9 February 2021 |
A statement being shared widely on social media on what appears to be Columbus Ghanaian Seventh-day Adventist Church letterhead claims that the church was railroaded into the decision to disfellowship Samuel Koranteng-Pipim announced in mid-January. The statement, titled “Columbus Ghanaian Church Dissociates Itself From Ohio Conference’s Statement On Pipim’s Disfellowship & Cautions Against Giving Credence To The Ohio Conference Statement,” is unsigned, leaving the actual author unknown, and providing no evidence that it was produced by the congregation or its board.
That it has no identifiable author or signatories suggests the statement may not be what it claims to be, though the Columbus Ghanaian Seventh-day Adventist Church (CGSDAC) has not disavowed it. The Ohio Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is not making a comment at this time.
The statement claims that the earlier Ohio Conference press release contains misleading information, and that the congregation was not a full participant in this process:
The Ohio Conference Statement saying Dr. Pipim had been voted out of the Columbus Ghanaian SDA Church “for alleged sexual offenses” is false. (CGSDAC has no evidence of the claims of sexual violence such as rape and harassment against at least 10 women as outlined in their statement). … The basis of the Ohio Conference Statement is questionable. The argument is flawed, and without precedence, which is alarming. The contents of the press release are factually defective and misleading. The potential damages ramifications, and/or consequences of the Statement are incalculable.
Claims in the letter against the Ohio Conference include:
- “Old accusations are recycled as new to give impressions that are completely false.
- “Equally false is the claim that the Ohio Conference executive leadership ‘offered counsel to the local [Ghanaian] church.’ The OHC [sic] leadership did not even meet with the church nor counsel the church.
- “There were two instances (August 8th and October 28th 2020) where the Conference executive leadership inappropriately, without formal invitation showed up in the meeting with our church board of elders to force the church to do the bidding of the Conference, i.e. remove Pipim from membership.
- “The last interaction of the Conference with the Church was through a letter dated December 12, 2020, threatening ‘to recommend to the constituency the expulsion of the Columbus Ghanaian SDA Church from the sisterhood of churches of the Ohio Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.’
- “At no time has the Church been allowed to see any of the accusations; Contrary to the claim ‘the [Columbus] church and Ohio Conference reexamined the entire case.’”
The statement also alludes to “an avowed personal adversary of Dr. Pipim during the past decade” and “folks who are pursuing certain theological views that differ from Dr. Pipim’s,” leading to speculation that Dr. Pipim himself had a hand in crafting the statement.