Council and ministerial services reps answer and ask questions
BIG SANDY, Texas--Members of the United Church of God Big Sandy questioned eight men after Sabbath services May 9 at end of a week of unrest in Big Sandy prompted by the United Church of God -AIA's decision--which was later at least temporarily rescinded--to remove Dave Havir as pastor.
Church members lined up at a microphone to grill the four council-of-elder members who live in the Big Sandy area (Les McCullough, Don Ward, Leon Walker and Aaron Dean); along with Roy Holladay of Florida, another council member; Doug Horchak of Denver, a member of the ministerial-services department of the United Church of God -AIA; and Mr. Havir.
The session went on for four hours. The men on stage also queried members of the audience and heard early in the session from local-board president Don Mischnick that the Big Sandy board considers the congregation to be "independent," although "associated" with the United Church of God -AIA.
The United Church of God -AIA representatives came under fire from many questioners who for the most part were resolutely opposed to Mr. Havir's transfer out of the area.
Notable for its absence was a publicly stated reason for the attempted removal of Mr. Havir, even though audience members exhibited a good deal of creativity in framing and reframing the question of why should Mr. Havir have to go.
Council members couldn't tell, they said numerous times, because of legal and ethical considerations and because they had discussed the matter of Dave Havir in "executive session."
Mr. McCullough, United Church of God -AIA president, confirmed in answer to the last question of the day that Mr. Havir was, at least for the following week, still pastor of the Big Sandy group.
For much more on the day's happenings, watch this Web site. Journal publisher Dixon Cartwright said that--because of unrelated projects he is working on--it could take a couple of days for him to complete and post the complete summary of May 9's events.
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