SDA Church Makes State­ment on Al­leged Sex­ual Of­fences

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - Con­nec­tion.

Ear­lier this week it was al­leged that two pas­tors from the Sev­enth Day Ad­ven­tist Church had been charged for in­de­cent as­sault, and un­law­ful sex­ual

On Fri­day, May 26 a press con­fer­ence was held at the Maranatha SDA church to dis­cuss, ac­cord­ing to fa­cil­i­ta­tors, what had been in the me­dia this week.

“It is un­for­tu­nate that at this junc­ture the church is now faced with al­le­ga­tions in­volv­ing two of our em­ploy­ees, which has re­sulted in hurt­ing fam­i­lies, and much neg­a­tive pub­lic­ity,” Pas­tor Roger Stephen stated. “Whereas we and the church try to up­hold right­eous­ness and pu­rity as God’s ideal, like all other churches, we are not im­mune to hu­man im­per­fec­tion, and fal­li­bil­ity.”

Pas­tor Stephen said that as a church, they did not, and would not, con­done “sin or any other wrong­do­ing in any fash­ion, whether it be from the mem­bers of the pew, to lead­ers, to pas­tors”.

Still, he said it was too early to rush to judg­ment. “We seek to reach out to all who are hurt­ing.”

Stephen pleaded with all to al­low the course of jus­tice to take ef­fect.

“As a church, we re­main con­fi­dent with all faith and as­sur­ance that the Lord will carry His church through this dif­fi­cult mo­ment,” he said. “We con­tinue to pray for all who have been ad­versely af­fected, as well as all our mem­bers and the na­tion as a whole.”

Af­ter this state­ment, Stephen de­clined to an­swer ques­tions posed by me­dia rep­re­sen­ta­tives, in­clud­ing those re­lated to Min­is­ter Ubal­dus Ray­mond, also of the Ad­ven­tist faith, who found him­self in con­tro­versy ear­lier this year when nude pho­tos of him were leaked in an al­leged black­mail at­tempt.

The pas­tor did, how­ever, men­tion a few of the in­ac­cu­ra­cies he said had been cir­cu­lat­ing in re­la­tion to the church.

“One of un­truths is that Min­is­ter Ubal­dus Ray­mond is a leader in the Ad­ven­tist Church,” he said. “He is a mem­ber, but not a leader.

"An­other un­truth is that the SDA church has been trans­fer­ring pas­tors over­seas, and there is no truth to that.”

In­ves­ti­ga­tions into the mat­ter are on­go­ing.

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