Greenville, SC – Sunday must have been a strange day for members of Redemption World Outreach, one of the area’s first megachurches. Pastor Ron Carpenter basically dedicated his sermon to explaining why he’s leaving his philandering wife of 23 years.
More awkwardly, Hope Carpenter was apparently Ron’s co-pastor as well as his wife. For as long as Redemption World Outreach was a thing, Ron and Hope were the face of it, and their solid marriage was an example for their flock. Too bad it was all a front, according to Ron.
During his sermon on Sunday, he explained that his wife had been living a double life for years. It came to a head last week, culminating in her isolation in a one-year, out-of-state treatment program (???), the end of what he called a “tragic” situation.
Ron explained that he and his wife had been struggling for at least a decade.
Though he described his marriage as a “fairy tale” at first, things started to go south in 2004. She removed herself from the couple’s ministry completely, and she became increasingly distant until 2010 when she admitted to having multiple affairs.
Coincidentally, this confession came on the eve of a planned marriage conference organized by Ron and his Redemption World Outreach church.
“The marriage conference was already half way sold out, and $25,000 worth of deposits were made for rooms and we couldn’t back out. I had no idea what to do,” said Carpenter.
So he went on with the conference anyway, and even held another the next year. He cancelled the planned 2012 conference to go into therapy with Hope. It apparently didn’t work, and last week things hit rock bottom when Hope admitted to even more affairs.
Ron Carpenter told WORD Radio Monday that his wife’s infidelity is only five percent of what’s going on.
“There were two distinct double lives. This is not a fling. Not an affair. There was a whole other life and culture and dress code and friends,” he explained.
Some are questioning why he decided to reveal all of this to his mega-church congregation. This stuff is pretty personal, yet Ron Carpenter is telling his side of the story to whoever will hear it while his wife is in isolation. Well, here’s his account for that:
“I have to tell my people because I know them. I do teach them faith, I do teach them to believe that there is a God that does miracles. But I could not mislead them because the behavior has become so detrimental to the family unit I ‘m having to turn my efforts to bring some stability at home.”
Despite sending her away to an intensive one-year therapy program, Ron Carpenter said that reconciliation with his wife is off the table. He’ll still remain as Senior Pastor at Redemption World Outreach. Here’s a photo of the couple, and below that, a video of the sermon.