Pastor Ron Carpenter told a horror story to his Redemption World Outreach Center congregation on Sunday. It was a story of betrayal and brokenness that led to the Pentecostal leader breaking down sobbing in front of his megachurch, located in Greenville, S.C.
After more than one long-term affair, Carpenter’s wife, Hope, voluntarily checked in to a one-year rehabilitation program over the weekend. Her psychological state is so fragile that doctors are beginning immediate treatment.
When Hope confessed her first affair in 2010, Carpenter wound up in the hospital. Doctors thought he was having a heart attack. The stress of keeping his wife’s infidelity and emotional instability a secret for nearly a decade took its toll on the megachurch pastor.
“I cannot tell you the horror of having something like plutonium inside of me, a secret in me," Carpenter told his church. "And I have to grab a microphone every Sunday and Wednesday and talk to the world, having lost all my confidence, humiliated, shamed and embarrassed.”
“There was no remorse. There was no compassion," he continued, describing his wife's behavior. "The erratic behavior, random, random, reckless, careless behavior only escalated, and the situation in 2011, 2012 just deteriorated worse and worse. I don’t know how I have come before you and done what I have done. The state of my mind and the preoccupation ... the volatility of my home. I don’t know how I’ve done what I’ve done.”
Carpenter had renewed hope in January when he said something started turning.
“Her motherhood started coming back," he said. "Her attitude toward me began to change. She began to have a desire again to be restored to ministry. I saw her devotional life pick back up. I saw her time with God begin to be productive and consistent. ... I thought, 'Maybe we have done it. Maybe we've beat this thing.'”
Despite renewed hope, Carpenter soon found out his wife had started another affair right after she broke off the first one. His wife was actually having an affair during the entire restoration process, and he never knew it.
Still, Carpenter is walking in the Word.
“Hope is not well," he told his congregation. "You need to know that. We don’t know what’s wrong. But these are not the actions of anybody that is right. I am bearing the expense of one year of treatment that is extensive, calling together the best Christian counselors and clinical psychiatrists and therapists that money can buy, and I am committed totally and completely to my kids one day having a mother that is whole and that is well.”