“Some breaches of trust cause so much damage, the most redemptive step is to create safe distance. If your marriage has suffered a catastrophic blow of dishonesty, please see a counselor or trusted pastor before making any major decisions like separation or divorce.
May we all take honesty seriously and commit to honesty in our marriages, even when it’s hard. Honesty from this day forward is always the best decision.” Andy Savage in Help, I Married a Liar.
There is so much to discuss that I feel a bit overwhelmed. I shall write all that I can today and then will followup with more posts. I may even plan a short post tomorrow just to keep up. Something incredible is happening this evening and I hope to tell you about it tomorrow.
When we last posted, we were unsure how the story would develop. By Friday evening, local Memphis news was picking up the story. By Saturday evening, one day after the post, the story had reached the UK and Raw Story.That evening, Jules did an interview with Memphis news and handled it admirably! From there it was written about extensively on the Huffington Post and onto the Houston Chronicle, the Christian Post, etc.
We are extremely busy handling the developments behind the scenes. Jules is getting some awesome support. She thanks everyone on this blog for being so kind and encouraging. It has been a hard thing for her to do and the wonderful readers here and on Twitter, as well as on Amy’s site, have been the best!! Love you guys! I cannot thank you enough.
Please keep sending us any articles or mentions that you see. Do not assume that we have seen them. Today, some of our readers spotted things way before we knew about them.
To top it off, my computer crashed yesterday. With the help of my tech guy, I ordered a new Mac Pro with lots and lots of storage, etc. I should get it in tomorrow. I am using my husband’s computer for now.
This post will be a series of disjointed thoughts.
Why Jules was afraid of Savage that night- a picture is worth many words.
I have been shocked by a few people, mostly associated with Highpoint Memphis, who have attempted to tell us that Jules wanted to have oral sex with Savage. They must think he is totally irresistible. Let me quote directly from Jules police report as copied in Friday’s post.
I was scared and embarrassed, but I did it.
What part of scared don’t they get? She was on an isolated, dark, dirt road with no one around to hear an outcry and she was stuck in the car with Savage who apparently thought that his private parts were the object of much desire by a scared teen.
Now, let’s take a look at the picture at the top of this post. Look at how much bigger Savage is than Jules. He is not only taller but much heavier. This is a man (Yes, Highpoint bots, he was 22 years old) who could have easily subdued her. In fact, if a man his size invaded my home in the middle of the night, I would be scared to death.
I sincerely believe that Jules was in danger that dark night so many year ago and I bet that many other people will agree with me. In fact, Friday’s post is over 900 comments and we have only had to ban 5 people, all of whom implied that Jules wanted it. One of them tried to share the *gospel* with her. Can you imagine?
I predicted a standing ovation at Highpoint Church on Sunday.
Do you want to see just how manipulative Chris Conlee, Andy Savage and the leadership is at Highpoint Church? Want me to prove that they use a playbook that many churches have used when leaders are caught in *sex incidents?” Highpoint members, you were played and you fell for it. We have been to this rodeo many times in the 9 years we have been writing.
I want to discuss the church service in depth. One of our readers, Chase, who lives in the area, attended the service and wrote some great comments. I will put them in my next post. Thank you, Chase!!
The statements by Andy Savage and Chris Conlee and the *Drop the Mic *Moments
Jules called me right after the statement was released Friday afternoon. She was terribly upset, saying that Andy lied and hurt her all over again. I reassured her that the statements were poorly thought out and that it would prove to be their undoing.
So, I want you to read the statements first before I point out the *drop the mic* moments. I bet a number of our regulars will spot them.
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. I apologized and sought forgiveness from her, her parents, her discipleship group, the church staff, and the church leadership, who informed the congregation. In agreement with wise counsel, I took every step to respond in a biblical way.
I resigned from ministry and moved back home to Memphis. I accepted full responsibility for my actions. I was and remain very remorseful for the incident and deeply regret the pain I caused her and her family, as well as the pain I caused the church and God’s Kingdom.
There has never been another situation remotely similar in my life before or after that occurrence. The incident happened before Amanda and I were engaged and I shared every aspect of this situation with her before I asked her to marry me. I further disclosed this incident to Chris Conlee before coming on staff at Highpoint and have shared with key leaders throughout my tenure.
This incident was dealt with in Texas 20 years ago, but in the last few days has been presented to a wider audience. I was wrong and I accepted responsibility for my actions. I was sorry then and remain so today. Again, I sincerely ask for forgiveness from her and pray for God’s continued healing for everyone involved.
A Word from Chris Conlee
This information is not new to me or to our leadership. As one of my closest friends and partners in ministry, I can assure you that I have total confidence in the redemptive process Andy went through under his leadership in Texas. In addition, for more than 16 years, I have watched Andy strive to live a godly life and proactively share what he has learned to help others.
On behalf of the elders, pastors, staff, and Trustees of Highpoint, I want to affirm that we are 100% committed to Andy, Amanda, and their family and his continued ministry at Highpoint Church. We ask for your prayers and support for all involved.
