My name is Ben. I am now 40. I would like to share my story with you.
I attended the Mt. Hope Baptist Church in Stafford County, Virginia. As a teen, I was abused on the church property by the Reverend George O.A. Lowe. He was consoling me and it went on for some time because I was afraid to tell, thinking that I would get sent away or something.
In 1988, I first went to the chairman of the deacon board, asking what to do. It was always told to us that when you have a problem in the church you first go to someone in the church.
Well, the deacon told me that Christians don't take Christians to court. And he had me face Lowe, who took a no big deal attitude.
I then went to the Sheriff's office, who had me take a polygraph but did not go forward because Lowe denied everything and there was not enough information.
Well, the next 20 years were full of struggles. I could not go back to that church because I knew everything he was pretending to be was a lie. I fell into drug and alcohol abuse and was dismissed from the military after a suicide attempt. I actually had several attempts on my life, but I always made them look like accidents.
Well, after a failed marriage and an incarceration, the Sheriff's office re-opened the case after the jail therapist visited with a deputy. When I was released from prison last year, they had me visit Lowe three times wearing a wire.
He was charged and pleaded guilty in May 2008 to two counts of indecent liberties. And he is now in jail awaiting sentencing in August.
I am so happy that the blame is now on the shoulders of the one who it belongs on.
I am now ready to live not as a victim but a survivor.
Related news links:
Ben's letter to the editor
Minister given 5 years on molestation count
Stafford minister jailed for sex with boy in '80s
Pastor indicted in child assault