Attorney at Law
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February 14, 2003
M. Douglas Harper, Jr., Chair
Administrative Commission, Presbytery of New Covenant
Re: The illegal acts of the Administrative Commission and the misinformation and inflammatory innuendo contained in the Chairman’s letter.
1) Per the attached Accusation by Joyce Wolter, the Administrative Commission does not have a mandate from the Presbytery that is required by G-9.0502. That mandate must “state specifically the scope of power given to a commission”. Your administrative commission does not have a conforming mandate and therefore all acts by you and your administrative commission are illegal.
2) The Presbytery does not have the authority to take over the session under Rule G-9.0503 as alleged by Lynn Johnson to the congregation on Sunday, February 9, 2003, nor under Rule G-11.0103 as stated to the 280th District Court on February 10, 2003 by Reagan Brown, Attorney at Law.
No other authority has been cited that allows the administrative commission to take over the session at this time for even one day.
3) There can be no credibility from the Chair nor the Presbytery nor the administrative commission unless the commission follows the Book of Order which was alleged by Art Greer in one session meeting to be the Bible. I will continue to press this issue to the congregation and to the church hierarchy until the Book of Order is followed. Until that happens, the members of the administrative commission are little more than outlaws and lawless rogues.
4) There is also a problem in that Jeanie Flowers, a member of the commission, comes from St. Phillip, the same church where the biggest source of tension and conflict at HPC has come, Patty Ellis. It is also the same church where Diane Feiler McGehee, the alleged HPC attorney who has refused to produce the contract which she allegedly had with the church and per Joe Delgatto was signed by Madeline Delgatto and Patty Ellis without authority from the session. Interesting that the administrative commission is also operating without authority.
There is a problem with Roy Keezel, who is an attorney and who has opposed WorldPeace in one particular lawsuit: Collins v. Arbuckle. Mr. Keezel represented some third parties in the lawsuit. I have no idea what Mr. Keezel’s attitude is but the unfortunate thing about the Book of Order is that it does not provide a means whereby the members of the administrative commission can be objected to. This allows the Presbytery to pack the commission with people who may be predisposed to a particular agenda.
The presence of these two people on the administrative commission causes a question from a significant number of members regarding the impartiality of the commission. There are plenty of alternates in the Presbytery to serve in place of these two individuals. The refusal to replace these individuals is going to cast an indelible suspicion on the administrative commission.
5) There is no way the administrative commission could have met and come to know what things need to be done to keep the church functioning without input from Joe Delgatto and other church members. The question is who was selected to impart this information to the administrative commission and how were they selected. Without that information of who, the administrative commission also suffers a loss of credibility and impartiality.
The members of the administrative commission need to understand that the whole problem with HPC has to do with the deceit of Joe Delgatto, Charlie Windham, Patty and Walter Ellis, James McClain, Barbara Puckett, Terry Myers, Bennie Grabel, and Jack Benson. It has to do with the undeniable deceit of Joe Delgatto in attempting to obligate HPC to the Independence Heights Project without authority by his own testimony in open court on February 10, 2003.
6) It is a blatant lie that the church has been sued. The church has not been sued and this is another credibility issue that you must now overcome. It also indicates that you have gotten your information form Joe Delgatto and not from simply reading the pleadings in the lawsuit.
7) Joyce Wolter filed a request for vindication on December 5, 2002, and the Presbytery has ignored it. The Presbytery only has 19 days to act on that request until it goes up to the Synod of the Sun.
In addition to that request for vindication, there was a Accusation sent up to Presbytery also on December 5, 2002, regarding Joe Delgatto’s refusal to put me on the active member roll. It is interesting that nothing about this was mentioned in your letter. It is interesting that the administrative commission has determined that it will not abide by the Book of Order and intends to continue to deny the reaffirmation of my membership which is a rejection of Christ and a scandal on the gospel.
Unfortunately, the administrative commission does not understand that about 40% of the congregation has known WorldPeace for over forty years. Several people were present when he was baptized. Now the administrative commission seems to be aligning itself with Joe Delgatto in refusing to allow WorldPeace’s membership. There is no way these senior members are going to accept these bad acts on the part of the administrative commission.
8) It is good that a meeting of the members has been set. But there will most likely be a joint statement signed by close to a majority of the members regarding the core issues.
9) There is an indication from the tone of your letter that WorldPeace is going to be kept out of that meeting. This again will be a credibility issue for the administrative commission. One that it will not be able to reconcile with the senior members of the church.
I would also point out that the meeting should be held at the church where the members live. Holding the meeting at Presbytery is perceived as an attempt to bar the senior members from attending. At the least, one of the meetings should be held at the church.
10) The committees of the church were illegally reorganized by fiat from Joe Delgatto. There is a question as to their legitimacy. Joe organized these committees to be headed by his most dedicated followers who will give the administrative commission a false sense of what is really going on in the church.
11) As regards to “the presentation of uninvited personal agenda items is not appropriate,” I find it interesting as to which personal agenda items that would be. I know of not a single personal agenda. All items that have been complained of have to do with church business. Without these post worship service meetings of over half of the active congregation, the bad acts of mischief which were admitted in court by Joe Delgatto would not have come to the attention of Presbytery.
There will be continued meetings of the concerned members of the congregation and to try to stop those meetings would be to completely undermine the credibility of the administrative commission. I would say that it will be impossible for those meetings to be stopped or thwarted.
