Paul Charles Resigns

After being suspended by his employer, Paul Charles has resigned his position as Director of Communication, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division of Seventh-day Adventists (SID), according to correspondence obtained by Spectrum. Charles has been the subject of a seven months-long investigation into his claimed academic qualifications (earned degrees). His resignation follows that of SID president Paul Ratsara, who also resigned his office amid a cloud of scandal concerning his academic qualifications.

In April, 2016, news broke in South African print media that both Charles and Ratsara faced scrutiny from church members concerning alleged academic fraud, a crime in South Africa where they served the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

SEE: “Allegations of Fraudulent Degrees Raise Questions for General Conference Appointee.”

In a series of investigative reports, Spectrum revealed that Paul Charles had not completed his bachelor’s degree, though he claimed to have a master’s degree and two PhDs. Ratsara, it was discovered, completed his doctoral degree from the University of South Africa with the assistance of other SID leaders, who helped write his doctoral thesis. Ratsara has asked for reassignment as a pastor in his home union within SID.

SEE: “Facing Legal Proceedings, Paul Charles Works to Clear His Name.”

On November 15, SID President Solomon Maphosa, who replaced Paul Ratsara, confirmed in writing that Paul Charles had resigned and was no longer employed by SID. The resignation took place one week earlier and followed Charles’ suspension over his use of his SID email account to send a letter to many friends and colleagues to speak out against a lay member who called for accountability and transparency in the Charles academic qualifications case. The letter also named leadership of the Southern Africa Union Conference (SAUC). The union filed a formal letter of complaint to the SID on October 27, saying,

"Ps Charles on previous occasions, by expressing defamatory statements about the SAU, its employees and its duly appointed committees, made use of public media to seek and create sympathy for the position that he finds himself in due to his questionable study career. On public media Ps Charles not only insulted and belittled the name of the SAU, but implicitly attacked the integrity of the SAU, its leadership and its processes. We wish to state categorically that the SAU in all its dealings with Ps Charles has always acted within the boundaries of Policy and ethical standards and conducted our affairs to such an extent that the honour and reputation of the Church is safeguarded."

The subject of Paul Charles’ employment was discussed at the 2016 SID Year-end Meeting, attended by General Conference President Ted N. C. Wilson.

Spectrum has also confirmed that Charles was being examined for a potential conflict of interests for using his position as division communication director to funnel business to a company for which his wife worked.

The SID has not announced Charles’ resignation publicly, and has not responded to Spectrum’s requests for comment, as has been the case since this story first broke in April. So far, no replacement has been named for Paul Charles. His name still appears in the Adventist Yearbook, the online directory of Adventist Church’s world fields.

Though Charles has now ended his employment with the SID, he remains an ordained minister who can be assigned other positions within the Adventist Church. However, his ordination is now also under close scrutiny.

In a few days, the Southern Africa Union Conference (SAUC) begins its constituency meeting, during which the revocation of Paul Charles’ ordination will be on the agenda, Spectrum has learned. The results of those discussion will be reported as that news becomes available.

 

Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7764
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What irony! Charles and Ratsara, ordained ministers, deceived the church yet still hold ordained status while Sandra Roberts, president of the SECC is not listed as an ordained minister or the Yearbook. Hypocrisy, thy name is TW, G.C. President.

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Thanks for the update, @JaredWright, though it does not offer all that much new information - except perhaps the very remarkable extract from the letter by the South African Union.

What I find disturbing is the non-reaction of the SID in this case. While it is legitimate to protect the interests of their (former) employee I believe PR is about “public relations” … there simply are none, it seems. There is little chance for healing if the game of stone walling is being continued.

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THIS IS IT

A few days ago I posted in another Spectrum thread that a shaking from the South Hemisphere was about to be felt around the world.

Well, it took a while but th needs finally were posted here.

How does it work? If adultery is involved, the person loses the ordination and credentials. When fraud is involved they don’t?

What is the rationale for this disparity?
Are the Ratsara and Charles scandals just a result of some new moral code followed by the Church? Some kind of “Spiritual Trumpism” now?

