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COULD CLERGY BE COVERING UP CRIMINAL CONDUCT AT CHRIST LUTHERAN - LINCOLN?
Posted on Friday, April 01 @ 03:13:01 CST by van

Religion Around six weeks ago, I posted a story on which suggested the following: "Members of Christ Lutheran Church - "Put your Mouths Where Your Money Is"! (Check it out for background information) One of the charter members of Christ Lutheran Church, Del Lienemann, Sr. and his son, Del Jr., both Certified Public Accountants paid attention to my recommendation and the senior has called for action.. He has made a strong case for an audit and has accused the Lay Leaders Board, which governs the congregation, of "repeatedly" using "designated funds for normal operations", stating that such conduct was not proper. The full text of the Linemann letter has been incorporated into this story.

Luke Schnake, when recently confronted with a copy of my story, referred to me as a "trouble maker." So far, even when probably justified in doing so, I have refrained from stooping to his level and referring to him as a "Sheep Shearing Charlatan". I didn't even suggest he and his "hand-picked sidekick" S.T. Williams must have been led to believe, while studying at the Ft. Wayne Theological Seminary, that the reason Scriptures refer to the people as "sheep" and pastors as "shepherds" is that He must have intended the latter to be permitted to "fleece" the former.

In the past year or so we have read dozens of stories about sexual misconduct on the part of clergy and parochial school leaders in not only the Roman Catholic Church but also in our own denomination - the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Two Lincoln congregations have had to deal with "pastoral promiscuity" in the last year or so. One pastor was defrocked we are told for adultery and the other is currently being investigated for allegedly engaging in a homosexual assault on a young man who was a "guest" of the congregation. They have something in common. A well positioned and informed source recently told me they are both now members of Christ Lutheran Church, LC-MS.

At this time, however, the focus should be placed upon financial irregularities, reserving the matter of immoral conduct to a later day. The good folks at Christ Lutheran should ask themselves the question - What would Jesus Do - to straighten out the mess.

Here is a letter written to Thomas Lorenz who is the chairman of the rapidly becoming infamous Lay Leadership Board:

March 24, 2005

Thomas Lorenz Chairperson, LLB CLC
1364 Prairie View Road
Eagle, NE 68347

Dear Thomas:

A friend gave me the website www.vansopinion.com and I was shocked at what is now in the public domain. I am sure you and the other members have seen this, but I will send you a copy. I will also include some former letters sent to the LLB.

Why has the lay membership not been informed of the real problems? Your group has been hiding some important information that should be before the congregation.

For Christ Lutheran Church to regain its position in the community, I suggest you appoint a "Blue Ribbon" Finance Committee of four former treasurers of the church and building fund. They would be Del Lienemann, Sr., Donald Wright, Del Linemann, Jr. and Craig Champion.

These individuals are all known by a fast number in our congregation, and a final report on their findings would bring serious problems under control. They would review records fro the date the treasurer's position and finance committee were eliminated in lieu of the LLB, Pastors and Business Manager. Your auditor and I have told your board and Pastor Schnake you have lacked internal control of the finances of the church for the past three years.

As a charter member, I am requesting this committee to be given an ok by the LLB to determine if serious problems do exist which may require law enforcement officials to be called into the investigation.

Your LLB has repeatedly used designated funds for normal operations and this is not proper. Restricted funds can only be used for what they are restricted for. Accountability on the LLB is a function that is presently lacking and must come to an end.

Your immediate attention would be appreciated because not that the story is in the public domain our church is in jeopardy. Also please give the 8 extra copies to your LLB.

Sincerely,

Del Linemann, Sr.

DALS: jlb

cc: Pastor Schnake
Del Linemann, Jr
Don Wright
Craig Champion

It is important to note here that a man who has been a C.P.A. for many years and a charter member of Christ Lutheran is boldly stating, "Your group has been hiding some important information that should be before the congregation.

It was Lincoln attorney Paul Schudel, a member of the congregation, while serving as its "president" , according to Del Lienemann, Jr. who drafted the documents which changed the structure which had been in place for over four decades and created the "Lay Leadership Board." A short time earlier, I resigned my membership in the congregation due to gross financial irregularities which were being hidden from the members, including, but not limited to financially supporting unmarried Sudanese individuals who were SHACKING UP with the Lord's money and engaging in out-of-control wasteful spending of church funds.

If the Internal Revenue Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service were to run audits and discover the amount of inappropriate uses of tax exempt funds and payments being made to illegal aliens for "work" done at the church, in my opinion, criminal charges would likely follow. Since the church qualified as a "501 (c.) 3" tax exempt corporation, the amounts of monies donated to it are taken as tax deductions on the personal income tax reports of the donors. To maintain the particular status with the I.R.S. all of the revenues of the church would have to be, one way or another, expended for religious, educational or charitable purposes - those and those only! Further, to maintain the status, the church would, upon request or audit, be obliged to produce documentation to show with reasonable certainty that no improper disbursements were made for such things as personal junkets, inappropriate purchases or even improper reimbursement for individuals' credit card expenditures.

