John McMartin, a former NSW president of the Australian Christian Churches (ACC) denomination is facing indecent assault charges. McMartin appeared in the Liverpool District Court on December 16 and has been bailed to appear on January 27. McMartin has stepped aside from his Senior pastor roles at Inspire Church, one of the largest ACC churches, while the matter is before the court.
“The allegation is of sexual misconduct with a woman that it is alleged to have occurred approximately eight years ago,” an Inspire Church statement says. “Shortly after the police charged Pastor McMartin, he decided to step aside from all his roles with the church until the matter is dealt with by the courts.
“The Church leaders are shocked by the allegation and are taking it extremely seriously. The congregation has been informed of the allegation and what steps are being taken. We are committed to approaching this in an honest, transparent way, focussed on doing what is right and with a deep concern for the welfare of those involved. The Board has asked a CBD legal firm to appoint an independent external workplace specialist to investigate the matter and advise us on how best to move forward.”
Eternity understands that the alleged victim was a young woman, 19 years old at the time of the alleged assault.
The statement, issued in the name of Pastor Mike Meyer was obtained by blogger David Ould. It adds: “We are an organisation that holds fast to the principles of love, compassion, honesty and integrity. While we are not pre-judging the rights and wrongs of this matter, we have absolutely no tolerance for any kind of abuse, mental, physical or sexual. The Church board members are united in our concern, equally, for both parties involved. We are offering counselling and support to them, and to anyone in our congregation affected by this. Pastor Brendon (sic) and Melissa have been appointed Senior Pastors of Inspire Church to lead the church and our amazing team from strength to strength.”
Brendan McMartin is John McMartin’s son, and until recently was lead pastor at the Wagga Wagga campus of Inspire Church. His facebook profile was updated this morning.
John McMartin was on the NSW state board of the ACC / Assemblies of God for 26 years and also served on the national board.