by AT News Team
“Because of our expanded knowledge of [his] moral failures [plural] we strongly advise our colleagues … to not support Samuel Pipim’s ministry such as speaking invitations, the use of his materials or any ministry activity,” states a letter sent “to leadership of North America and World Divisions” in mid-September. The Lake Union Conference took the initiative in issuing this warning with the Michigan Conference.
Pipim was employed as director of secular campus ministry for the Michigan Conference until May of 2011 when he confessed to sexual misconduct with a student during a trip to Africa. He has worked with university students for several years, playing a key role in the formation of the GYC organization, now called Generation of Youth for Christ, and concerns have been expressed by advocates for the victims of sexual abuse by clergy. Adventist Today published earlier this year an interview with a professional counselor who was authorized by the young woman involved to tell her side of the incident.
Last year the Michigan Conference accepted Pipim’s resignation from the ministry and terminated his employment, and the Lake Union Conference rescinded his ordination. His local church dropped his membership, but earlier this year he requested rebaptism. He had been employed by a private ministry based in Michigan, recently published a book and launched a web operation. The rebaptism was canceled when it was discovered that there were other occasions when he has engaged in sexual misconduct.
The letter says that Pipim has been “admonished not to engage in public ministry such as speaking and … writing.” But he “has continued to take speaking appointments [and] written a book.” The letter expresses concern about Pipim’s possible harm to misled people in the Adventist movement and beyond. “We feel these limitations are important for the physical and spiritual safety of church members.”
Pipim has been a leading voice against women’s ordination and teaches that the Bible precludes women from leadership in the home or the church. Some opponents of women serving in pastoral ministry have suggested that he is the focus of attention because of his opinions on this topic. Victim advocates have told Adventist Today they speak out against any clergy who are abusing people under their influence, regardless of the views of the clergy persons involved.