|Missing Puzzle Piece by Kim Logan|
Our names are Gerald T. & Kimberly Logan of Kansas City, Missouri. We have three children (all girls). We just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary and this year was a very happy and joyous year of celebration for us. Unfortunately, for the past several years we have not been able to celebrate. Our marriage, through the grace of God, has managed to withstand a vicious attack of Pastoral Sexual Abuse. Abuse from some who called himself a “friend.”
We became members of the church in 1995 after I lost yet another member of my family to death. My mother’s death was the first funeral ever held at this church.
I was born in a single-family home with three brothers. I was the only girl. By the time I was 25 years old, my life began what I like to call a five-year downward spiral. Within these five years, my oldest brother was found dead due to a drug overdose in his home; another brother died of AIDS in February 1995, and my mother died in November 1995, of a failed liver. My youngest brother, at the age of 17, received a life sentence in prison. After hearing the verdict of my brother, I went into a deep depression and lay in a fetal position in bed for three straight days from shock and depression.
My husband, knowing that I needed help, then asked our new pastor if he would talk to me. That started months of counsel with the pastor. During this time, our families started to become close. They had three girls who were practically the same age as our children. They spent nights together, went to amusement parks, birthday parties, you name it. He became good friends with my husband and soon after asked him if I could come to work as his assistant.
I then began to work for the pastor as his assistant. After a few years of working with him, he began to want to draw me closer to him. He began to call me every morning as he traveled to school. I would ask him to stop because it was making me feel uncomfortable. He stated that I reminded him of his sister and that I was mistaking [the intent of] the calls. He then began to want to counsel me in the office again about my deceased family. I wasn’t sure why he wanted to start counseling back up at the time. Now I know. He used that as one way to gain access to my emotions. He then began to do favors for me and my family. He knew we were looking for a car and he gave us one of his cars. We went on vacation and when we went to pay our bill, the desk clerk stated that our bill was previously paid. On my birthday he gave me a birthday party at one of the other pastors’ place of business. He didn’t let my husband know about this until the actual day of the party. He, on occasion, would take me to lunch several times a week. He would give me money. He also wanted me to go to the doctor each week with him for his allergy shots. He stated that he needed me with him.
He then began to share with me his childhood and some things that he went through as a child, his teen years and as an adult. He stated to me several times that I was the only one he could share his childhood with and that I was responsible for his health conditions getting better.
He also began to talk about my relationship with my husband and comparing himself to my husband in any area that I shared of concern with my husband during counseling. He tried to become the superior being to me in that area. I have come to discover that this was his way “grooming” me. He began to speak to me negatively about my husband and to treat him badly. My husband was a member of the leadership team at the church. One of the things I remember was a leadership retreat the church had during this time. He invited all the leaders except for my husband. He would block any ideas my husband had about anything. I could not speak of anything romantic between my husband and me in his presence. He later confessed his jealousy. He pretended to be my husband’s friend. My husband would still confide in him (after all, he was our pastor). He would take information from both of us and use it against us to keep us at odds with each other.
His approach was extremely subtle, not obvious in any way. I believe he used his training in counseling and human behavior to get into my head. He started subtly with many hours of conversation, telling me things like I was the only one that really cared about him. He would hug me and pull me really close to him. He would kiss me on the forehead. From there it progressed. I first believed all of this took place only over a four-year span of time. Many times though, I believe his intentions were not pure from the time he asked my husband if I could come work for him.
During this time I began to completely fall apart. After all, I was sinning against God. I would share with him how we needed to confess to the church and how I could not live with myself, and all of the deception it [this relationship] was causing. He would tell me over and over and over and over again that “He was the man that God appointed to Shepherd over the flock and he had everything under control.” I continued to fall apart; I wanted to die; I wanted to kill myself; and the only person I felt that I could talk to was my abuser. On one occasion, he brought a gun into work and told me that if I told someone he would go under a bridge and kill himself and I would have that to add to my suffering. I would now have to carry his death on my head along with the death of my family. He also told me the church would believe him over me, and they did, even though many members of our leadership team felt that something was going on.
It finally came out when husband found an explicit e-mail detailing some things that happened between the abuser and me. He spoke with one of the other ministers there and then, after his sermon, confronted the abuser face to face. He denied having anything to do with me. Later that week, we met with the Elders of the church. I described four personal marks on his body, and he lied his way through all of it. He convinced them, even with all the evidence presented, it was not true, and the sad part is he used information from our counseling sessions against me. He said I did this to get out of my marriage and because I was mad at him. One of the elders stated, “We have to protect the church and the Pastor at all costs.” I wanted to know, what about God? We instantly resigned from the church. The congregation at the church was told that we left the church in rebellion and to break off any and all fellowship. During that time, a couple that we were very close to resigned their membership from the church because of this. To this day they, along with a few other friends, have been extremely instrumental in our recovery process.
He [the pastor] continues to slander my husband and myself. He sent a message through one of our daughter’s best friends that eventually caused an end to their longtime relationship. The friend told our daughter that her parents lied on the pastor. She then told her that her parents should repent and we would then be allowed back into the church. Friends have even told us that he has set out to gain alliances against us in the church. The members are gossiping continuously. Many of them no longer have the same trust for the leadership. They did not tell the church why they felt we were in rebellion, and they choose to continue to withhold the truth from them.
So after all of this, I find myself sometimes still carrying all of this on my shoulders and sometimes blaming myself, even though God has blessed me. To this day, there is still so much self-blame on my part. I sometimes feel totally responsible for what is happening in everyone’s home. I thank God my husband & I are still together; I thank God that Gerald did not choose to leave me. He told me that for the last several years I had already been through enough and he promised God he would be with me “till death do us part.” I thank God we are still together to this day and our marriage is stronger than it’s been in a long time.
When all of this happened, my husband began to search the Internet under keywords “pastoral sexual abuse.” That’s where he found The Hope of Survivors. He then sent a very short email to the website. At first he didn’t continue conversing through the site but, after a few months, he began to tell me about what he had read. He began to tell me some of the things that he was discovering on the site. I became extremely interested. I went to the website and began to read. It was then that I started to feel the mercy of God. I began to find hope in what I felt was otherwise a hopeless situation. I truly began to feel God smile down on me. I began to e-mail Samantha and she began to tell me that it was not my fault and how I was abused and to no longer call it an “affair.” It was like finding and putting together that last piece of a 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.My husband and I went to a Hope & Healing conference Minnesota. It was a pivotal changing point in my recovery. I was not alone. There were women there from all over the United States who hurt like I hurt, who were in pain just as I was. This was not to be taken lightly. This was so real. The pain we all felt, some at different stages of recovery. Not only that, the husbands that came found support with each other. All different stories, the same headline. The Hope of Survivors has—and is—helping me get my life back together, and I will forever be grateful to this ministry.
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If you are a survivor of pastoral abuse, we would love to hear your story and possibly make it available on this web site for others to read and renew their hope. You can use a pseudonym if you choose and rest assured that all personal information will be kept private and strictly confidential. Please contact us.
Please note: We do not necessarily agree with or endorse all the information contained in the survivor’s stories. We do, however, feel they have some valuable information that could be useful to you in your recovery. It helps to know you’re not alone, that others have shared your pain and have healed, by the grace of God, in their own time and way.