Quick recap: in 2009, my pastor (very small, conservative southern denomination) and his wife split up. She had been our music director. When she left, her assistant, k, took over the music. Several months later, he got up one Sunday to address what he said were persistent gossip and rumors. Rumors were that he and K had been having an A. Both denied, and the church ended up splitting over it. There were 3 people who were identified as the chief "instigators". Many other people left. There were very bad, bitter feelings.
We live in a small town. There three women were essentially shunned.
In the past 6 months, it has come to light that pastor and K have been dating for "a while". In my previous post, I wrote about how that all played out and how disappointed I was. Someone mentioned putting him on a pedestal and I didn't think that was the case.
I've realized over the past two weeks that's exactly what I had done.
In my last post I told y'all that I had messaged one of the three women who had left the church. I wasn't sure if I should try again or not. I also messaged another one. She called me last Wednesday night and we talked for over 2 hours. And I was ashamed, sad, and disgusted at myself, our church and the now former pastor. We all took his word about the gossip. We believed him and could not imagine that he would not tell the truth. But when I look at the facts and what I ever saw/heard for myself, I never heard the say one word. They all say that they had concerns about his behavior and confronted him out of concern for him and the church. And it all got turned around on them. Gas lighting and blameshifting at its finest. Simply unreal.
I've been able to apologize to each of these women. The one I messaged first responded Friday and we've corresponded a couple of times.
The whole thing is still so sad to me. But I hope we've started a process of setting things right.