Former pastor Thom O’Leary apologizes, and defends himself

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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