(Photo: Screen Grab via YouTube/25studios)
A married Kenyan pastor with children who was almost killed after he was caught in an explosive video having an affair with the wife of one of his congregants last Wednesday publicly repented with his family by his side this week and is now being praised for taking responsibility for his actions.
Pastor Anthony Maina of the Kenya Assemblies of God told church members and residents of Embu Town at a press conference that he wasn't there to "defend myself" and apologized.
A local television station KTN Kenya, published a YouTube video Monday showing Pastor Maina getting beaten and running after he was caught in a compromising position with his congregant's wife at a motel in Nyeri, Kenya.
When the embarrassed Maina returned to his church in his Embu community, however, angry residents who watched his public shaming on television were waiting to serve him a second dose of punishment, according to The Star in Kenya.
Maina had to run for his life again and church leaders were forced to call local police to prevent them from burning the pastor's car.
WATCH THE APOLOGY:
The Star report said Embu residents wanted to lynch Maina for disobeying God.
"The pastor should be taught a lesson for disobeying God! Let us deal with him! He need to be stoned to death. Shame on him!" residents reportedly shouted.
Maina's wife, Beth, who he has been married to for 24 years, said she had forgiven him during the press conference and asked that the public do so as well.
"As his wife I have forgiven him. My husband is like a wounded soldier. Now what a battalion does when one of its own is wounded, that is what the body of Christ should do. Let us join hearts, help him heal and God will bless us all," she said.
"Otherwise as a family, we have forgiven him. We have forgiven him and chosen to start on the Lord's side and forgive him as our father, as my husband," she added.
Maina's son, David, said: "We forgive him as a family because for the past 20 years he has done a lot for this town, Embu Town and even as a family he has sacrificed a lot for us. And we forgive him because he will always be our father whether he is alive or dead. God bless you all"
Bishop Moses Muthee, who took over Maina's church after the scandalous revelation, said the church's national administration would investigate Maina's behavior and said it was unacceptable and a breach of the church's constitution.
SEE PASTOR MAINA AS HE IS CAUGHT IN MOTEL WITH CONGREGANT'S WIFE:
After Maina's public apology, many praised him on YouTube for taking responsibility for his behavior.
"It takes boldness and sheer humility to do this, men are busy dogging on their wives and covering up, of course this is unbecoming for a man of the cloth, but the day of reckoning came, not for destruction but sorrow unto repentance and reconciliation to the fellowship of the Trinity. Big ups to the family too for standing with the man, may the Church of Christ follow suit. There will be consequences, but it is well! Better peace with God than trouble with men!" noted Warle Maina.
Others like Josephine Kahingo praised his wife for her strength.
"The wife must be really prayerful, God could not allow things to happen behind her back without exposure. This pastor has a jewel in his wife and he should thank God for her and feed the flock instead of feeding on them. If he were not caught he would have continued with his infidelity but because of prayers, God had to do what He had to do, to save him and the family," she wrote.