“What I find disturbing is the non-reaction of the SID in this case.” @andreas
Andreas, I suspect there is more rotten stuff there, and they may be doing a lot of damage control by not releasing the whole info, thus avoiding more mud from coming from their pans…

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George,

Did the guy (can’t remember his name) who was accused of rape (in Africa) recently, retain his credentials? Didn’t he eventually get a position as a pastor somewhere?

I can’t remember the details of it all, don’t even remember his name.

Just curious about the status of his situation.

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If you’re talking about Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, he was re-baptized in June 2014. Addressing his affiliation to the church, Alita Byrd wrote,

Pipim has not stopped working, despite the fact that he can no longer be in denominational employment.

At the time, the Michigan Conference issued the following statement:

Because of our expanded knowledge of Pipim’s moral failures we strongly advise our colleagues, in and beyond our territory, to not support Samuel Pipim’s ministry such as speaking invitations, the use of his materials or any ministry activity. We feel these limitations are important for the physical and spiritual safety of church members and also vital to best facilitate his own spiritual/moral recovery. We pray this notification will be useful should anyone in your field of responsibility consider inviting Dr. Pipim for any speaking or leadership event.

He made an appearance at the General Conference in 2015, where his books were on sale at a booth in the expo.

We should be clear that Pipim’s story has nothing whatsoever to do with the story of Paul Charles here.

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Thanks webEd,

That is the pastor I was referring to.

You’re right…their issues are totally different.

I was responding to George’s comment about how some men can have some very shady dealings and still retain their pastoral credentials (ordinations), it seems…but Sandra Roberts who is, by all accounts, free from any such scandals or unseemly behavior is ignored by the official SDA church powers that be.

Once again…not comparing Pipim’s issues with Charles’ issue.

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Forgive me for asking a question that is unrelated to the current topic, but given the warning issued to the world church by Michigan Conference regarding using SKP’s materials, how on earth was he allowed to sell his books at a booth at the GC expo?

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Remember –
This was the guy who SUED the Church to allow him to be an Adventist Preacher.
He has a long list of SHENANIGANS in his Pastoral History.
And yet, he is still ORDAINED.
And not relegated to the laity status. Pew sitter.
Same with Ratsara. Not in laity status, pew sitter.

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If this is what Adventist ordination means now…women may prefer to be commisssioned…

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My sentiments as well. It’s a man’s world! Since earth’s history. We as a church marginaluze women, gays and people of color all in the name of God! And we claim to know the love of God! As Ghandi once said; " I like your Jesus but you Christians, I don’t! So sad! God forgive us, we really don’t know you because we don’t know how to love one another as you love us!

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Bob, that was a farce by the Michigan Conference and the Lake Union, an overreach that achieved little, if not the opposite effect. Pipim’s rebaptism nullified or neutralized many attempts to keep him out of the WO debate or from the GC expo. He continues to soar, much to the dismay of his many hypocritical detractors.
In any case, how the late Dr Raoul Dederen treated his erring protege (though on WO they were on opposite poles) is an example of what Christian grace is and should be.

SLEAZE is permeating the church, from rapist Pipim, (supported by Jay Gallimore, Michigan conference president, until his crimes were irrefutable), to Charles and Ratsara, ( supported by TW until their fraud was irrefutable) to widespread illegal smuggling by our South American pastors.

All of this is presided over by a GC president, seemingly unaware that huge segments of the most affluent and generous donors ( the Westerners) are in open revolt to his heinous heretical headship dogma which denigrates their wives, sisters and daughters.

This disintegration of the church over an issue ( WO) which has NO theological nor moral underpinning neither for nor against, is dismaying, alarming, and disheartening.

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Hi Robert Singer
Not sure I’d agree with your claim about the allegedly properly manner that the late Dr. Raoul Dederen treated Pipim. From the inside, I can state that Dederen seemed unable to accept (and deal with) the facts of Pipim being a sexual predator.
Hence, sadly, in a vain attempt to support the doctoral student he had advised while at Andrews, Dederen began to cast false aspersions on one of those who worked hard to get the Michigan Conference to appropriately deal with Pipim.
SORRY, but we shouldn’t whitewash Dederen’s mishandling of the Pipim matter.

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