Ron Carpenter Jr., pastor of Redemption World Outreach Center, stood before his congregation on Sunday with bad news upon bad news.
Warning the church that it wasn’t going to be a pleasant conversation and inviting visitors and even members to dismiss themselves, he confessed a shocking revelation that his wife, Hope, had voluntarily checked into a one-year rehabilitation clinic and is in isolation.
“She is under psychiatric evaluation at this moment, and I have been on the phone with therapists until deep in the night last night,” a weary-eyed Carpenter said during the Sunday service.
“Therapists told me it was the worst case they had ever seen. That is the severity of this moment and this issue. In fact, they were going to start treatment Monday, and once she was evaluated the doctor wanted to start treatment immediately. That’s where we are right now.”
Carpenter then went on to explain the backstory. He said he courted Hope in a pure, holy, sex-free relationship for three and a half years before they married on June 23, 1990. For 14 years they had a blissful marriage. He called it a fairy tale and said they didn’t even argue. But in 2004, after he dedicated the church facility on Easter Sunday, he discovered a “very different woman.”
“I went home to a person that for the next 10 years I did not marry and I had not known," he said. "Many of you were here during that time, and you saw erratic behavior. You saw changes. I tried my best to hide them. I did not know what was going on, and I did not know what to do, but I knew I had great love for this lady.”
Carpenter disclosed that he and his wife went through two years of “grueling therapy,” and he was believing for a miracle even while she withdrew herself from ministry and stopped coming to church most weekends. He admitted he didn’t know where she was most of those Sundays.
“What you do not know is that week in the therapist’s office, she confessed a five-year inappropriate relationship to me,” Carpenter said. “And I thought I was going to die. I about lost my mind.”
Carpenter said he had a panic attack later that night, threw up and slept in a horse stable. He knew he had a decision to make as a minister who speaks all over the world. He knew it was a public relations nightmare.
“I am not going to get up here and try to wax super spiritual,” he said. He also said if he wasn’t in the ministry, he wouldn’t have stayed. “But when I considered the integrity of the name of the Lord, I don’t want to hurt His name,” he said, sobbing.
“When I thought about you ... when I thought about my love for her ... I love her right now. Right now. I love her right now. Right now ... I did not want my children to have this information about their mother. When I was in that horse stable I considered all the package. ... When I considered everything, I made a decision to stay and to try to cover my wife because a man, if he is a man, he is a covering, and love covers a multitude of sins. So I tried to do what I preached to you to do just like Jesus is a covering, and He covered my sins. It was agony.”
Carpenter also announced the he is no longer seeking reconciliation with his wife and is bracing for the storm that lies ahead. Click here for more of this story.