EVERY Sunday, he encouraged his congregation to love and respect each other.

But behind closed doors, the pastor was apparently not practising what he preached.

On Wednesday, the well-known man of God from Tembisa, Ekurhuleni, was arrested for allegedly beating his wife – with a hammer!

Speaking to Daily Sun, the pastor’s 48-year-old wife said she had been living in terror for 20 years.

She said she was admitted to hospital with bruises on her back after the hammer incident and later discharged.

“Every day, I pretended to be happy in a healthy marriage because that was what society expected of a pastor’s wife. But deep inside my heart, I’m bleeding and I feel like a prisoner in my own marriage.

“I was afraid to speak out because I love him and I wanted to save him from embarrassment. He has counselled many married couples and led people to healthy relationships.

“He is known to be a hater of women abuse, yet in his house he beats me up. He doesn’t want me to work or leave the house without his permission.”

She said on the night her husband allegedly hit her with a hammer, he was drunk.

“I went to bed early because I had flu. Later in the night, he came into the bedroom and told me to get up and keep him warm. I refused because I was not well and he was very drunk.

“He started calling me names and swearing at me. When I tried to leave the bedroom, he reached for the hammer, which was hanging on the wall, and started hitting me with it.

“I rushed out of the house as he continued hitting my back and pulling my hair. I knew this was the time to get the police involved.”

The pastor’s wife said her husband beat her every time he got drunk and then bought her chocolates the next day.

“I urge women never to hesitate to leave an abusive marriage because they fear gossip. The abuse will not end unless your life comes to an end,” she said.

A family member said it was painful to see the pastor’s wife experiencing abuse.

“She was suffering. We prayed that one day she would have the courage to leave. We are grateful she’s alive but also hurting,” said the family member.

Attempts to get hold of the church were unsuccessful.

However, police spokesman Captain Manyaza Ralidziba confirmed that a 59-year-old man was arrested.

“He is facing a charge of assault and will appear in the Tembisa Magistrates Court today,” he said.