Moravian Church Embracing & Supporting Sex Offending Former Pastor

President of the Moravian Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, the Reverend Phyllis Smith-Seymour, says, though saddened, the Church continues to embrace its disgraced former pastor and convicted child sex abuser, Rupert Clarke.

President Seymour says the Church does not agree with Clarke’s conduct but will not cast stones.

Clarke pleaded guilty yesterday in the St Elizabeth Parish Court to sexually abusing two girls who’re sisters when they were 13 and 15 years old.

His arrest on January 3 this year triggered what morphed into the Moravian Church sex scandal.

President Seymour says the Church is sorrowful after news of the guilty plea. But she says it will continue to embrace and support Pastor Clarke.

Clarke pleaded guilty last evening after his defence team failed to prevent the trial from being transferred to a court in the Corporate Area.

Statements given t13-year-olde indicate that over several years the 64-year old former Moravian clergyman used food items to bribe the 15 and 13-year-old girls for sex.

The girls and their family were reportedly facing severe financial difficulties.

Clarke was taken into custody late last year after he and one of the girls were found by the Police in a compromising position in a motor car.

Reverend Seymour says the Moravian Church had no idea Clarke would have pleaded guilty.

Our news centre asked the President of the Moravian Church what are her words to the girls who Pastor Clarke has admitted to sexually abusing and their family.

Two other former senior Moravian clergymen, Dr. Paul Gardener and Jermaine Gibson, are currently before the criminal court accused of sexually abusing and assaulting minors.

The charges arise from a series of incidents dating back to 2002. Gardener and Gibson are to be tried in January next year.

When they were taken into custody earlier this year, Gardener was President of the Moravian Church while Gibson was his deputy. And Reverend Smith-Seymour is criticizing the media for what she says is unbalanced coverage of the sex scandal that rocked the church this year. She says the coverage of the negative developments regarding the Moravian Church has been unusually prolonged.

Reverend Smith-Seymour is also appealing to people who may be turned off from the church.

Reverend Smith-Seymour says all she’s asking for is fair coverage of the issue of sexual abuse which affects several sectors of society.

— 30 —

4 thoughts on “Moravian Church Embracing & Supporting Sex Offending Former Pastor

  1. QC

    Nothing about the victims. All of the empathy for the “brother”. Then the investigation found that the church was rotten to the core.

  2. dominic jarrett

    *Dealing with Sexual Immorality in the Church*

    We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.
    2 Corinthians 6:3 NIV

    When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; *but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.* Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.
    James 1:13‭-‬16 NIV

    Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
    Galatians 6:1 NIV

    *Why should I do this?*

    If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.
    James 2:8 NIV

    All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
    2 Corinthians 5:18‭-‬19 NIV

    It logically follows that our focus should be only restoration, through the ministry of reconciliation that Christ has entrusted to us.

    **On Casting Judgements**

    “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, *because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.* Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
    James 2:12‭-‬13 NIV

    “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
    Matthew 18:15‭-‬17 NIV

    *The kingdom of God has a process of arbitration.*

    But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a [Christian ] brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
    1 Corinthians 5:11‭-‬13 NIV

    The above verse speaks to excommunication as a LAST RESORT. This is last stage of arbitration by human means.

    Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.
    2 Corinthians 5:11 NIV

    In closing, I exhort those who are in Christ to consider this issue especially now that we observe the National Day of Prayer & Repentance.

    Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.
    2 Corinthians 7:10 NIV

Comments are closed.