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Web site alleges Jim Franks
preplanned UCG split church

 
Encouraging Communication among the Churches of God
 

Web site alleges Jim Franks
preplanned UCG split church

by Dixon Cartwright
 

BIG SANDY, Texas--A Web site operated by a Church of God member from Canada alleges that Jim Franks was involved in setting up the recent split from the United Church of God while he was a member of and on the payroll of the UCG.

Mr. Franks denies the allegation.

Former UCG members established the Church of God a Worldwide Association (CGWA) as a Florida nonprofit corporation on Dec. 23, 2010. An organizational conference for the new group took place in Louisville, Ky., on Jan. 9-11, 2011.

According to The Shining Light, a blog (at theshininglight.info) operated by James David Malm of Port Coquitlam, B.C., Canada, Mr. Franks, who until recently was director of ministerial services for the Ohio-based United Church of God, was actively involved in planning the start-up of what became the CGWA before he resigned from the UCG.

"On Dec. 7-8th Jim Franks resigned from the Council [of Elders of the UCG]," Mr. Malm wrote.

"On Dec. 17 he sent the email published below. On Dec. 19 the meeting of dissident leaders [former UCG clergymen who were forming a new church corporation] was held to make important decisions."

Although Mr. Malm said Mr. Franks resigned on Dec. 21, Mr. Franks said he resigned on the 20th.

Mr. Malm reported that he contacted Mr. Franks to invite him to comment on the allegations through an intermediary, but Mr. Franks did not respond to the invitation.

"You will see that Jim was a leading figure in this situation and [because of the nature of the decisions being made] was calling other obviously leading men to a meeting to discuss very important matters," Mr. Malm continued. "He denied being involved when he was obviously very deeply involved.

"This letter was sent and the meeting took place while Jim was in the employ of UCG and although he had denied working with the dissidents against United."

Mr. Malm quoted excerpts from what he said was an E-mail from Mr. Franks dated December 17, 2010:

"I simply can't imagine how things could get any more interesting!" he quoted Mr. Franks as saying. "Each day now brings a new twist. Legal accusations, firings, resignations and suspensions are coming at us from all directions. I have a couple of items to share with you this evening and then I will leave it until our meeting on Monday. There are some important decisions that we will need to make in the next few days . . .

"Next week we need to firm up plans for moving forward . . .

"Within the next few days we will need to discuss the following (among other things):

"When should a general meeting take place?

"Where should a general meeting take place?

"Should we resign or should we wait to be terminated? What should be the timing of a resignation?

"Please keep in mind that all of this is confidential. We have added another 12 men to the mailing list, which means it is even more important to be circumspect in any information that you share with others.

"You should have received an official invitation for a meeting on Monday, December 19. The time will be 12 Noon CST. I look forward to talking with all of you soon. Take care."

It was signed "Jim Franks."

Mr. Malm posted a response from Mr. Franks in which he denied discussing "property in Texas" and said he had not been "involved with a new organization" because "there wasn't one" and was not involved with "an international organization" because "there wasn't one."

Mr. Malm responded to Mr. Franks' response by calling it a "straw accusation" because Mr. Franks defended himself against allegations that Mr. Malm said he had not made.

Mr. Malm concluded his comments by stating that the E-mail "strongly implies the involvement of Jim Franks in the effort to build a greater international church organization . . .

"I said nothing about Jim being involved in the [Texas] property issue. Further, I said that a new organization was being formed; not that it already existed . . . Jim's response is evasive . . . and bullying."

The Journal invited Mr. Franks to comment on Mr. Malm's allegations.

"From what I gather I am being accused of planning a new Church organization while employed by UCG," Mr. Franks wrote in his statement to this newspaper.

"I can tell you that this accusation is simply not true. I can provide 145 witnesses (elders who attended our meetings in Louisville) that there was no plan when we arrived in Louisville.

"Why would we hold such a meeting if this was already planned?"

 
 
 
  
 
 

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