(I’ve received a number of notes over the last few years from those of you going through this same thing. I would like to share the stories of others going through the fall of a pastor. I will remove the names, dates and locations to protect their privacy, but their stories from the pews are so important that I wanted to share them with you. -Mike)
My name is M—–, and my pastor fell into the sin of adultery over 4 years ago. I am a little different because I had known my Pastor and his wife and whole family before they ever became Pastors. I sat under his father who was my Pastor for five years, and then under his son for another five years a few years latter. I was not part of the leadership but was the editor of the church newsletter, so I was not privy to the info that the leadership had.
I was particularly close to the pastor’s wife, we had been close friends for years. She had been my mentor, my teacher, my prophet and my friend. I had noticed her being downcast a couple of months before they stepped down but she refused to tell me what was wrong, and I was unable to comfort her. Then one day she came to me and told me they were leaving the church after being there for ten years, that she loved me and wanted me to leave with them. She did not tell me why they were stepping down. So I said I would go with them, never did I even question her I trusted them completely.
I was a different woman than I was before God brought them into my life. I went to publish my last newsletter before I left my home church. I had asked the congregation to write something about our pastors before they left. I hardly got any responses. I didn’t understand, I knew so many in our church had been delivered and changed under their ministry and hardly anyone wrote anything. I went ahead and published what I had. On the last Sunday, my Pastor’s wife sang the song by Martina McBride ‘Do it anyway.’ I cried, our Pastor gave his last sermon and I cried. He never said that he had committed adultery to the congregation just that he was stepping down. Then they had a meeting that many people attended but I was never invited and knew nothing about, where our Pastor confessed but was not repentant.
So I left with them. I started going to another church with my old pastor and his wife and grown kids and grandkids. Still in the dark. It was about a month before I was told. My pastor’s wife had told me there was a lot of gossip going around our old church and asked me to stay out of it so I did. I always hated gossip. She sent me an email and told me. I was devastated, I felt betrayed because I had left my home church for them and didn’t have the facts to make my own choice. She had decided to stand by her man. She told me that people disagreed with her choice. So here I am sitting in the pews in a new church with my fallen pastor and wife. It was weird. Well he never stopped having the affair, when his wife found out she confronted him and he left her to be with his new woman. They had been married 26 years.
My pastor’s wife had never been on her own, had no idea how to survive without him. It was strange to me that hardly any of the women supported her, she hadn’t done anything wrong. I helped her for the next year or so. I was church shopping with her, it was not a good thing for me spiritually not to have a home church. I finally called my old assistant pastor and got her version of what had happened, it was different to hear from someone else whom I trusted what had gone on in the leadership. They had truly given him plenty of chances to repent and stop seeing her. I had never heard that. He acted like nobody had cared when he had cried out for help.
He is now married to the other woman and a shadow of the man I knew. His wife couldn’t live alone and married again to an unsaved man!!! It has been four years I am now living in another state with my husband. This mess came really close to ending my marriage as well.
My problem is I am still so lost. I haven’t wanted to go to church and haven’t joined another church because of trust issues I am sure. I love the Lord still but my relationship isn’t the same because I am not part of a church family any more. I don’t know what I wanted you to say to me except that you are still going through stuff five years later and that encouraged me not to give up. Thank you for your blog. I actually found it a couple of years ago and had saved it in my favorites and just looked at it today and read your recent posts. It is nice to hear someone else had been through this hopefully we will all heal soon.