The congregational members should recall receiving a copy of the following letter on church letterhead:

To: Members of Christ Lutheran Church
From: Lay Leadership Board

God's blessings in the name of our merciful Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Lay Leadership Board of Christ Lutheran Church has been advised of certain allegations regarding actions taken by Pastor ST Williams in his pastoral capacity that, upon initial review, require investigation by the LLB and the Director of Ministries Pastor Luke Schnake. It is our understanding that these allegations are also being investigated by President Russell Sommerfeld of The Nebraska District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

In order to give the LLB and Pastor Schnake an opportunity to properly investigate these allegations, and to provide Pastor Williams with the opportunity to respond to same, the LLB has placed Pastor Williams on indefinite administrative leave. As a result of this action by the LLB, Pastor Williams has also been placed on "Restricted Status" within The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod by President Sommerfeld.

Because these allegations involve confidential personnel matters, the LLB and Pastor Schnake are not able to discuss them further at this time. Mr. Paul Peter, Esq., legal counsel for CLC, is advising the LLB and Pastor Schnake on these matters.

Please be assured that all involved are approaching these matters prayerfully, seeking God's wisdom and guidance. The CLC staff has been apprised of the current situation, and will endeavor to ensure that all ministries of CLC are supported and provided for during this time. Please keep pastor Williams, the LLB, Pastor Schnake, President Sommerfeld, The Nebraska District, the CLC staff and our congregation in your prayers.

Yours in Christ,

Thomas Lorenz
Chairperson
Lay Leadership Board
Christ Lutheran Church

Around six weeks ago, I posted a story on vansopinion.com which suggested the following: "Members of Christ Lutheran Church - "Put your Mouths Where Your Money Is", in which I challenged S.T. Williams to stand before the congregation assembled and answer ten questions. If S.T. Williams was an honest man and had nothing to hide, he would have willingly answered those questions. Since he did not......you will have to draw you own conclusions.

Folks, I have documents which I am prepared to share with an properly constituted of impartial professionally competent persons documents which I have received from a variety of sources including depositions made under oath and a four page twenty-nine paragraph affidavit (also a document signed under oath), as well as recorded interviews of individuals including one made in the personal presence of Nebraska District President Russ Sommerfeld

Members of the congregation involved have received copies of the following letter dated March 13, 2005:

Dear Christ Lutheran Members,

On the date of November 4, 2004, a matter was placed before the Lay Leadership Board for investigation. The matter had as its subject a question regarding Rev. S.T. Williams' responsibilities regarding our involvement with Haiti mission work.

In order to protect both Pastor Williams and our congregation, the Lay Leadership Board took the action of placing him under administrative leave.

It is with thankfulness that we are able to inform you today that the Lay Leadership Board, Pastors Schnake, Williams and Schreich have reconciled all issues associated with the above questions and pursuant investigation. We are also grateful for the important support given us by President Russ Sommerfeld of our Nebraska District, and Pastor Luke Biggs of Messiah, our Circuit Counselor. The temporary restricted status of Pastor Williams' District and Synodical membership was removed by the District President on December 20, 2004, Furthermore, the LLB, on Monday, February 28, lifted the status of administrative leave, with the agreement duly signed on Sunday evening, March 6.

In concert with Christ Lutheran's pastoral staff, the LLB has restored Pastor Williams to the specific work of assisting our church in the transition of those areas of ministry for which he had been responsible, now over to new leadership. Additionally, Pastor Williams is restored to the important work of continuing reconciliation among our congregation's staff, lay leadership and congregation.

During the period of time that Pastor Williams completes the above tasks we ask that you uphold him with your personal prayers, a dn that you support him as you are able, as he moves ahead with the process of actively seeking a Call to a new ministry. It is agreed that his work here among us at Christ Lutheran Church is completed by June 30 of this year.

Both the pastoral team and our congregation and the LLB recognize that the entire process has not been without difficulty and pain. We thank each of your for your patience, prayers, forgiveness, understanding and support

Luke R. Schnake, Director of Ministries Thomas Lorenz, Chairman,Lay Leadership Board

Those of you who are acquainted with S.T. Williams know full well he would never leave the "cushy" job with the high level of compensation he currently has without a fight unless those who "negotiated" his termination "have the goods on him." In my opinion, when all of inappropriate acts and actions are finally revealed to the trusting Lutheran Christian men and women of Christ Lutheran and when leaders of the church at the district and synodical levels become fully aware of such, he will be removed from the Holy Ministry and perhaps even be forced to reimburse the church for funds he has expended or received improperly.

Early on, I suggested the people look to the example documented in the Holy Bible and follow such example in this instance. I firmly believe an honest audit of the last four years of the financial records of Christ Lutheran Church will reveal gross irregularities in the stewardship of church funds by Luke Schnake and S.T. Williams. If such be the case, the members should act as Jesus acted in dealing with the "money changers" in his day and throw the malefactors "out of the temple."

If any person named in this article has a desire to refute any statement made herein and will forward such to me, I WILL PRINT IT VERBATIM in this forum, but I also reserve the right to accompany such with information from documents and recordings which are preserved for later use if and when such might become necessary.

Look for even bigger news about to be presented in articles to be posted in the very near future Such would have been presented earlier, but the release of certain bits of information in an untimely fashion might jeopardize criminal investigations in progress at this time. Who knows? Perhaps some of the cast of characters might be "moved" to enter a "Prison Ministry."

VansOpinion
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