Memphis pastor admits to sexual assault, receives standing ovation

Posted at 11:51 AM, Jan 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-10 11:51:00-05

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - There is a growing national spotlight on a Memphis pastor after revelations he had sexual contact with a high school girl 20 years ago.

Church members and people from all over are taking to Facebook about Highpoint Church pastor Andy Savage, who addressed his congregation Sunday.

This comes after a woman came forward last week, claiming Savage sexually assaulted her 20 years ago when he was a youth pastor at a Texas church.

"In hindsight, I see that more could have been done for Jules,” Savage said. “I’m truly sorry that more was not done."

Savage said he told Highpoint about the allegations before he was hired and apologized after his "sexual incident."

After admitting to the allegations, Savage received a standing ovation from the audience.

Highpoint posted the service online. Savage's speech begins about 16 minutes in:

Many people are standing by Savage on social media, with some even changing their cover photo to his picture.

One man wrote, "I support Andy Savage, he was 20.... people screw up growing up, even WOMEN."

A woman wrote, "I support the Savage family… Andy and Amanda have been instrumental in my families life."

But some people not so happy.  In fact, we found a petition online that's already gotten hundreds of signatures wanting Andy Savage to resign from Highpoint Church.

One woman wrote on Facebook, "This is why I'll never trust organized religion or a building."

In the meantime, Bethany House tweeted:

Highpoint Church leaders said they’re working to release a statement. They also confirmed Savage is still employed.

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