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Cal/Nev Officials Seize Control Of Evangelical Congregation, Suspend Pastor While Away At Church Camp


From: Edward F. Ezaki eezaki@lightspeed.net
To: John Warrener (E-mail) jwarrene@surfsouth.com
Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2000 3:29 PM
Subject: Hostile Takeover at Fresno Church

Hello all,

I just received word that this morning, Rev. Vickie Healy, District Superintendent of the Fresno District, appeared at St. Luke's UMC in Fresno with retired Rev. Doug Norris in tow and announced to the staff that current pastor Rev. David Wainscott has been suspended and the Doug was the replacement pastor. It is my understanding that St. Luke's had scheduled an all church vote on August 27th on separation from the UMC. Unfortunately, David Wainscott is out of town this week teaching at a camp, so he has been displaced while absent. The church leadership has yet to figure out whom to obey.

Obviously, the situation is going to take some untangling. Please pray for the staff people especially as they feel caught in the middle and very taken off guard. This is even harder to understand given Greg Smith's words about how cooperative his DS was as the majority of Hope Church in Sacramento voted to leave last week. So much for kinder and gentler....

By the way, St. Luke's is a strongly evangelical congregation of 350+ in Fresno. I was associate there from 1985-1991 while Rev. Al Vom Steeg was pastor. During that time, David Wainscott was a member of St. Luke's going to seminary. David is one of "the Six" pastors who called for apportionment redirection by local churches. When you really get down to it, threatening the money supply seems to really get things going, doesn't it?

I will keep you updated.

Blessings,

Ed

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