First Baptist Church of Woodstock has formally suspended Pastor Emeritus Johnny Hunt, according to a letter by Jeremy Morton, Lead Pastor issued to the church, after it was revealed Hunt, 69, had allegedly sexually assaulted another pastor’s wife a decade ago.
You can read more about the details here, but the gist of it is that 12 years ago while on vacation together with another pastor and his wife, Hunt is accused of making inappropriate comments to her about her body such as her tan lines, and then manoeuvered himself into her room, where he is alleged to have pinned her to the couch, got on top of her, forcibly removed her clothes, and groped her and put his hands and mouth on the breasts and body. Afterward, he apologized to her and the husband and they all did some counseling and collectively decided not to bring it up ever again.
In the letter posted on the church’s website on June 3, Morton informs the congregation of all the steps the church has taken to ensure their safety, assuring them that any abuse or potential abuse will be investigated and taken seriously, then explains the fate of their former leader:
Second, we have recommended to our former pastor, Johnny Hunt, a clear process of counseling, accountability, and restoration. We also believe it is in the best interest of FBCW to suspend his role as Pastor Emeritus. While we are forever grateful for the supernatural work of God over the last 30+ years at FBCW, we believe this decision aligns with our biblical theology as a church regarding spiritual leaders being above reproach (1 Tim. 3:2).
Two weeks ago, Hunt copped to the interaction, but not on any of the details. After the news first hit, Hunt tweeted out a brief message, reiterating that he “vigorously denies the circumstances and characterizations set forth in the Guidepost report” and that “I never abused anybody.” later, he put out a message on social media to his church family at First Baptist Woodstock, further denying the claims against him.
Though he doesn’t go into any detail, he describes their interaction as a “brief, improper encounter” that was fully “consensual” but which he fled after feeling conviction about it. He states in no uncertain terms “it was NOT abuse NOR was it assault” and that “the most absurd allegation is that this brief, consensual encounter constituted assault.”
Hunt further castigated the report by Guidepost as being “sensationalized” and emphatically asserts that he did not groom her or arrange the encounter, all the while the story as told by guidepost has some truth to it, that “the allegation made in the report is false” and that “there are other details in the description that are stated as fact which did not happen.”
We’re on the record of saying that basically everyone in this story ought to be fired, as they’re all disqualified.
Hunt has not posted anything on his social media since the announcement from his church.