… I have no defense. I committed the adultery."
He claimed he hadn't come forward with the confession all these years because he wanted to protect the victim and himself.
He asked his congregation to forgive him for the "deep wound" he said he caused.
"To my wife and family, who I deeply hurt, I have confessed my sin, and they have graciously forgiven me and expressed their love to me," he said.
Lowe announced that he is stepping down from ministry.
After Lowe finished speaking, the congregation responded by giving him a standing ovation.
That's when an unidentified woman took the microphone alongside a man who identified himself as her husband. The woman began:
"For 27 years I lived in a prison. It was not 20 years. I lived in a prison of lies and pain. Lying to protect the Lowe family. I thought I was a horrible person having suicidal thoughts, not realizing what had truly been done to me."
She said her older brother had recently confronted her about an incident he said he witnessed when he was a teenager. She said he saw her in bed with their pastor with a t-shirt and underwear on.
"People knew but were too afraid to come forward," she said.
"I am a prisoner no longer," she continued through tears. "I was just 16 when you took my virginity on your office floor. Do you remember that? I know you do…. You did things to my teenaged body that had never and should have never been done… You are not the victim here."
The woman claimed that she tried to tell someone for years, but no one was willing to help her.
Eventually several people made their way to the stage, including Lowe. The woman's husband then took the microphone to confront the pastor.
"It's not just adultery. It's another level when it's a teenager and I will not let this man talk about my wife like that. It happened for 9 years…. People have to be held accountable," he said. "They can't just bamboozle people and say, 'I just committed adultery.' It was far beyond adultery."
The congregation then called for answers from Lowe, who responded, "I told you I committed adultery. I told you it went on far too long."
Lowe then went on to admit he had sex with the woman when she was a teenager. Several members of the congregation then came forward and surrounded Lowe while another man prayed.
New Life Christian Church and World Outreach released a statement following the pastor's confession and the woman's allegations.
"In the wake of what has now been revealed, we are hurting and broken for a woman who has lovingly attended and served in the church for many years, as well as for her husband and family," the church said. "It is our deepest prayer and commitment to love, support, encourage and help her through a process of healing in any way in which we are able."
The church went on to also express support for Lowe and his family.
"As healing occurs in their hearts, their marriage and family, we are committed to demonstrating the same support, encouragement, counsel and forgiveness that has come to define the collective heart and ministry of this body," the statement said.
The church confirmed that Lowe resigned as pastor.
The Kosciusko County prosecutor’s office is investigating, WANE-TV reported. So far, no charges have been filed.