Indiana woman forces married pastor to admit they had affair when she was 16 in front of church
A 65-year-old Indiana pastor has resigned from his church after admitting he had an affair with a 16-year-old girl in front of his entire congregation.
Pastor John Lowe II resigned from New Life Christian Church after being confronted onstage by Bobi Gephart, a 43-year-old woman who came forward with a microphone to tell her church in Warsaw, Indiana how she had groomed her as a adolescent, age 16 and older, the legal age of consent in the state.
Pastor Lowe II had just told the church that he ‘sinned’ 20 years ago by committing adultery, without mentioning the age of the woman or girl at the time.
He begged for the church’s forgiveness and then received a standing ovation.
Bobi then stormed onto the stage with her husband, Nate, to say “it wasn’t just adultery” because she was so young at the time.
‘For 27 years I lived in a prison… 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 and not realizing what had really been done to me.
“I’d still be in prison if my brother hadn’t approached me two weeks ago with what he had seen as a teenager that had bothered him all these years: his pastor in bed with his younger sister.”
Addressing Lowe, he continued: ‘I was only 16 when you took my virginity on your office floor. You remember? I know that you.
‘You did things to my teenage body that I should never have done. If you cannot admit the truth, you have to answer to God. You are not the victim here.
This is the moment Bobi Gephart, 43, and her husband Nate (center) confronted Pastor John B. Lowe II (left) onstage at New Life Christian Church in Indiana on Sunday.
Bobi and her husband then left the church stage and were comforted by other members of the congregation.
Pastor John Lowe II is now 65 years old. He was 38 when he began his relationship with Bobi. she was 16
Bobi’s husband Nate later added: ‘This is a lie. This is not just adultery.
‘It’s another level. It happened for nine years. When she was 15, 16 years old, she started the preparation.
He presented a pearl necklace that the church had given his wife and a ‘purity ring’ that he said the pastor gave him during their affair.
Nate returned both items, saying the couple were ‘not exaggerating the truth’ but encouraged other women who had been these ‘gifts from the ministry’ to return them as well.
As the couple left the stage, the pastor faced angry calls from the congregation.
‘If you did, you have to admit it!’ said an angry churchgoer.
Another shouted: ‘We need to hear from our pastor!’ Then a third yelled, ‘Give him the microphone!’
Lowe returned to the stage.
At first he said, ‘I told you I committed adultery and it went on too long.’
A member of the congregation yelled, ‘You didn’t tell us he was 16!’
The pastor is shown addressing the congregation and receiving a standing ovation after telling them that he “committed adultery” 20 years ago, before Bobi came onstage.
Then he relented: ‘It was wrong. I can’t do it right. I can’t do better. That’s the way it is.
‘It’s not entirely true, but it happened, yes.’
Because the legal age of consent in Indiana is 16, Lowe is unlikely to face criminal charges for the relationship.
He has withdrawn from the church and has been removed from his website.
In a statement, the church said: “This long kept secret first came to light when a woman in the church came forward and revealed the relationship to various people within the church.
‘When confronted by others in the church leadership regarding that report, Pastor Lowe privately confessed that adultery did, in fact, occur.
The pastor and his wife Debbie have now resigned from the church.
Bobi Gephart and her husband Nate. They told the congregation that the church was built ‘on lies’
‘In anticipation of Pastor Lowe’s public confession during our church service, the woman in question and her family were invited to be present.
She attended and, along with her husband, also addressed the congregation, stating that the sexual misconduct first occurred when she was 16 and continued into her twenties. She tearfully described living with deep shame and pain for the next few years.
“In the wake of what has now been revealed, we are hurt and broken for a woman who has lovingly attended and served the church for many years, as well as her husband and family.
“It is our deepest prayer and commitment to love her, support her, encourage her and help her through a healing process in any way we can.
‘Our brokenness also extends to Pastor Lowe, his wife and family.
‘For 42 years, New Life has taught and preached a crossover message of repentance, forgiveness and restoration; a reconciliation ministry that has been led and modeled by Pastors John and Debbie Lowe.
“As healing occurs in your hearts, your marriage and your family, we pledge to demonstrate the same support, encouragement, counsel and forgiveness that has come to define the collective heart and ministry of this body.”
Pastor Lowe II and his wife have children the same age as Bobi.