A Tennessee pastor who has plunged his megachurch into turmoil after first being spotted kissing a woman who is not his wife at a restaurant then was busted at his home with her with him in only his boxers and her clad in a towel, can be heard trying to defend his actions in audio files leaked to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
As reported back on January 22, the initial video showed Pastor Tavner Smith of Venue Church in Chattanooga kissing the woman in a restaurant, prompting at least eight staff members to resign.
That was followed by a visit to his home where the two were found nearly naked with they reportedly claimed they had taken off their clothes "after getting food on them while making hot dogs and chili."
In the new leaked audio files, Smith can be heard saying he'll answer any questions -- "then repeatedly said there was information he would not share. Members would feel differently if they knew the 'whole story,'" the Times Free Press is reporting.
With that said, Smith, prior to apologizing, explained that he and his companion plan on staying together after they are both granted divorces.
"When she's not married and I'm not married, yeah, we hope to pursue each other," he explained.
The report notes, "The church was forced to confront the rumors about the alleged affair after a video circulated online in late 2021 showing Smith allegedly kissing the employee at a restaurant in North Georgia.
The pastor said he was 'great friends' with the employee but the two were not 'sexually involved.' When questioned by a volunteer, Smith said the two had kissed but never when they were living with their spouses. At the time, the two couples were only married 'on paper,' Smith said."
He added, "I just would like a little bit of a break. I'm not going anywhere. I'm your pastor. I'm going to pastor this church. God called me here, and nothing's changed about that. The vision is not changed. The promise still stands. What God spoke over this place is still going to happen."
You can listen to excerpts below: