Within the last three weeks Pastor Johnny Hunt has gone from “no contact whatsoever” to admitting that he had a “consensual encounter” with a younger pastor’s wife.
Guest post by Steve Baughman
Whether it be having sex with a 16 year old purity-ring-wearing virgin on your office floor (Pastor John Lowe), sex with your employees at the spa you own (Rev. Ravi Zacharias), or sex-of-some-sort with another pastor’s wife at a beach condo (Pastor Johnny Hunt), powerful men can be counted on to put their reputations above their integrity.
Johnny Hunt is doing exactly that.
Let’s take Pastor Hunt at his word. We shall disregard everything the woman said about the alleged sexual assault of July 25, 2010. In fact, let’s take it even further. Let’s imagine a $1,000,000 demand letter from her lawyer telling Hunt to pay up or a false allegation of sexual assault will hit the internet Sunday morning right before church.
As awful as that would be, it doesn’t help Johnny Hunt much. He is still stuck with his own words. And these words confirm beyond a doubt that he is a liar and a deceiver. To make matters worse, Pastor Hunt’s deceptions are fresh and new: he lied to Guidepost investigators and misled his followers in the month of May 2022.
Here’s Pastor Johnny Hunt in his own words.
Sometime (apparently) after May 9, 2022, Pastor Hunt told Guidepost investigators (Guidepost Report) that he had “no contact whatsoever” with the woman during that visit in 2010. (Report at p. 159.)
On May 27, 2022, Pastor Hunt wrote to his church in Woodstock, GA, admitting that he had committed “an awful sin but it was a consensual encounter.”
So within three weeks, Pastor Hunt went from a full-on denial of physical contact, to admitting that he had a “consensual encounter” with a pastor’s wife.
In between these statements he deflected the issue. On May 22,2022, he said this: “To put it bluntly: I vigorously deny the circumstances and characterizations set forth in the Guidepost report. I have never abused anybody.” Readers would be forgiven for reading this as a denial that something sexual happened. But something sexual did happen. And it took Pastor Hunt another five days to admit it.
Pastor Hunt also made excuses. Early in the letter to his church, he informs them that what he is about to confess happened after “my battle with cancer” and during “a season of deep despair and probably clinical depression.” He also said “I’m sorry I was not more forthcoming with the interviewers…” His reason: “I guess I was just so surprised and so shocked by the allegations of abuse that I shut down.”
But we know that Pastor Hunt was not “surprised” and “shocked” by the abuse questions. He was interviewed twice by Guidepost. (Report at p. 158.) He made his false “no contact whatsoever” claim in the second interview. In the first interview, investigators specifically asked if the sabbatical he had taken after the July 2010 encounter had anything to do with sexual abuse. (It did.) They also asked “several questions” about the church where the husband of the woman was pastor. So by the second interview, Pastor Hunt knew full well that Guidepost was investigating his own sexual misconduct. He had plenty of time to decide between his reputation and the Ninth Commandment. Johnny Hunt chose the former.
But it gets worse. As we continue to ignore the woman’s claim, let’s look at what the church counselor has to say about the sexual encounter. Pastor Hunt had assigned Roy Blankenship to counsel him and the couple. (Report p. 152.) Here’s what the report says about their sessions.
“Mr. Blankenship said that Dr. Hunt had kissed Survivor and touched her breast over her clothes. He did not recall anything about pulling down pants. Mr. Blankenship stated that he did not think he received the full story. He confirmed that, at the time, his assessment was based on what Dr. Hunt told him and that the sexual contact was consensual.” (Report p. 154. Emphasis added.)
So in 2010, Johnny Hunt admitted a sexual encounter with the wife of a pastor he mentored. He kept it quiet for twelve years, lied about it in May of 2022, and then he deceived his flock about why he lied about it.
Those are the facts. Johnny Hunt speaks for himself.
Now, we have said nothing real about the woman who was there in the condo on that day in July, 2010. FULL DISCLOSURE: I believe her. Her detailed statements to Guidepost, her consistency, her apparent lack of motive to lie, her willingness to suffer in silence for over a decade to avoid undermining Johnny Hunt’s reputation (or perhaps because she loved the Gospel?), and much more, make her another credible person betrayed by men of the cloth. That betrayal continues as the man who lied and now makes excuses for it “vigorously” accuses her of bearing false witness against him.
Johnny Hunt called me in the summer of 2020 to talk about my investigation of Ravi Zacharias. We had a pleasant chat. He told me that he had been “a regular” at Rev. Zacharias’s spa and that he had never heard of sexual things going on there. I believed him. He was, after all, charming, friendly, charismatic, and likable. These qualities will serve him well as he faces an uphill battle convincing his denomination that, despite his deceptions of the past three weeks, he really does value the Kingdom of God more than the kingdom of Johnny Hunt.
Steve Baughman is a lawyer and a sometime part-time student at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley. For extensive documentation of the assertions in this article see his Ravi Zacharias exposé Cover Up in the Kingdom: Phone Sex, Lies, and God’s Great Apologist, Ravi Zacharias, available at Amazon for download and physical delivery. Steve can be reached through his website www.RaviWatch.com or www.CelticGuitar.com .