It Is Written Letter of Dismissal Concerning Gary Kent

Posted May 19, 2017 by Adrian Ebens in Adventist Issues

It Is Written Oceania

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart...
It is the Lord Christ you are serving. - Colossians 3:23-24

 

Dear Adrian & Lorelle,

 

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you.    However, as someone who has faithfully supported IIWO I believe you have the right to know what has happened and to hear it directly from me.

You are no doubt aware that some 12 months ago the Adventist Media Committee (Board) voted to establish an IIWO Management Committee and to facilitate moving the ministry from the Adventist Media offices in Wahroonga to a new office in Dora Creek.    It provided the IIWO team with the ability and framework to set their own direction, so that while IIWO remained a part of Adventist Media, it was no longer managed by Adventist Media.    This was designed by the Board to provide a clean start, with a new Management Committee and clear terms of reference outlining how the ministry was to operate.  There was the usual challenges of recruiting staff and setting the office up, but with the support of the existing staff and a team of dedicated volunteers,  IIWO was up and running.  Everything appeared to be operating well. 

In the course of hiring a new video editor from overseas it became apparent that all was not as it seemed.   Further investigation by the Chair of the IIWO Management Committee showed that over a period of time, Gary’s conduct has been less than appropriate for a person in his position.   Despite opportunities for Gary to transparently communicate with the IIWO management team, he continued to act in an inappropriate manner. 

At the most recent Adventist Media Committee meeting, the Chair of the IIWO Management Committee presented a report outlining the known facts as they related to Gary’s conduct as the IIWO Speaker/Director.   The report raised a number of significant concerns for the members of the Adventist Media Committee.    In fact, his actions were misleading and a breach of his fiduciary duties; to the IIWO management team and as an employee of Adventist Media.      After very lengthy discussions and prayer, the Committee decided that the appropriate course of action was to summarily dismiss Gary as the IIWO Speaker/Director.    As you can imagine this was not a decision the committee took lightly.   

Today I met with Gary and formalized his summary dismissal.    

Despite this outcome, it is important that we recognize the contribution that Gary has made to the Adventist church over a number of years as a local church pastor, through public evangelism campaigns, and through the programs he presented while he was at IIWO.     There will be many people who know Jesus because of the work Gary has done both in our Division and overseas.   It is also important that we acknowledge the contribution of Robyn, his wife, and their family who have often volunteered their time and supported him throughout his ministry.  I’d like to ask you to please remember Gary and his family in your prayers.      

I’d also like you to keep in your prayers the other employees who work as part of the IIWO team.  

God bless,

Kalvin Dever - CEO Adventist Media Network

Lionel Smith - Chairperson of the IIWO Management Committee.

You may have questions, I’ll try to answer the obvious ones.   

 

  1. What happens to IIWO? – The South Pacific Division (SPD) and Adventist Media are committed to continuing the valuable ministry of IIWO.  It will remain owned by the SPD as part of Adventist Media.   The various options for the continuation of IIWO are being explored and we would welcome your input as to how you think this could best be done.  Once we have firm details we will communicate with you.  
  2. What happens to the TV time slots? – We will continue to provide programs to fill the TV timeslots, even if these are simply replays of old programs until a decision and plans are made for the future.   
  3. What happens to Gary? Gary has been dismissed, he is no longer employed by the Church.  His full lawful entitlements will be paid to him. 
  4. What happens to the existing IIWO employee’s? We understand that this will be a time of some uncertainty for each of the employees and will be working quickly with the Board and Adventist Media management to determine the way forward.     In the mean time we have asked each staff member to continue to do their best to ensure as much as possible things operate normally.  
  5. What happens to my donations? Donations that have been made to support the IIWO ministry will continue to be used to support the IIWO ministry.   The board’s decision only effects the employment of Gary.  Other employees will continue to be employed to operate the IIWO ministry.   The church as very strict rules that govern how we treat money that is donated.     Our accounts are audited each year to ensure that we are complying with the necessary rules. 
  6. Is the partnership weekend going to continue? At this stage the partnership weekend will proceed as planned. We will be communicating with all people registered to attend the partnership weekend in the next few days.   
  7. What will happen to Gary’s status as a pastor? The Adventist Media Committee does not make decisions regarding ordination.  In situations like this, the status of a minister’s ordination is a decision made by the Australian Union Conference.   
  8. Who do I contact if I have questions? You may contact me via the usual IIWO email addresses and phone numbers and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.