The Australian pastor of one of the country’s largest Pentecostal churches is facing indecent assault charges.

Pastor John McMartin who, together with his wife Carol, has been the Senior Pastor of Inspire Church in the south west region of Sydney for over thirty years, appeared in Liverpool court on December 16. He has been bailed to appear in court on January 27.

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According to blogger David Ould, who has obtained access to the statement the church has released, the church stated: “The allegation is of sexual misconduct with a woman that it is alleged to have occurred approximately eight years ago. 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.”

Below is the release that appeared on David Ould’s website:

The pastor has stepped down while the matter, alleged to involve a 19 year-old woman, goes through the courts. Meanwhile, his son, Brendan, is running the church in the interim.

McMartin is a long-time the President of the New South Wales arm of the Australian Christian Churches Pentecostal denomination.

The Sydney megachurch claims a weekly attendance of 5,000 people. The church also has a gymnasium on site.

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