The media recently reported that the board of directors at Pilgrim Baptist church authorized a vote amongst its members to elect the senior pastor. Mysteriously, at least in my eyesight, the members overwhelmingly voted for embattled and convicted sexual offender, Bishop Earl Randy Fraser.
This came as a surprise to me and I am sure a great many Bahamians and church goers. For the members to vote for a pastor that has been convicted by his peers in a court of law and who is presently serving time for a criminal offence is one thing; but to have that pastor to date, still claiming his innocence, despite overwhelming and convincing evidence is one point that I can’t fathom.
As a pastor Fraser should know that you can’t be forgiven for your sins, except you repent. Led by his wife and a cadre of members, they have convinced the majority of the members in Pilgrim that all is well and that Fraser’s actions are acceptable or that he did not commit the crime that he is serving time for. I beg to differ. The Bible says in 1 John 1:9 KJV, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.
Persons in the main are probably asking themselves what in the world the members must be reading or listening to. How can they in their right mind vote to keep a senior pastor as their leader who has maliciously broken their trust and who can’t even come to grips with what he has done?
The Pilgrim membership’s stance was loud and clear though. But what message are they sending to potential members and existing members who see the wisdom in changing the leadership? What message are they sending to other Christians who are clear thinkers and are able to remove their emotion out of the decision making process?
I hope and pray that Fraser would see the wisdom in stepping down from his position as senior pastor and at the least admit his wrong doing. The members of Pilgrim Baptist church took a stance, but one that I have great difficulty with and one that I cannot endorse. They seemed to have acted on blind allegiances. It is now time for Fraser to take the proper stance.
Fraser is probably not the first pastor in the Bahamas that has been convicted of a crime and imprisoned. After all he is only human. I am convinced that he can bounce back from his transgression and rebuild his ministry for God is a forgiving God. But Fraser must first repent and acknowledge his wrong doing.