Memphis pastor apologizes, resigns after admission of sexual misconduct

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A top pastor at Highpoint Church has resigned after admitting that he committed sexual misconduct with a high school student more than 20 years ago.

Andy Savage said he was a college student working for a church in Texas at the time. He said he asked for forgiveness from the teen and the church, resigned, and moved back to Memphis.

Savage was the Teaching Pastor at Highpoint, and said he told church leaders about what happened before he was hired. He has been on a leave of absence as the church investigated the allegations.

WMC Action News 5 spoke exclusively with the victim about her side of the story.

Savage released a statement early Tuesday announcing his resignation:

Throughout the last two and a half months, I've had the opportunity to spend much time in prayer and God's Word, as well as to reflect on the thoughts shared by so many who responded to the post by Jules Woodson and to my statement on January 7th. Your passionate opinions on this important matter have truly helped me to gain perspective that I simply could not have achieved on my own. I have come to understand Jules' vantage point better, and to appreciate the courage it took for her to speak up.

Highpoint Church also released a statement following Savage's resignation:

Dear Highpoint Family,

Woodson responded to Savage's apology and resignation:

While yesterday's announcement is a step in the right direction, the conversation must not end here. Instead, this needs to be a wakeup call for everyone. There is a systemic problem within the institution of the church that props people up in places of power and gives them immunity based on cheap grace and a call for forgiveness. This has bred a culture ripe for abuse and cover-up. Repentance, accountability and justice should not be contrived.

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