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Former Members Claim ‘Fight Church’ Pastor Used His Pulpit to Convert Them To Swinger Lifestyle

A pastor who built his reputation with a unique martial arts ministry has been accused of preaching more than a Christian lifestyle from his pulpit.

According to some former members of Victory Church, “Fight Church” pastor Paul Burress encouraged them to adopt his swingers lifestyle.

Burress has long embraced a non-traditional path to Christian leadership. “I get all the time I don’t look like the typical pastor. And that’s okay. There’s actually a cool verse in the bible that says ‘be wary when all men speak well of you.’ If everybody loves you, you’re doing something wrong,” Burress says in a documentary dedicated to his ministry.

Yet, some members drew the line at his unusual methods when Burress engaged in questionable sexual behavior with several congregants.

In one case, Burress invited two young women over for a back rub and for coffee to talk about his swinger past.

“Paul later met with at least one of them [young women] at a coffee shop where he shared with her that he had been a swinger before, in his first marriage. She thought he was trying to seduce her into a sexual relationship,” a member wrote in a letter to the deacons published on the blog Bloody Elbow.

Another man left Victory after he felt violated by his pastor when he was shown nude photos of the pastor’s wife and a video of them having sex. “A person should be able to trust his pastor. I could not. 1 Cor 4:2 says it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy,” the young man, who was 21 at the time, said.

Al Ogden, who serves as the director of counseling, however, said that despite the serious claims,  people should not rush to judgement about his pastor, and that there is more to the story than is revealed in the member’s allegations.

“The timing is suspect as she hasn’t said a word for all these years until these other people started up,” he said.  He also pointed out that the former member alleging abuse visited Victory last year, well after the alleged sexual misconduct took place. “So it apparently didn’t bother her much then,” Ogden stressed.

Photo Credit: Bloody Elbow/Fight Church Promo

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.