Can a candidate for Episcopal office convicted of fraudulent activities file his nomination for candidacy at the General conference.For instance, a candidate for episcopal office convicted and fined an equivalent of USD $ 1000.00 for damaging a church member's vehicle.The court judgement has been publicised in the newspaper with headline / title " A man of God shouldn't bahave like a crook".What is the church policy on candidates with questionable characters? If such an individuals is holding the office of the Presiding Elder, can he continue serving even after conviction. What is the procedure of handling such a matter?

God bless

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2003


Hello Rev. Mwandu:

It is unfortunate that such a situation as this has occured. I am not sure what the policy on handling such a matter is specically. But I am thinking that this is a matter for the Judical Committee. I am thinking that situations concerning questionable ethics and questionable character of individuals would go to them. From there they would recommend the neccessary action for followup.

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2003

Rev. Mwandu

Jesus told his disciples to forgive 70 times 7 or as long as we want to be forgiven. I personally believe this is the same matter. If God will allow a murderer into Heaven (David) surely we can allow someone who was once convicted into office, if he has repented and is qualified for the position. I think that as a necessary precaution, he should be closely supervised, but he should also be given a chance.

-- Anonymous, June 12, 2003

Rev. Mwandu,

According to the 1996 and 2000 Disciplines, any ordained minister can be brought up on charges to have them removed/unseated/kicked out for commiting crimes in conflict with God's law or the A.M.E. Church.

Rev. John Harper

-- Anonymous, June 13, 2003

If the candidate's character is questionable, that should be handled by the annual conference he/she is a member. The Judicial Council is for appeals. Concerns should be brought to the session of the annual conference.

-- Anonymous, June 13, 2003

You can excuse me for my ignoraance for i do know very well that ignorance of the law is no defence.

I still want you to enlighten me on this one because i am aware that the way issues are handled in the US is different from the way the same issues are handled in Africa.I do not know why the same standards are not maintained.

Some of the crimes which are commited are by people with alot of influence over the affairs of the church.Very close to the Episcopal Father(s) and considered back bones and armour bearers.Their positions make it very difficult for clergy and laity who unaware of their rights keep quiet for fear of being victimised and or losing their appointments.

What step can be taken if the matter of a convicted candidate goes undiscussed at the annual conference(s)? Is there a committee that scrutinises all aspiring candidates for any office to verify their character and qualification is and are blameless?

I would like to be familiar with these aspects of church discipline for the benefit of many a people.Once again forgive my ignorance.

-- Anonymous, October 08, 2003

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