Inside Edition reveals that the pastor began grooming her as a 14-year-old in sexual encounters that have haunted her almost three decades later.
For nearly 30 years, Bobi Gephart wanted to tell someone about John B. Lowe II, the longtime pastor of New Life Christian Church and World Outreach in Warsaw, Indiana. Gephart finally shared the secret she said has haunted her before Lowe’s own congregation on May 22, taking to the stage after the pastor had confessed to “adultery”20 years ago “I sinned,”He said it, noting that he had never publicly admitted to it before “to protect myself.”
“If you love us, please let us talk,” said, Nate Gephart, Bobi’s husband who accompanied her to the stage, before handing the microphone to his wife, video of the encounter showed.
Bobi noted it had not been 20 years, but 27 since the sexual relationship began, and that she “lived in a prison of lies and shame.”
“You did things to my teenage body that had never and should have never been done,”She spoke.
“For years, I thought I was a horrible person, having suicidal thoughts, not realizing what had truly been done to me, that I was a victim,”He heard her tell him. “I was only 16 when you took me virginity on your office floors. Do you recall that? You do.
“You kept me in your prison,” she told Lowe. “I’m a prisoner no longer.”
What became sexual started more innocuously, Bobi, now 43, told Inside Edition.
Lowe began grooming her when she was 14, earning her trust and telling her he loved her, she said.
When she was 16, “Things progressed into a full-on sexual, I guess you would call it, relationship,”It lasted for nine years, she stated. Bobi was 20 years younger than Lowe at 65.
Bobi told no one what happened between her and Lowe and even had him officiate her and Nate’s 2004 wedding.
“(Lowe) told me this would ruin everybody. ‘Think of the lives that would be destroyed if you ever said anything,’ (that) he would go to prison,”She spoke.
Bobi kept the details of what had happened secret until her brother approached Bobi about a disturbing memory he had when she was a teenager.
“He saw us in the bed together, and I just had a t-shirt and underwear on,”She spoke. “It was the floodgates. I opened up to my brother (about) absolutely everything and he wept with me.
“I didn’t know that he knew. I didn’t know that he saw that,”She continued on with tears.
Bobi’s brother then confronted Lowe over text and Lowe made his confession of sorts during a Sunday service. Lowe admitted that he had sinned and was given a standing ovation by Bobi as he approached the podium.
“My husband and I sat in the back of the sanctuary, and we were on fire and just shaking our heads,”She spoke. “I just can’t believe you’re lying to these people,”She spoke about her thoughts.
Bobi confronted Lowe after the service. Nate took a necklace Lowe had given Bobi and a purity ring that she wore prior to marriage, and threw them onto the podium.
Bobi was embraced by the congregation as her husband and she left the stage. They demanded answers. In Indiana, the age of consent is 16. Lowe, who admitted Bobi to his sexual relationship with him at the age of 16, said: “I ask you to forgive me. That’s all I can do.”He has since resigned.
“Many, many people came to us and just there were just sobs and hugs and love,”Bobi said. “It’s almost like, I can’t even believe everybody knows my secret now, you know what I’m saying? Just to think that I might be helping one other girl in a similar situation would make this worth it, in my opinion.”