Let me highlight what they said that caused me to *drop the mic* and realize that this story would now be covered extensively by the media.
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.
… the church leadership, who informed the congregation. In agreement with wise counsel, I took every step to respond in a biblical way.
This information is not new to me or to our leadership. As one of my closest friends and partners in ministry, I can assure you that I have total confidence in the redemptive process Andy went through under his leadership in Texas.
Did you catch it?
Andy admitted to a *sexual incident.* Yes, I know that it is silly to call it an incident. Did Bernie Madof have a financial incident? LOL. However, the moment I saw this, I knew his goose was cooked. Larry Cotton and Steve Bradley have a similar problem as well. Savage said they knew about it.
He admitted to having sex with a student in his youth group. He did not say it had been reported to the police. He just said his leadership gave him *wise counsel.* No. they didn’t. Wise counsel by men who are concerned about sex abuse and the lives of the students in their ministry would have led everyone down to the local precinct and reported this to the police. It is very sad that they did not. If they had, we would not be here today.
Chris Conlee also admited to being aware of the sex *incident* perpetrated by Savage. If he cared about the safety of the students in his youth ministry, he should have immediately reported this to the police. If he is truly Savage’s BFF, he should have gone with him to the police. We have been hearing from some people that have been in leadership at Highpoint that claim they were told nothing about this. If Conlee had done the right thing, we would not be here today.
We have four people, Savage, Conlee, Cotton and Bradley who knew about this peccadillo and did NOT go to the local law enforcement unless they are hiding something, which I highly doubt.
The moment I saw these statements, I knew that the media would be totally freed up to investigate and report on this situation. I reassured Jules although I knew she had a hard time believing it at that moment. Savage has really hurt this dear woman, both then and now.
Within a couple of hours, Jules received notice that news stations wanted to interview her and planned to report on the incident. That evening, it was being discussed on the air. By Saturday night, Jules was being interviewed and she did great!!!
It was due to these admissions that KLove, Bethany Publishers and others took action.
The other serious discrepancy in Savages statement.
I was and remain very remorseful for the incident and deeply regret the pain I caused her
This is easily disproved. He did not answer her heartbreaking email on December 1, 2017. Let’s review it.
——– Original message ——–
From: Jules Woodson
Date: 12/1/17 9:21 AM (GMT-07:00)
Subject: Do you remember?
Do you remember that night that you were supposed to drive me home from church and instead drove me to a deserted back road and sexually assaulted me?
Do you remember how you acted like you loved me and cared about me in order for me to cooperate in such acts, only to run out of the vehicle later and fall to your knees begging for forgiveness and for me not to tell anyone what had just happened?
Well, I REMEMBER.
He decided to bet that she would go away. He lost, big time. In my opinion, he didn’t give a hoot about her years ago and he doesn’t give a hoot today. He is just sorry that he got caught. The first thing Jules said to me was “he didn’t respond to this email.” I knew, at that moment, that I was dealing with a man who stuffed his past in a closet and hoped it would never come to light. However, we victims’ advocates are carrying big spotlights and women are gaining courage to come forward. #metoo
KLove Cruises has dropped Savage from their 2018 lineup.
Apparently, a number of people started contacting KLove immediately after we posted on Friday. He was off the list sometime late on Friday. We are so grateful that they understand the seriousness of the allegations. I am also grateful to all those who called them. I didn’t even suggest it! You guys are wonderful.
Bethany House Publishers drop publication of Savage’s Ridiculously Good Marriage
Here is the statement that someone in our group received today.We thank Bethany House for understanding the difficult nature of this sexual *incident.* As an aside, the book had a large ice cream cone on the cover. You cannot make this stuff up. We were told that Bethany was inundated with phone calls. Folks, this is your victory.
Austin Stone Church removed Larry Cotton from his position until they have a third party group investigate further.
I am impressed with the response of Austin Stone.
Steve Bradley at StoneBridge Church is defiant, for now.
Here is his statement:
“We will be issuing a formal statement but thought that it was important first to discuss this matter with our church family, which I did Sunday during our worship services,” Bradley said. “This happened twenty years ago and though I was not a part of every meeting to suggest that I or anyone else on the staff at Stonebridge Church participated in a conspiracy to cover-up this sexual misconduct is simply not accurate. After Andy Savage confessed and asked for forgiveness from the victim, her parents, her discipleship group, and the church staff, he was terminated. We were heartbroken twenty years ago when this happened, and we remain heartbroken for Jules, her family, and all those impacted.”
I have one question from Steve Bradley, who did not return my phone call, “Did you call the police? If not, why not?” Note also his plausible deniability? If I were Larry Cotton, I might be a bit concerned.
though I was not a part of every meeting
Let me leave you with this awesome interview that Jules gave.
There are some really exciting and good things happening behind the scenes and I cannot wait to share some of them with you. Amy and I are so encouraged by so many in the Christian community that are taking this seriously. Thank you all for what you do. Your comments and phone calls mean so much.
Please continue to pray for #justiceforjules. There is no question that God is afoot in this situation. Isn’t she incredible? Love you, Jules