12) I want the administrative commission to have no doubt that its lack of authority per the Book of Order will be challenged and recorded. The administrative commission needs to understand that every single Rule of the Book of Order will be adhered to and that arbitrary and dictatorial fiats from the administrative commission will not go unchallenged.
Further, a web page will be set up shortly to place this illegal process in the public domain. I will assure the commission that I am in the process of compiling an email list of all the churches, presbyteries, synods and the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. In addition, there are Presbyterian newsgroups on the internet. And through the internet, the actions of the administrative commission will be closely scrutinized. Other churches who have been manhandled by the church bureaucracy will join forces and share information.
In the end, there is a possibility that the charter of the Presbyterian Church, USA may be challenged. The Presbyterian Church has a contract with its members. Those members contribute to the Church based on their contract to adhere to the Book of Order. A breach of that contract may well result in a suit to revoke the Charter of the Presbyterian Church, USA.
13) Many of us are praying that the administrative commission and the rest of the church bureaucracy will understand that the primary objective of the Presbyterian Church, USA is to spread the gospel and second to preserve the church bureaucracy. When rogue ministers are supported in their bad acts, the church bureaucracy has rejected Christ in favor of preserving a corrupt bureaucracy. With prayer, we will avoid even the appearance of endorsing criminal acts of stealing which are no less sinful than the molestation of children by Catholic priests.
Together, hopefully we will find peace and harmony. The administrative commission needs to be mindful that it is a guest at Heights Presbyterian Church. They should remember that their mission is one of mediation and not of dictatorial arrogance. HPC is one hundred years old and many members have been a part of the congregation for over 50 years. It is these people who have supported the church all these many years and the ones who are most concerned about the undeniable and admitted corruption of its present minister.
Together, and in sync with the Book of Order, we shall proceed from chaos and conflict to peace and harmony. Together with an understanding that this is Christ’s church and no other’s, we will find a way through the maze of discord.
In the name of Jesus Christ,
ACCUSATION BY A MEMBER OF A GOVERNING BODY
AS STATEMENT OF OFFENSE, D-10.0102b
To: Lynn Johnson, stated Clerk of Presbytery
From: Joyce Wolter, Trustee, and Member of the Session of Heights Presbyterian Church
I , Joyce Wolter, a member of the Session of Heights Presbyterian Church and trustee, accuse Rev. Jerry Hurst, Rev. Louise Raw, Rev. M. Douglas, Rev. John Hirling, Roy Keezel, Leona Nickerson, Jeanie Flowers, Jodie Harrington, alleged member of an administrative commission for appointed by Presbytery of New Covenant of committing the offense of violating G. 9.0502 ,G. 9.0503 and 11.0103 of the Book of Order and contrary to Holy Scripture and the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and I submit the following information in support of said accusation:
The said, Rev. Jerry Hurst, Rev. Louise Raw, Rev. M. Douglas, Rev. John Hirling, Roy Keezel, Leona Nickerson, Jeanie Flowers, Jodie Harrington did, on or about February 9, 2003, illegally take charge of the Session of Heights Presbyterian Church.
The following rules from the Book of Order show that the administrative commission allegedly appointed by Presbytery of New Covenant did not have authority to take over the session at Heights Presbyterian Church.
G. 9.0502 Commission
A commission is empowered to consider and conclude matters referred to it by a governing body. The appointing body shall state specifically the scope of power given to a commission. A commission shall keep a full record of its proceedings, which shall be submitted to its governing body to be incorporated in its minutes and to be regarded as the actions of the governing body itself.
The administration committee does not have a specific mandate from Presbytery of New Covenant.
G. 9.0503 Administrative and Judicial
a) Commissions appointed by sessions, presbyteries, synods, or the General Assembly may be either administrative or judicial, except in the case of session, which may appoint only administrative commissions. The functions ordinarily entrusted to an administrative commission are:
4) to visit particular churches, governing bodies, or other organizations of the church reported to be affected with disorder, and to inquire into and settle the difficulties therein, except that no commission shall have the power to dissolve a pastoral relationship unless such power has been specifically delegated to it by the appointing body;
Contrary to what Lynn Johnson told the congregation of Heights Presbyterian Church on Sunday, February 9, 2003. The administration committee does not have the authority to take over the session per this Rule. Lynn Johnson statements are on videotape.
The presbytery is responsible for the mission and government of the church throughout its geographical district. It therefore has the responsibility and power
(s) to assume original jurisdiction in any case in which it determines that a session cannot exercise its authority. Whenever, after a thorough investigation, and after full opportunity to be heard has been accorded to the session in question, the presbytery of jurisdiction shall determine that the session of a particular church is unable or unwilling to manage wisely the affairs of its church, the presbytery may appoint an administrative commission (G-9.0503) with the full power of a session. This commission shall assume original jurisdiction of the existing session, if any, which shall cease to act until such time as the presbytery shall otherwise direct;
Contrary to what Reagan Brown, attorney for the administration committee told the 280th District Court, the administration committee does not have the authority to take over the session per this Rule. Reagan Brown’s statements were recorded by the court reporter.
I therefore accuse these eight members plus the Stated Clerk of the Presbytery Lynn Johnson of acting illegally and outside the Book of Order.
February 14, 2003
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