WARSAW, IN – Earlier in May, a 65-year-old pastor at the New Life Christian Church had admitted before his congregation to committing “adultery” approximately 20 years earlier, asking the congregation for forgiveness.
Shortly thereafter, a woman and her husband approached the pastor, with the woman taking the microphone and telling the church that it was more than mere “adultery,” as she was 16-year-old when the pastor took her virginity.
Sunday services at the New Life Christian Church took an unexpected turn on May 23rd when Pastor John Lowe II detailed a vague account to his congregation about having what he described as an act of “adultery” with “one person” nearly 20 years ago.
During Lowe’s address before the churchgoers, he didn’t go into details about the age of the person or details involved but had asked for forgiveness from those in attendance.
“I have no defense. I committed the adultery. To say it plainly: I didn’t make a mistake, I didn’t have an issue, I didn’t have an affair, I didn’t make a misjudgment – I sinned. I need to say that, and you deserve to hear it.”
Following Lowe’s heavily omitted admission, he announced that he was stepping down from the church and was met with a standing ovation from the congregation.
As the applause began dying down, 43-year-old Bopi Gephart and her husband Nate approached the pastor, with Gephart taking the microphone to confront Lowe and tell everyone inside of the church about what happened to her when she was only 16-years-old.
“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 been truly 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’d seen as a teenager that bother him all these years: his pastor in bed with his younger sister with a t-shirt and underwear on.
“People knew and 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. I’m a prisoner no longer. I was just 16 when you took my virginity on your office floor. Do you remember that? 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’ve never, been done. If you can’t admit the truth, you have to answer to God. You are not the victim here. I tried to tell someone, but all that was done was cover-up. No one ever came to me, no one ever helped me, no one ever got me counseling. I have wanted to talk to somebody all of these years, and never. You have – you have somebody that you talk to, but I never have.”
After the woman and her husband left the church stage, members of the congregation began yelling at the pastor whether what Gephart had just said was true. Lowe responded to the church, “I told you I committed adultery, I told you it went on far too long,” which spawned more yells from the church crowd about how young the girl was when Lowe had begun grooming her.
The Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed they’re investigating the matter but has provided no other information regarding the situation.