SENG'S APPOINTEE REV. S.T. WILLIAMS' SUSPENDED FROM PASTORAL DUTIES BY CHURCH
Date: Saturday, November 20 @ 03:34:08 CST
Topic: News and Views
On 25 October 2004, the matter of confirming Mayor Coleen Seng's appointee, Rev. S.T. Williams to the Community Health Endowment Board of Trustees for a three-year term expiring 1 September 2007 came on for hearing before the Lincoln City Council. I appeared at that meeting and presented testimony opposing William's confirmation. Prior to attending, I called the mayors chief-of-staff, Mark Bowen and told him about matters which would likely surface if he allowed the confirmation process to go forth. As a result of my call, Corrie Kielty-Wesely (third wife of former mayor Don Wesely) appeared in support of the mayor's appointee. The appointment was subsequently approved
The Community Health Endowment Board is a body which has overview responsibility for disbursing a fund created when what was then called Lincoln General Hospital (now Bryan LGH West) was sold to Bryan Hospital. The fund is presently at around $40 million.
I informed the council that I became a member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod fifty-one years ago and never in that period of over a half-century had I ever met a more mean, hateful, divisive, corrupt, unorthodox and dishonest human being in my life than Rev. S.T. Williams.
Years before Williams was called to serve as an assistant pastor at Christ Lutheran Church, (CLC) Pastor Charles Reimnitz served as Pastor there for nearly four decades prior to his retirement. Reimnitz and a member of the church, Lincoln insurance executive Dick Buethe, and others formed what is called "The Haiti Mission", a church in Haiti which also has a school where now around 2,000 children attend. Children who otherwise might not have an opportunity to get an education. As a volunteer, Buethe - at his own expense - has traveled to and from Haiti to oversee its operation and growth.
The members of Christ Lutheran Church had great admiration for Pastor Reimnitz and his pastoral ministry as well as his mission endeavors. Shortly after Williams was hired by CLC, because of his being black, he launched an effort or perhaps better put and attack on Reimnitz (then retired), Buethe, and perhaps others demanding to be put on the board of directors of the Haiti Mission, stating words to the effect that "White men could not run a black mission." I am informed Williams threatened Reimnitz and Buethe that if he was not made a director of the mission that he - Williams - would see to it that all money from Christ Lutheran Church which was donated to support the mission would be cut off!
Williams later demanded of a member of the Nebraska District LC-MS Mission Board that he be given $30,000 to fund some activity in Haiti. Williams refused to present a budget. I am informed his refusal to submit a budget or even a spending plan was the cause of his request being denied. Subsequently, according to informed sources, Williams saw to it that CLC money for the mission was cut off and later diverted to his own project.
Upon learning what I believed to be irresponsible handling of "God's Money" by Williams and CLC's senior pastor, Rev Luke Schnake, as a then member of CLC (a Nebraska non-profit corporation) I requested access to financial records of the corporate body during normal business hours for my review. I had additionally been informed by other members of CLC that Williams was involved in or approved of church funds being used to subsidize unmarried Sudanese couples who were "Shacking-Up." It was also reported to me that Sudanese people who Williams was trying to recruit as members of CLC and who did not have "green cards" were working for and being paid by CLC. That practice, I believe is a breach of federal law, but I must admit I have not researched that subject area. Schnake and Williams instructed the church staff not to make the records I sought available to me. I wonder why if there was nothing to hide!
During the time I insisted on access to church financial records, Williams contacted my daughter and told her that if I did not stop "interfering in church business", he was going to ex-communicate me. Williams had met my daughter and her husband while they were serving as literacy missionaries in Abia, Nigeria, West Africa. That's when the proverbial feces hit the fan!
I strongly believe that a man who will use his position as pastor of a church for his own mean, self-serving agendas is not fit to continue in the ministry of the Lutheran Church -Missouri Synod. But for the fact I was persuaded by members of my family not to take action via the courts to force access to the financial records of CLC, I chose to resign my membership in that church and move my church affiliation elsewhere.
Because of Williams' well establish modus operandi, I predicted to the Lincoln City Council that if he was approved as a trustee on the particular board that he would corrupt the proceedings with his own self-serving agendas, that he would be pushy and intimidating and the first time anyone opposed him, he would "play the race card."
Williams, with Schnake's concurrence and acquiescence, has driven off four members of the CLC's board of elders, and many members including one who was a member of that church for nearly forty years.
While I thought it inappropriate for me to furnish names and telephone numbers to the council members publicly, I offered - if they would set final action on the appointment over for one or two weeks - to supply such so that the council's own investigation could take place.
Corrie Kielty-Wesely (Lincoln's former mayor Donald Wesely's third wife who, like wife #2 chooses not to use his name) who serves as administrative assistant to Mayor Seng, showed up to support the confirmation of Williams. She told the council she had contacted several people "at the church" and they all said he was a "wonder citizen." When Kielty-Wesely was asked by a council member if the mayor's office followed normal procedures in checking out Williams, she informed the body that because I had called (a matter of only a couple of hours before the meeting started) she actually investigated the matter even further. Kielty-Wesely stated words to the effect that what I had told the council was not true!
It is no secret in the Lincoln community that Donald R. Wesely and I are not and have never been on the friendship list of one another. For a couple of decades Wesely has been "bad mouthing" and spreading outright lies about me in the political undercurrent of the city, but those who know the two of us just consider the source. In my ongoing opinion of Wesely, he only presents honest information to folks when he is hard pressed to do so. Now, it appears to me, his example has "rubbed off" on his third wife.
Each member of the Lincoln City Council has been supplied with a copy of a letter dated 12 November 2004 (eighteen days after I testified before it) written, signed and circulated by Thomas Lorenz Chairman of the Lay Leadership Board to ever member of CLC. That body which, by unanimous vote approved of Williams' appointment can now see that they acted less than competently in their action.
So the people of Lincoln and particularly Wesely's incumbent wife who with devious design challenged the veracity of my testimony will know the truth about Williams - at least part of it - the aforementioned letter is included below, verbatim:
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,
Lay Leadership Board
Christ Lutheran Church
Whatever it was that Williams did to get such harsh action taken against him by his church and by the Nebraska District of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod had to be pretty serious. Knowing well in advance his propensity to "play the race card" the persons who have taken the action against Williams must be sure they have a solid case or they would not have had the courage to suspend him from pastoral duties indefinitely and to forbid him from seeking to get a "call" to another church.
If the matter should be found to be serious enough to warrent his being "defrocked", he will likely also lose his commission as an officer/chaplain in the U.S. Naval Reserves.
The council might want to take the time now, to do what they should have done days ago - a serious and honest background check on Rev (at least for the moment) S.T. Williams and determine whether or not the action taken on his appointment should be rescinded. It would be most meaningful if "Wishy-Washy" Werner (who incidentally is up for re-election next year) has the scrotal capacity to be the one to oppose her highness, the mayor and moves for reconsideration of the action taken. Terry et al, you can't say you were not informed before you voted.