More details have emerged about the “sinful” and “illegal” actions committed by the founder of one of the largest churches in Licking County, Ohio, that led to his resignation in October.
John Schouten, who founded VGF Church (formerly known as Vineyard Grace Fellowship) in Heath, has admitted to having an inappropriate years-long relationship with a teenage student when he was a newlywed teacher at Liberty Christian Academy over 30 years ago.
The relationship, which occurred before Schouten was a Christian, resulted in the girl becoming pregnant at the age of 19 after she graduated from the school.
“Although Schouten officially parted ways with VGF in October, only a few details were reported in the media at the time out of privacy concerns. It was noted that Schouten committed “wrong, evil and illegal” acts that only involved one accuser and took place before his spiritual conversion in the 1980s.”
But this week, a former Liberty Christian Academy student who knew both Schouten and the female student in question came forward to disclose more details about the situation to 10TV.
“John would have been 25. He started sleeping with her when she was 14, she was a senior when I got there,” the former student, who chose to remain anonymous, explained. “He got her pregnant while his … pregnant wife Marilyn was working at the school.”
“I wanted to vomit [when] I heard that he was a megachurch pastor,” the student added.
Mark Weaver, a church member acting as a spokesperson for both the board of elders and Schouten, told The Christian Post on Friday that the same former student who spoke to 10TV first contacted the church through an email about the allegations in June.
The church later disclosed the information provided by the whistleblower to its congregants that same month during a congregational meeting that was held directly following a Sunday church service.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith