Mountainbrook Church pastor apologizes, and defends himself

February 9, 2020

Pastor Thom O’Leary

By CCT STAFF

In response to Mountainbrook Church releasing the findings of an investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by former pastor Thom O’Learly, the embattled pastor released a statement apologizing for some behaviors and defending himself against other accusations.

Last week, Mountainbrook Church Lead Pastor Thom O’Leary and his wife Executive Pastor Sherri O’Leary resigned after an investigation validated allegations of sexual misconduct and alcohol abuse.

In his statement, Thom O’Leary said he was accused of excessive drinking in social settings, overly hugging and touching the butts of three female staff members, and conversationally texting women privately for an extended length of time.

Thom O’Leary recently sent a statement to congregants.

“I am also deeply sorry that I made three women on staff uncomfortable,” Thom O’Leary said in his statement. “They did not deserve that. It was not my intention to act inappropriately on any of these occasions. For clarity, although I understand that my actions could very well be perceived otherwise, I was being friendly and never seeking to make a sexual advancement.

“Additionally, I confess that I privately texted various women over the past decade. To be clear, there was never any sexual content. The texting began as pastoral and became more frequent and conversational thereafter. This was inappropriate. As a married man, I realize that I should not be privately texting other women and vow to my wife to never do that again”

Thom O’Leary then denied he used church funds for his own use.

“A fourth, and more recent inquiry, is that I may have spent money on personal expenses with a church issued card,” Thom O’Leary wrote. “In all good conscience, I do not believe this is accurate and certainly is not my understanding. If any discrepancies are discovered, I will immediately resolve them.”


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ravennest

“I was being friendly . . . ”

“I privately texted several women – there was never any sexual content.”

One doesn’t have to have a Ph.D in psychology to see that this guy’s head is screwed on wrong and he’ll never ‘get it.’ Actions always speak louder than words. There doesn’t necessarily have to be any ‘sexual content’ to have an affair. What he’s been doing over and for these years has been ignored by too many people. I’m so glad others had the courage to come forward and speak out. This man should never be put in a position of leadership again.


Old Salt

My guess is he and wife will START UP a new church / Congregation / in a new city after he moves on.

There’s just to much MONEY involved in these pastoral ministries to just quit or walk way from permanently.


1 Timothy 3:2

1This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)


Stunned

“I was being friendly and never seeking to make a sexual advancement (when I squeezed your butt in a friendly manner)!” Let it go Tom……6 months from now no one will remember you if you shut up now!


corvidae

Just because the word “apologize” is present doesn’t quite make it an apology. The albino is too defensive.


GrayGranny2010

I am not a member of this church so I have no vested interest but I find Mr. O’Leary’s apology to be a “politically correct statement,” not a sincere heartfelt apology. I believe this also speaks to how sexual harassment is still very much alive and I applaud those individuals who came forward (it takes a lot courage).