Pastor Ron Carpenter’s wife, Hope Carpenter returned to her church in S.C. after her husband rebuked church leaders who supported his divorce with her. Pastor Carpenter had revealed Hope’s marriage infidelities from the pulpit and led to her leaving Redemption World Outreach Center which she cofounded with her husband. Though it had been months since they had divorced, Mrs. Carpenter was still enthusiastically welcomed by the congregation.
Hope was seated at the front row with the rest of her family as Pastor Carpenter gave a testimony about his marriage and his divorce. The passage for that day’s message was the gospel of Mark 10:1-11. It was the famous chapter where Jesus goes to talk about divorce with some “church folks” as Carpenter liked to put it. He quoted Christ saying that the only reason Moses had included divorce in Hebrew law was because man had hard hearts.
After quoting passages that talk about Godly marriage and the problem of divorce, Carpenter began talking about how he had initially felt when he had first discovered about his wife’s infidelity. He explained that he even told people that Hope should not be welcome at the sanctuary. However as time passed carpenter had an encounter with God where He commanded the pastor to not abandon his wife. To this, Carpenter obeyed.
In the end, Carpenter reminded congregants and even the leaders he had initially called to support his divorce that the marriage vows were not only between the husband and wife but also between the couple and God.
He also made the connection with marriage and Christ’s relationship to the church; as a husband should never abandon his wife, a Christian should not forsake the church.
Ron and Hope Carpenter founded Redemption World Outreach Center in 1991, and they had been married 23 years with three children. The congregation currently is composed of around 19000 members.