This is the second Education Document describing in detail the take-over strategy being used to invalidly take control of Evangel Church from its members in order to convert the assets. It also includes Sewell’s Fact Vs Fiction response to Education Document 1.
Stand with Evangel
Education Document 2 – February 1, 2020
The truth of how a 52yr Holy Spirit anointed Metro-Detroit church
has gone from vibrant and Holy Ghost filled in January of 2019;
to 2 steps from the grave in January 2020 under the leadership of one man.
This is an ongoing situation happening to one of Detroit Area’s premier churches. In this document we do our best to state the facts as clearly and succinctly as we can as well as identify where we are presenting unconfirmed points.
What is happening to Evangel is not just about Evangel. It is happening to other churches in both Detroit and elsewhere around the nation. It could happen to your church if you are not awake and aware of something called the Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine and how ungodly men are welding it as a weapon to take over churches across America for personal gain.
The matter is complex with many dimensions making it easy to get lost in the details. We encourage you the reader to gather all the facts; then seek God’s will as to what he wants you to do.
May God Bless His Church
Stand With Evangel – Education Document 2
In just 12 short months, under the leadership of Evangel’s new Senior Pastor; a beautiful thriving, 50-year church body (with numerous members who have attended for 20 to 30 years) is being destroyed. Judged on any standard: spiritual, financial, emotional, companionship, fellowship, ministries, families, kids…Evangel Church is in a significantly worsened place today then just one year ago. We do not know what is in the heart of this young man and only judge by the fruit; it’s clear that serious problems exist.
Pastor Bogle Sets It Up Right!
At the core of the issue is an invalid, immoral, and improper attempt to change the church By-laws in order to convert Evangel Echos Church of the Air established May 24, 1968 by Pastor George W. Bogle, from a Member governed church to a Director governed church. Both the original Articles of Incorporation as registered by Pastor Bogle and the Church’s original By-laws as adopted and signed by Pastor Bogle at conception, establish the Church as Member Governed.
Evangel Church Original Articles of Incorporation
Evangel Church Original Bylaws
They Changed the Rules
Evangel’s Bylaws have been invalidly changed to take away the rights of the congregation; and then vest power with the Elder Board and Pastor who nominate & elect each other and answer only to themselves.
In fairness, the genesis of these invalid and improper Bylaw changes began in 2011 prior to Sewell; he has simply taken it to the next level including adding new Bylaw changes of his own (under the auspice of his board).
It’s armed with this newly seized authority that Sewell ventured into negotiations with Triumph Church to merge and transfer Evangel Church and its $1M in assets under the Triumph umbrella. All the prior stated activities were taking place in secret without any awareness or consent of the congregation. Immediately upon the Triumph merger strategy being made known to Evangel’s congregation, strong resistance began to rise up.
Our contention is that Evangel was established as a member governed church and these rights can not be rescinded nor transferred to the Elder Board or Senior Pastor, without a qualified vote of the membership. Any attempt to do so is a violation of Michigan State Law and supported by precedence.
Their Next Move
Aware this legal exposure could foil the merger plot, Sewell paused the merger and began actively recruiting new members, disqualifying longtime Evangel Members and creating new member rolls; in order to manufacture a new Evangel membership that will grant him approval to become a Director-Directed organization. Should he be successful, he would then be able to progress forward with the merger into Triumph.
Stand with Evangel’s 3 Options
The true, long standing members of Evangel Church who have attended, paid their tithes, offerings, and built this Church over 5 decades; have 3 Options to move forward:
- Present our case to the Detroit Christian Community and ask for the Body’s full influence, resources and support to bring significant pressure on both Sewell and the existing Elder Board to hold an honest, open and fair voting process with Evangel’s true membership. This would allow the members to choose their own destiny in a Godly manner.
- Ask Sewell and the current Elder Board to resign, return governance back to the members. We will negotiate a severance package for Sewell as a show of our appreciation.
- Petition the Michigan State Courts and ask for their intervention to stop all activity, order a court monitored vote of Evangel’s true membership, and upon success of that vote, return the governance of Evangel Church to its members.
Our preferred choice would be Option 2, understanding the likelihood of that occurring is extremely low. Our second choice would be Option 1 where we depend on those of you who are in church leadership within Detroit to step forward to assist us. Option 3 has a high probability of success albeit, includes a cost of approximately $50,000 and an undetermined amount of time for the process to transpire.
We Need Your Support
We are asking everyone in Christ’s Body to Stand with Us. With your prayers, voice, and financial support; we will be victorious. To learn what you can do to help us, email us at email@example.com or text us at 313-307-3700. We thank you all in advance! May God Bless Evangel Church – www.standwithevangel.com
Rebuttals to Sewell’s Fact Vs Fiction Response
In response to our first Education piece, Sewell is circulating a document he calls Fact Vs Fiction.
Sewell’s Fact Vs Fiction responses are deceptive, evasive, and inaccurate. Any savvy reader will be able to easily sort through the key points to reach the proper conclusion. We’ve prepared the following rebuttals in order to assist with that process.
REBUTTALS – SEE SEWELL FACT VS FICTION RESPONSE:
- TRUE: “Nearly 300 of our brothers and sisters have suspended attending services”.
Sewell’s FACT response fails to address the accusation.
- TRUE: “Most internal church ministries have been stopped including Sunday School for children”.
Sewell’s FACT response admits this, referring to things as “paused”. It also appears he sees no distinction between “bodies” and “members”.
- TRUE: “Church financial support has fallen to a pace under $500,000 annually; and it continues to drop.”
Sewell’s FACT response fails to address the accusation. FACT: Revenue has dropped from $100K/mo to under $40K/mo and falling. Seems he’s suggesting the Church savings account is increasing?
- TRUE: “Evangel had approx. $400K in savings January 2019. Today’s best estimates, under $170,000 in savings.
Sewell refuses to produce documentation on finances.
- TRUE: Salary is $105K plus his housing bonus.
Sewell’s FACT response acknowledges a housing increase has been requested.
- TRUE: Notice Sewell added the word “wrongfully” which is not in the original claim. FACT response admits staff was terminated and confirms church revenues of $100K/mo when he took over. Response has no relevancy to the recent 2020 terminations.
- TRUE: We have written proof of meeting requests plus witnesses to “oral requests to meet with Sewell and the Board”.
Sewell refused all such requests and will not submit himself to any oversight.
- TRUE: Notice Mr. Sewell added the word “solely” which is not in the original claim.
Sewell’s response admits all Elder Board members we’re replaced. This is in spite of an agreement that Pastor Chris Brooks was to remain an Elder Board member.
- TRUE: Mr. Sewell’s answer fails to address the accusation. Multiple members like Van Thornton and Marlin Deacons who held access to church property for 30 years have now been banned from entering the premises and are turned away at the door.
- TRUE: We hold in our possession multiple written requests dated in December 2019 by 2 Elder Board members requesting a meeting.
Sewell with cooperation of the Board Secretary buried these requests, CITING PROPER PROTOCAL WAS NOT FOLLOWED?????
PLEASE STAND WITH THE CONGREGATION OF EVANGEL CHURCH – EVANGEL MINISTRIES
WE ASK YOU SUPPORT US TO RESTORE MEMBER GOVERNANCE AND REMOVE OUR PASTOR
SEWELL’S FACT VS FICTION PAPER