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A/G Pastors Ousted For Opposing Transformation Of The ChurchWritten by Jacob Prasch
Letter To District Presbytery Dated: February 4, 2005
Dear Brother Presbyter,
Greetings in Christ.Ã‚ Since I have had no direct communication with the presbytery since the fateful meeting on December 15, 2004 this letter is probably long overdue. It is intended to be very honest and forthright, so my statements will be very straightforward without apology. It will also provide an accurate written record of at least some events from December 15th until now. What I have to say will, I hope, surprise and perhaps shock some of you as you may not have heard some of the things I will mention. However, you need to know my heart which has never been fully expressed.
The ill-advised decision of the presbytery, by a majority vote, to ask for my immediate resignation as District Superintendent has brought serious negative consequences to the New York District. It is to save just such serious consequences from happening that I agreed to abide by the fourteen stipulations drawn up by Duane Durst and Mearle Grossglass, which would have seriously restricted my ability to function as District Superintendent. My thinking was "better to be restricted than to see the District torn apart" . The word that I have received is that my "body language" indicated that I would not, in fact, do what I said I would do.
How sad and even childish that is. Of course, it led the lop-sided vote against me and what I feared concerning negative consequences came upon us. Furthermore, the "damage control" being employed by some since then is magnifying those negative consequences. It is a fair question to ask, can such a large majority be wrong?
As men of God, you know that they can be wrong and in this case, they were wrong. Keep in mind that the clear counsel of the General Superintendent was that it would be wiser if I were allowed to remain in office until the District Council in May. As you know, that counsel was ignored.
Incidentally, I want to thank the three presbyters who did not vote with the majority on December 15th. Even though it was a secret ballot, it still took a certain amount of courage for you to vote the way you did God will honor your wisdom, foresight and courage.
It is sad to hear the explanations being given for the rejection of the General Superintendent's counsel. Some are saying that they did not hear him make such a suggestion. Others are saying that it was only one option among many. I cannot speak to the hearing problem of some of the presbyters.Ã‚ What I do know is that the General Superintendent told Esther and me that it was his clear suggestion to all those present on December 15th that I be allowed to remain in office until the District Council in May.Ã‚ As far as it being one option of many, it was clearly the "God option" and should have been followed. Had it been followed, we would not now be facing the negative consequences we are now facing?
Isn't it also sad that those who are asking questions and insisting on answers are the ones being branded as those who are "sowing seeds of discord" . It is the majority decision made on December 15th that actually started the sowing of the original seeds of discord.
I have heard that the January Presbytery meeting was peaceful and productive. As wonderful as that may be, the problems that were created on December 15th, and since, will not go away so easily.
I mentioned that since December 15th some have been engaged in "damage control" . I would also call it "spin control" . What is happening is an effort to further discredit me in order to make the action to ask for my immediate resignation look more appropriate and necessary. Apparently, the General Superintendent's letter wasn't considered damaging enough. What about the spin control that is out there?
First of all my brothers, spin is appropriate in the political realm, but not in the House of God especially when the "spin" becomes untruthful. Let me share some of that spin. As I said, I hope it surprises and shocks you. These are not put in order of importance. The first concerns the impression being given by some in the District Office that my resignation was uncoerced.Ã‚ Here's the story.
On December 13th,the General Superintendent called and offered me the opportunity to voluntarily resign so I would not have to face the meeting on the 15th. Esther was present with me when the call came. I told him I would have to be given time to consider the offer.Ã‚ Before hanging up he kindly saidÃ‚ to me thatÃ‚ if I did not resign the severance package that would be offered to me by the New York brethren would likely not be as generous as if I did resign.Much to my shock, he also kindly said that if I did not resign it was possible that I could lose my credentials.Ã‚ He did not tell me what the possible charges would be but he did say that the charges had already been drawn up, presumably by the New York brethren. Since he declared my integrityin his January 4th letter to our constituency , I am puzzled to know what those charges could possibly be.Ã‚ Be assured, my brothers, because I love the brethren that I have served faithfully for over eight yearsÃ‚ if my credentials were ever in jeopardy I would appeal that to the highest levels of our fellowship.
I called the General Superintendent back on Tuesday morning the 14th, again in Esther's presence. I told him that I could not, in good conscience, resign before the Presbytery meeting the next day because I wanted to "face the music" . Keep in mind that I thought the meeting on the next day would be open and fair.Ã‚ You, of course, know that it was not, at least not my brief part in it.I also told him that I was offended by the suggestion that I would receive a better severance if I resigned. I said that in my over eight years as superintendent, I have never been influenced by money and I did not intend to begin doing so now.
On the 15th, after the lopsided vote against me, the General Superintendent came to Esther and me and gave the same rational as to why I should go back into the meeting and resign. Again, it was said that if I would resign I would probably be given a better severance then if I did not. He also repeated that, if I didn't do so, charges could be leveled against me, which could result in losing my credentials. I told you my response to his first statement. Let me share with you my heart response to the second.
As I said, though I hardly can imagine what the charges could be, I envisioned a scenario where I would be forbidden to fellowship with those that I loved and to whom I had ministered faithfully as Superintendent for over eight years. That unimaginable thoughtÃ‚ brought me to point where I offered my "voluntary" resignation. A dear precious brother and acknowledged leader among us has suggested to me that I should not have even then resigned. He may be right but how does one undo what is done. If God, in His sovereign grace and mercy, gave me another opportunity to serve, I would do so with joy.
End of Letter To District Presbytery Dates February 4, 2005
No, my brothers and sisters, it cannot be said that my resignation was truly voluntary or if I had not resigned I would still be the district superintendent.Ã‚ I'm not sure how it would have been handled, but be assured that if I had not agreed to resign, I would have been forced to do so.
Concerning my supposed refusal to publish an open church list, that statement is absolutely false. At the time, certain churches that were without pastors requested that they not be placed on a published open church list.
We assured them that they would not be forced to do so.
A major factor in my requested resignation was the "Hudson Falls Situation" which was alluded to in the Sectional Councils. One of the presenters at the Central Sectional Council made a revealing statement. He said that - "based on the information we were given we did what was best for the district." Concerning Hudson Falls, that is exactly the problem..
Four detractors in the Hudson Falls church presented written documents to the Executive Presbytery in a November meeting, which were highly destructive to the pastor who was guilty ofÃ‚ - "a moral failure of a non-sexual nature." Those words are from Bro Trask's letter to the entire constituency dated January 4, 2005. These documents, in turn, were presented to the full Presbytery for the December 15, 2004 meeting that resulted in my being asked to resign immediately from my position as District Superintendent. There is no doubt that what happened in Hudson Falls was very tragic in and of itself, and definitely needed to be dealt with.
However, if you want to know the whole truth of what happened at Hudson Falls, from the beginning to the end, you need to ask the former pastor for documents from him and his wife. Documents are also available from an individual who was a board member at the time and from the wife of a board member at the time. They are sadly revealing about the events of that time. They are also revealing about how our District Officials handled the congregation during this time - yes, events in which I refused to participate. Hence Bro Trask's indictment that I "refused instruction to protect a General Council Assembly of God church when an attempt was being made to take it from the Fellowship."
In conclusion, let me say that the allegations leveled against me have been false. And especially the ones that concern the open church policy, and that my resignation was not forced. There is so more that could be said but I will leave it here.
Brother Saied Adour
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