Several pastors who were among 50 Christian leaders to endorse Southern Baptist Alabama Judge Roy Moore's successful Senate primary runoff against GOP Sen. Luther Strange in September have withdrawn their support in light of allegations from five women who claim he sexually pursued them when they were all teenagers.
The withdrawal of their support comes after Kayla Moore, wife of the embattled judge, reposted a letter of support dated Aug. 15 from the pastors on Sunday in response to the mounting allegations.
"For decades, Roy Moore has been an immovable rock in the culture wars – a bold defender of the 'little guy,' a just judge to those who came before his court, a warrior for the unborn child, defender of the sanctity of marriage, and a champion for religious liberty. Judge Moore has stood in the gap for us, taken the brunt of the attack, and has done so with a rare, unconquerable resolve," the pastors said at the time.
The letter further lists the names of the 50 pastors and their churches.
Tijuanna Adetunji of the Fresh Anointing House of Worship in Montgomery, whose name appears on the list, told AL.com, however, that she was not contacted about the letter and did not give permission for her name to be used.
"I was not asked about this story or allegations," Adetunji said.
Pastor Thad Endicott also told AL.com that he was not contacted about Kayla Moore's latest post on Facebook.
"The list that has recently circulated was evidently copied and pasted from the August endorsements without checking to see if I still endorsed Moore," Endicott who leads Heritage Baptist Church said. He said he has asked that his name be removed from the Moore endorsement.
Pastor Joseph Smith of Pine Air Baptist Church in Grand Bay told Fox 10 that he is not happy about his church and name being caught up with Moore's scandal.
He explained that during the runoff, Moore's campaign called him and he said he told them that "I'll support Moore because I don't like Luther Strange."
Since then however, Smith says he hasn't heard from the Moore campaign and doesn't understand why his name is on the letter.
On Monday, Judge Moore's latest accuser, Alabama resident Beverly Young Nelson, said at a press conference in New York City with celebrity attorney Gloria Allred , that during an encounter with the Republican nominee for Senate in Alabama when she was just 16, she thought he was "going to rape me."
"I was determined that I was not going to allow him to force me to have sex with him. I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought that he was going to rape me. I was twisting and struggling and begging him to stop. I had tears running down my face," Nelson said.
Just hours before Nelson delivered her statement at the press conference, however, Kayla Moore who serves as president of The Foundation for Moral Law, suggested in a post on Facebook that there was evidence that money was "being paid to people who would come forward" and her husband is the victim of a "witchhunt."
"After the accusations came out against Judge Moore his polling numbers did not change, so do you think they will let up?? We knew something was coming, just did not know what next. This is the same Gloria Allred that did the very exact same thing to Trump during his campaign. Going on two months now they've been on a witchhunt here in Etowah County and our state advertising people to step forward with accusations and we are gathering evidence of money being paid to people who would come forward. Which is part of why we are filing suit!" she wrote. "Washington establishment and Democrat Party will stop at nothing to stop our campaign. Prayers appreciated...." she added.
The Foundation for Moral Law which Kayla Moore heads was formerly led by her husband and "exists to restore the knowledge of God in law and government and to acknowledge and defend the truth that man is endowed with rights, not by our fellow man, but by God!" according to the organization's website.
The Moores have also been criticized for using the foundation to enrich themselves. Roy Moore was paid over $1 million through the foundation for part time work as its president from 2007 to 2012, according to The Washington Post. Kayla Moore and Moore's children were also on the foundation's payroll.