I have a feeling that congregations all over Alabam would be stunned if their ministers were to suddenly be honest with them.
Courtesy of Newsweek:
An anti-gay preacher has been arrested after confessing to his congregation that he had a sexual relationship with a young boy.
John Thomas Martin, lead pastor at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Florence, Alabama, broke down in the pulpit while telling stunned churchgoers about his “affair” with an underage male. He admitted to abusing the boy on multiple occasions, both at his home and on trips. Martin also reportedly said he sent explicit text messages.
According to court documents, the victim claimed that on a camping trip to celebrate Martin’s son’s birthday, the pastor got into the victim’s tent and touched him. Another time, Martin assaulted him in a van while on an overnight trip out of state. Martin was also a school bus driver for Florence City Schools and allegedly showed the boy nude photos of himself with a towel draped over his body.
After confessing to his congregation, Martin checked himself into a psychiatric unit at North Alabama Medical Center and turned over two guns. According to the sheriff’s office, Martin had asked his wife to take his pistol earlier “because he had been holding it to his head and contemplating suicide.”
The victim’s name is being kept private but, according to the Lauderdale County sheriff, he was “in either 6th or 7th grade” the first time Martin sexually assaulted him.
Martin is being charged with four counts of sex abuse with a child younger than 16.
It is hard to put a positive spin on a story like this, but at least this guy admitted what he did without blaming the victim, Satan, or gay people.
I don’t know if this guy was being blackmailed, was about to be outed, or simply had a crisis of conscience, but ultimately he did the right thing.