May 23, 2005

Pastor in sex-abuse furore surrenders credentials

New Zealand Herald



Wayne Hughes, the Takapuna Assembly of God pastor at the centre of sexual abuse claims, has voluntarily surrendered his credentials as a minister and withdrawn from all ministry in the church.

In a statement released on Friday, Assemblies of God general superintendent Ken Harrison said: "The executive has concluded that to further pursue the matter is inadvisable as, amongst other things, the only sanction available in terms of the constitution and by-laws, is suspension of, or removal of credentials."

The Executive Presbytery, which is the Assembly of God movement's governing body, has been conducting an investigation into the matter since November. Mr Harrison said the investigation "has been considerably hampered by issues of legal and court privilege".

The abuse of a teenager occurred 20 years ago, but the victim has not complained to police. Both Mr Hughes and the victim have acknowledged some form of abuse occurred.

After a series of articles in the Herald, Mr Hughes opted for early retirement last month, citing personal reasons and concerns about how the publicity might affect the church.

Posted by kshaw at May 23, 2005 03:27 PM