Orlando Baptist Church pastor paid woman to keep quiet about affair, lawsuit claims

ORLANDO, Fla. — A popular Orlando pastor has stepped down amid an alleged sex scandal.

A lawsuit accuses the Orlando Baptist Church of promising the woman involved money to cover it up.

The lawsuit claims pastor David Janney, 61, had an affair with church member Arlene Miranda.

It also says the church offered Miranda $3,000 to keep quiet.

“They threatened me. If I didn’t sign it, they threatened me,” said Miranda.

Miranda said she signed it, but was never paid.

“I committed a sin. The Holy Spirit really, really convicted me and I wanted to come clean,” she said.

Janney’s father said his son would never cheat on his wife.

“I am just as sure that he didn’t as she is sure he did. She is a liar,” he said.

Janney told his 2,500-member congregation on Sunday that he is stepping down.

His picture has been removed from the church’s website.

Miranda’s lawsuit is being paid for by Orlando businessman Craig Mateer.

Mateer sued Janney’s charity in 2012 and accused it of misusing funds, but the lawsuit was settled out of court.

In a statement from the church:

Pastor Dave Janney resigned as the Senior Pastor effective Sunday, February 7, 2016, not because the allegations against him are true, but because he felt his resignation was in the best interest of the Church.  Orlando Baptist Church is saddened by the resignation of Pastor Dave Janney.  He leaves with our love and support.  As a church we desire to extend grace and love to all, in all that we do.  The church will be forming a pulpit committee that will lead in the process of selecting a new pastor.  Ultimately our church members will be able to ask questions of, and vote for, any new pastor.