The bible takes loyalty towards your spouse rather seriously. In fact, one of the Ten Commandments clearly states, “thou shalt not commit adultery”. Therefore, you would imagine that pastors, the very ones that preach and spread this word, would play by the rules.
Well, that clearly isn’t the case if history is any indication. Some of the most famous pastors have all been caught in flagrante delicto. Here is a breakdown of the most public and shocking affairs that have come to light:
At the height of his fame, Bob Coy was one of the most popular pastors in Florida. His megachurch drew in a membership of around 25,000 congregants. The church was even visited by George W. Bush. However, Coy didn’t always lead a life of righteousness – he used to run a casino and other nefarious businesses before he became a priest.
However, it appeared that Coy’s morals didn’t change all that much after he was a pastor, either. In 2014, he was forced to part ways with his church after being accused of adultery and a habitual use of pornography. To make matters worse, he was then charged with molesting a 4 year old.
Haggard a lot to say about how much of a sin extramarital sex was. He was also against premarital intimacy and was especially against gay marriage. These topics were often the center of his sermons and was something he was passionate about.
Therefore, it came as quite a shock to his congregation to discover that he had been engaging the services of a male escort – while he was a married man. Later on, another man stepped forward with accusations that Haggard had had a relationship with him as well. Despite these very public allegations, Haggard’s wife continued to stay by his side and he has attempted to go back into the Ministry.
At a glance, it would appear that Jim Bakker had it all – a multi-million dollar business based on his preaching, a devoted wife, and hoards of dedicated followers. This all came crumbling down when a former secretary accused Bakker of sexually assaulting here. He paid $200,000 in hush money to go away.
However, the problems kept piling on. And, later, it appeared that Bakker had also engaged in several same-sex relationships throughout the years. The final blow was when he was accused and charged with financial fraud. He spent five years in prison before being paroled in 1994. He was meant to have served 45 years.
Throughout the 1980s, you would have been hard-pressed to find a televangelist that was more popular than Jimmy Swaggart. At one point, his show was being broadcast to two million households across America. He was also well-known for accusing other pastors such as Jim Bakker and Marvin Gorman of extramarital affairs.
In an interesting turn of events, these were the men that provided evidence of the fact that Swaggart was carrying on his own affairs! He was accused of performing voyeuristic acts with a prostitute. There was also proof of him engaging the services of other prostitutes as well.
Even after he was defrocked by the Assemblies of God, Swaggart continued to be an independent Pentecostal pastor. However, his behavior didn’t cease as he was found with yet another prostitute by the police at a traffic stop.
Mike Hintz was a youth pastor at a large Des Moines church in Iowa. Of the many things that Hintz preached about, he was especially against pornography. In fact, he was a part of a group that took out an ad that stated that businesses who sell porn should be prosecuted at a criminal level.
It is interesting that Hintz took this view as he was later charged with sexual exploitation. The married Hintz coerced a seventeen year old into a sexual relationship. Despite this, he continues to preach and be involved with various fellowships.
Lamb has made quite a success for himself as a televangelist. As the co-founder, President, and CEO of Daystar Television Network, it is estimated that his network’s worth around $230 million. At the height of his power and success, Lamb was forced to admit an extramarital affair.
In 2010, he claimed the affair had taken place several years later. He and his wife sought the support of marriage counselors and continued to stay together. Lamb only publicly announced his indiscretions when he was being blackmailed by three separate people. He is still an important televangelist in the States.
It is clear that there are many famous pastors out there don’t think too much of their marriage vows. And, these are just the portion of people who have been found out over the years. It is quite possible that there are many out there who continue to live double lives.
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