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NJ Anti-Facebook Pastor Taking Leave Over Affair

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NEPTUNE, N.J. (AP) –- A pastor who barred church officials from using Facebook, saying it can lead to adultery, is temporarily stepping down from the pulpit following his admission that he engaged in a three-way sexual relationship a decade ago.

The Rev. Cedric Miller made worldwide headlines last week when he urged congregants at his Living Word Christian Fellowship Church in Neptune, N.J., to drop their Facebook accounts because he believes the social networking site facilitates affairs.

Days later, Miller offered to step down after The Asbury Park Press reported on a 10-year-old affair of his own involving a three-way sexual relationship with his wife and a male church assistant.

On Wednesday, Miller told The Associated Press that he would be “taking some time off” following a church vote Tuesday night on his status as senior pastor. He said he will resume his pastorate “eventually.”

He says church members gave him a vote of confidence, subject to some restrictions he wouldn’t list.

The church had no immediate comment.

Last week, Miller had ordered about 50 married church officials to delete their Facebook accounts or resign from their leadership positions. He also suggested that married members of the congregation do likewise, and said he was deleting his own account.

Miller said he made the request because 20 couples among the 1,100 members of his flock had run into marital trouble over the last six months after a spouse connected with an ex-flame over Facebook.

At Sunday’s service, Miller, with his wife by his side, asked church leaders to support him in light of his own affair.

“For any pain that my past mistakes has caused you, I again ask for your forgiveness,” the pastor said from the pulpit.

Facebook has not responded to messages seeking comment.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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