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."