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Monday, April 12, 2021

Fort Worth attorney, organization working with Tennessee church dealing with sexual assault issue

Highpoint Church in Memphis is working with a Fort Worth-based organization and a Fort Worth attorney to help the church deal with allegations of sexual assault by a minister at the church.

Scott Fredricks, a partner with the law firm of Cantey Hanger in Fort Worth, has been hired “for the purpose of evaluating the church’s actions with respect to Andy Savage’s ministry at Highpoint,” according to the church. According to the news release from the church, Fredricks has had experience working with churches and other organizations deal with similar issues. “His investigation will include a review of past and current actions of the church and its leadership concerning Andy Savage’s ministry, the impact of those actions, and advising Highpoint as it makes decisions about the future of ministry at Highpoint,” according to the news release.

The church has also retained Fort Worth-based MinistrySafe to assess its existing child protection policies and practices. MinistrySafe assists ministries in the creation of safety systems to protect children from sexual abuse. Highpoint has acked MinistrySafe to assess the church’s current ministries that serve miniors.

Earlier this month, a publishing house canceled plans to publish a book by Savage after he was accused of sexual assault.

The Commercial Appeal and The New York Times reported Christian publisher Bethany House announced it canceled publication of “The Ridiculously Good Marriage” by Andy Savage. The publisher said the book may remain on retail websites for a short time until those are updated.

The move comes after allegations by a woman who says Savage sexually assaulted her while she was a 17-year-old high school senior in Texas in 1998.

Savage has made a statement on the website of Highpoint Church in Memphis, acknowledging he was involved in a sexual incident with a female high school student while he was on a Texas church staff. Other reports say the incident occurred when Savage was a youth minister at Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church outside Houston. – This report includes information from the Associated Press

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