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A pastor who said Facebook was a “portal to infidelity” and told married church leaders to delete their accounts or resign once testified that he had a three-way sexual relationship with his wife and a male church assistant.
The Rev. Cedric Miller confirmed the information reported Saturday by the Asbury Park Press of Neptune, which cited testimony he gave in a criminal case in 2003. The relationship had ended by that time.
Miller gained national attention when he issued the Facebook edict this week. He said it came about because much of the marital counseling he has performed over the past year and a half has concerned infidelity stemming from the social-networking website.
The 48-year-old leader of Living Word Christian Fellowship Church in Neptune Township had claimed Facebook ignites old passions, and he ordered about 50 married church officials to delete their accounts with the social networking site or resign from their leadership positions.
Miller had previously asked married congregants to share their login information with their spouses — as he does — and now plans to suggest that they give up Facebook altogether. The minister also said he would leave the site this week.
In court testimony he gave in April 2003, Miller said his wife had an extramarital affair with the church assistant. Miller said he participated in many of the sexual encounters and said the assistant’s wife was sometimes present, too.
Miller said the dalliances — which occurred in the Millers’ home — sometimes took place during Thursday Bible study meetings and Sundays after church. But the minister said the encounters “came to a crashing halt” when several women in the church accused the assistant of having sex with them.
The testimony was given in connection with a criminal case against the assistant that was eventually dismissed. The names of the church assistant and his wife were not disclosed, and Miller told the newspaper that he was concerned that revisiting the incident would “irreparably” hurt some people.
“It has come to my attention that a very painful part of my past has resurfaced,” Miller wrote in an e-mail sent Friday. Noting that his court testimony was mailed to his church leaders and other pastors several years ago, Miller said, “This was resolved at that time and accordingly we will not allow it to detract from our mission at hand to save as many marriages as we can.”
Miller said people must look at his Facebook directives in the proper context.
“My life as a minister, husband, father and friend has led me to the conviction that I must do all that I can to help as many people strengthen, preserve and repair the often times fragile cords of marriage,” Miller wrote.
A message left by The Associated Press for the church’s pastor was not immediately returned Saturday.
Information from: Asbury Park Press, http://www.app.com
Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press