Home > Testimonials >
Letter to NAD Administration - Feb. 24, 2013
  Open  Letter  to  Dan Jackson
and North American Division Administrators

                                                                                                              February  24, 2013
North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, Maryland  20904
To:  Dan Jackson, President
       G. Alex Bryant, Executive Secretary
       Tom Evans, Treasurer

Dear Brothers:
   We are __________ and __________, both are baptized members into the Seventh-day Adventist church and have been faithful for 30 years. 
In July 2011 we were invited to attend Manhattan Church by the pastor and attended for over one year until what the conference calls a ‘misunderstanding’ prompted the pastor to disinvite us and actually call the police on September 8th.  The police viewed this as a dispute or disagreement and found no reason to remove us from the church. 
Upon our arrival at the church on Sept. 22nd, the police were called again. There is a video of the second police incident revealing a letter from Gerson Santos to the Pastor ( stating the conference President supports the decision ). This letter was read to the police and captured on the audio portion of the recording. Although the police still viewed this as a disagreement, they had to consider the letter as a request from the owner of the property to treat us as criminal trespassers and to arrest us if we come to the church again. This warning was given to us on Sept. 22nd and also shown on the video. A copy of the video is available upon request.
There is no church policy that allows police involvement in a grievance (and in this case the results lead to criminal charges and a court trial);  the process to deal with a grievance that the church has against members is found in the Church Manual, page 61. 

   Settlement of Grievances of the Church Against Members
  At times Church organizations or institutions may have grievances against members. In such circumstances, Church administrators must in Christian forbearance keep in mind the biblical counsel for settling disputes among Christians and apply that counsel to the settlement of grievances of the Church against its members. The church should, in preference to litigating matters in a secular court, make every reasonable effort in cooperation with the member to provide a process by which orderly settlement of the problem can be accomplished.
  The church recognizes the need of exercising great care to protect the highest spiritual interests of its members to ensure fair treatment, and to safeguard the name of the church . . .
Church Manual, page 61 ( 18th edition )

  The conference did not follow that process, and Gerson Santos even denies authorizing the police at all, but he does not correct this injustice. The police are not aware of church procedures but Earl Knight and Gerson Santos are, so we accused them of professional misconduct in accordance with Working Policy L-60 section 15.  We hoped that they would realize their error and remove police involvement and start a grievance resolution process, but they did not do that.
  Instead they prevented an investigation into the matter and the process described in L-60/15 failed. Many members of the Executive Committee were aware of the accusations against Gerson Santos and Earl Knight but since the matter was kept off the agenda of the meeting on December 11th – the Executive Committee could not investigate the matter.  

NAD Working Policy L-60 section 15
   - Integrity of Organizational Officers -
 In the event the integrity or the moral or professional standing of an executive officer of a division, union, or local conference/mission/field is called into question, the process to be followed to safeguard the integrity of the ministry shall be as set out in the division policies. Should those processes fail and the matters involved be of such a character that the executive committee of the organization served by the officer is unable to resolve the difficulty, the matter shall be referred to the next higher organization. The administration of the higher organization shall call, and its president shall chair, a meeting of the executive committee of the organization served by the officer in question. The officers of the higher organization shall meet with the executive committee of the lower organization in an endeavor to resolve the matter, provided those exercising voting rights shall not exceed ten percent of the membership of the executive committee of the lower organization present.

  In anticipation of this failure, a copy of the video was delivered to Don King (President of Atlantic Union Conference) on Dec. 8th and he was personally made aware of the possible failure of the process and that written into section 15 of this working policy is a ‘failsafe’ that defines a new process where Don King, Carlyle Simmons and Leon Thomassian are given emergency power to call a meeting of the GNYC Executive Committee with Don King as Chairman, instead of the Conference President who is one of the accused.

  We waited to forty days for him to perform his duty, and he did not even contact us. On Jan. 22nd we accused the Administrators of Atlantic Union Conference of neglect of duty and asked for an investigation at the next Executive Committee meeting in accordance with working policy L-60 section 15.  About half of the members of the committee were made aware of this, but when the committee met on Feb. 13th it was not on the agenda. The accused had prevented an investigation into their own conduct and the process failed at the Union level.
   Before we ask you to do the duty which is clearly defined in this working policy, we are asking you to tell is if there is another church policy or procedure that is able to allow us to attend Manhattan Church without getting arrested for trespassing. We have already missed the service on January 19th where Ted Wilson gave the sermon, and we missed the training of NY13 volunteers given by Mark Finley on January 20th – we want to be involved with NY13 efforts at this church and we want to fellowship with the brothers and sisters and visitors of this church.
 In addition to asking you for if there is any other path that can resolve this matter, the purpose of this letter is to authorize, Mario ______ to contact you in our behalf and to contact any other church leaders in a position to help to resolve this matter.  He has been a member of Manhattan Church for 25 years and has advised us regarding church procedures since September. He informs us that you have prior dealings with him and that you are familiar with his dedication to the Lord’s work. We pray that the Lord will use Mario as an instrument to resolve this matter within the church, even though the Greater New York Conference has taken a path that leads directly to the courts and the media.
   Our signatures below confirm this request and authorization of Mario to receive your response.
In God We Trust
      Signature                                                              Signature
   ______________________                                  ___________________
       Name withheld                                                 Name Withheld

This message was e-mailed to the three Administrators of the North American Division and a hard copy was sent via US Postal Service. We are waiting for a response.  The Church Manual and Working Policy quotes do not appear in the original letter, because the NAD administrators are familiar with them.


Additional links on this topic:

Post a comment here or send one via 'Contact Us'

There are no comments.