This happened in my family’s church some years back. It was sleazy and juicy and all crap broke loose. I never get to tell this story, so if I may?
My cousin Sally was having trouble in her marriage. She wanted to stop ‘acting like kids’ and playing 3-4 sports weekly and going out after for beer, but instead felt that their social life should naturally settle more towards churching and hanging out with extended family and fellow church goers. He felt like continuing to do all the things they’d always done together and not stopping and becoming Suburban Church Guy.
So, off she goes to Pastor for some marital counseling. Not only is he her Pastor, but he’s Sally’s best friend’s father, a man she’s grown up knowing as Pastor and fatherly figure/spiritual leader.
They begin an illicit affair. He’s cheating on his wife of 25 years, her on her husband of 2 years. Her own brother, also a church member, is the one who figured it out and ratted them out to everyone.
Result? Sally and her best girlfriend never speak again. Sally gets divorced and moves back home. Pastor is roundly condemned, resignation demanded and given, divorced and reduced to living on a former church member’s couch while trying to find a job. His ex-wife and kids stay in the church and never speak of him again, dunno if they ever speak to him. The brother wasn’t viewed very favorably by some, even though he was considered correct to have blown the lid on things, he also ratted out his own sister and that’s bad form.
There seemed to be zero debate about whether he should resign, most of the church was ready to bring on the torches and pitchforks. They seemed more inclined to ‘christian forgiveness’ on her behalf, imo largely because her extended family lobbied hard to have Sally seen as a young troubled girl preyed on by an older skeevy man. Maybe they wouldn’t have been so hard on him if the affair had been with a stranger and not a congregation member, or someone his own age and not his daughter’s best friend, no way to tell.