Letter to the Fullerton Assembly Regarding George, Jan. 9th, 2003
Titus 1:7, I Timothy 5:1, 17-22, Galatians 6:1-3, Luke 6:36-38
To the family of God in Fullerton:
It is with deep sorrow and heaviness of heart that we come before you tonight to address a very serious issue that has arisen with regard to our Brother George. We want to preface our remarks by saying that each one of us in this room has benefited over the years from our brother's teaching, service and example. To many of us he is our spiritual father and we would not be where we are today spiritually without his involvement in our lives. While we are grateful for the positive influence our brother has been in our lives and in this assembly, we would not be faithful shepherds if we did not address the issue that is before us.
I Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:7 state that an elder must be blameless, not self-willed but gentle. I Timothy 3:7 states he must have a good report from them that are without. It is our conviction, after much prayer and discussion, that our brother was negligent in dealing with a serious situation in the work of the Lord that has brought reproach to himself and the testimony here in Fullerton. The fact that his failure took place in the sphere of the work and involved another testimony does not excuse our brother from consequence in our local gathering; nor does it prevent the brethren here from taking action in light of it.
Over the last several years our brother was made aware of a variety of problems in San Luis Obispo involving the testimony of his son David. Several individuals reported incidents of David's abusive behavior toward his wife Judy and daughter Rachel, as well as inappropriate and ungodly behavior towards the leading brothers and saints. This has resulted in many being stumbled. Brother George was negligent in taking decisive action with David and removing him from the places of responsibility he held in San Luis Obispo, even in the face of repeated entreaties by brethren over the years. We see this as a serious breach of a sacred trust with God's people. We have entreated our brother to take seriously the issues of pride, partiality and self-will.
We are of one mind that these were not the actions, or attitudes, of a faithful and humble shepherd. Over a period of three weeks and in several meetings, we, as brethren, have repeatedly entreated our brother to genuine and heartfelt repentance in acknowledging the seriousness of his sin. Until today, he has not acted upon our entreaties. He has also not taken full responsibility for what must be considered a grievous sin, and not simply a 'sin of ignorance'. Consequently, we are compelled to take the following steps to help address the issues in our brother's life and give our brother George and the saints here and in other places the opportunity for restoration, recovery and healing.
In meeting with our brother this afternoon, he agreed to the following:
- Our brother will be writing a letter of repentance and humility to be read to the saints here in Fullerton.
- Our brother has agreed not to preach in Fullerton until these issues are resolved. We are not putting our brother out of fellowship nor did we request or insist that he resign as an elder.
- Our brother agreed to take active and meaningful steps to contact Judy Geftakys and his grandchildren to seek reconciliation.
- Our brother agreed to take active and meaningful steps to seek reconciliation with those he may have stumbled here and in other places.
As elders and leading brothers, we understand the seriousness of these actions and trust that you will stand with us in prayer for our brother and all those who have been affected by this situation. It is our sincere desire to affirm our love for our Brother George by standing in his life in this way. We entreat you to maintain an attitude of love, mercy and prayerful support for our brother in this time of the Lord's dealing in his life to bring him to complete repentance and healing.
In view of his years of faithful service, age and health concerns, we believe it is proper for us as an assembly to ensure that he and Betty's personal needs are taken care of.
In conclusion, we believe that in the midst of this grievous situation God can work to His glory and bring about a complete clearing of these things, a release of blessing in our brother's life and revival in the assembly in Fullerton. We further ask for your prayers on our behalf. We understand why some may believe that we have been lacking in conviction, courage or faithfulness and that this has compounded the sorrowful consequences surrounding the situation. And to the extent that we have, we ask you to forgive us. It is our heartfelt desire to be the kind of men that you can respect, trust and feel safe with as we follow our Lord Jesus and seek His heavenly kingdom.
Your fellow-servants in Christ,
The elders and leading brothers in Fullerton
Colossians 3:12-14, Ephesians 4:31-32, Isaiah 57:13b-19