Members of the Highpoint Church in Memphis, Tennessee applauded Pastor Andy Savage when he admitted to and apologized for a sexual incident with a high school student 20 years ago.
. He took her to a wooded area, unzipped his trousers, took his penis out, and asked her for oral sex.
"Holy Spirit, would you take this prayer and right now as thousands of people are praying in agreement, in unison, would you touch Ms. Woodson's heart in a way that only you can and heal her of the pain that was caused from this sin 20 years ago?"
Savage added during the interview: "The atmosphere was very flirtatious". That flirtatious environment continued to move forward, which led to us making out, some heavy petting.
"It was a very... mutual, spontaneous, physical... moment and our hormones were obviously... very much in that moment and... she performed oral sex".
He said he told church leaders what happened and no one called the police. 'He was an adult and he was a pastor and he was in a place of trust'. Lead pastor Chris Conlee then leads the church in prayer.
'We want to maintain trust in both Andy and our church leadership that we are not only doing things right, but we are doing right things.
Conlee said the church is asking "a qualified, independent, third-party organization to do a full audit of our church processes and Andy's ministry".
The church has not said whether the leave will be paid.
Instead, she writes, he drove down a dead end road, turned off the vehicle's lights, pulled his penis out of his trousers and asked her to perform oral sex on him.
According to Woodson, the assault occurred when Savage, a 22-year-old youth minister, was giving her a ride home from the Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church, just north of Houston.
Woodson was 17 at the time.
As the story spread, many on social media agreed with Woodson that Savage's apology was insufficient.
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She said Savage told her he had a surprise for her before he drove past her house to the wooded area.
The incident lasted for five minutes, she writes, at which point he got out of the vehicle, came over to the passenger's side, and knelt in front of it and exclaimed: 'Oh my God. 'I assumed we were going to get ice cream'.
She says he told her to keep what transpired a secret, and then he got back in the auto and drove her to her home.
Woodson declined to speak to CNN directly but she wrote that "there are triggers that take me back to that night, there are nightmares that haunt my dreams".
"I remember him pleading, while he was on his knees with his hands up on his head, 'Oh my God, oh my God". He then asked me to unbutton my shirt.
However it was the final conclusion to his remarks that was met with a standing ovation.
Savage's past was brought up by his victim Jules Woodson, who wrote about the incident on Friday.
"I am a grown woman now and although it's been nearly 20 years since everything happened, it still affects me to this day", she wrote.
'Not only did I suddenly feel this enormous guilt for doing what Andy had asked me to do but I also started to feel that this was my fault somehow because I didn't stop him, ' she wrote.
During a service earlier this month streamed on the Tennessee church's YouTube page, Savage admitted he "regretfully had a sexual incident with a female high school senior in the church".
The encounter, which he said happened before he was engaged to his wife, Amanda, was "dealt with in Texas 20 years ago", he said without elaborating, "but in the last few days it has been presented to a wider audience".
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