Media Release 19th May 2017:
"By now you may have received an email confirming the decision of the leadership of the South Pacific Division (SPD) and Adventist Media to dismiss the ordained minister of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Pr Gary Kent.
Pr Gary Kent has been a minister of the church for some 30 years and in the last 10 years has led the media evangelism ministry of It Is Written Oceania (IIWO). Through the support of donors and the support of many other people he has led thousands to God and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This morning, many of these individuals, some brand new baptised members and some of the IIWO viewers, are confused and disappointed by the treatment towards Pr Gary Kent.
It Is Written was set up as a fully donor-funded ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the USA more than 50 years ago. When it was brought to Australia, It Is Written Oceania was set up as a fully donor-funded ministry with a goal to be the sharp edge of the sword, going directly out into the community on National TV, National Radio, social media and publishing to spread the Advent message.
More recently the South Pacific Division and Adventist Media, against the wishes of It Is Written USA and the General Conference, trademarked the name “It Is Written Oceania” and assumed authority. They also recently attempted this same strategy on the newly established ministry of Amazing Facts Oceania, which resulted in the new ministry having to spend more than $50,000 to defend itself against the lawyers of the South Pacific Division.
Pr Gary and his wife have given everything towards the establishment and success of It Is Written Oceania. Not only have they sacrificed their lives towards bringing people to God and into our church but also provide continued personal financial support towards the ministry. As recently as early 2015, when the South Pacific Division refused to use donor provided funds to pay the invoices of IIWO, the family donated $25,000 to pay debts to ensure non-Adventist entities were not affected or damaged by the internal division between the SPD and IIWO. To suggest any breach of trust or integrity on behalf of Pr Gary Kent and his wife is unfounded and requires the immediate withdrawal of the complaint.
Pr Gary Kent’s dismissal was the result of 22 months of the South Pacific Division, via Adventist Media, attempting to blunt the sword of It Is Written Oceania. For 22 months, many supporters and donors have seen first-hand the repeated attacks on Pr Gary Kent. During this entire time, as a reflection of his character, Pr Gary Kent has remained silent and attempted by every possible means to mediate an outcome.
The ministry for many years has run with less than 3 staff (including Pr Gary Kent). As the church’s leading outreach arm, this will surprise many. Pr Gary Kent has been dismissed because he engaged an It Is Written Oceania manager without sign-off by the South Pacific Division, despite receiving sign-off and approval from the North New South Wales Conference. To fund the employment of this individual, a leading businessman in the Australian community paid the wages of this individual. Any donor or supporter has the right to direct the use of his or her own funds at their personal discretion.
Pr Gary Kent has always acted with the desire to grow and expand the It Is Written Ministry.
Recently one of Pr Gary Kent’s TV programs on national TV received several hundred requests for a Bible. The ministry of Pr Gary Kent and the work of It Is Written Oceania has been guided by God’s own hand and continues to flourish in the Oceania region.
There have been many examples of teachers, ministers, church treasurers and conference presidents who have been found criminally responsible by the courts in Australia for fraud, embezzlement, sexual abuse and adultery. But never has the church openly attempted to discredit any individual, like it has done with Pastor Kent.
As leading business men and women, members of the Seventh-day Adventist church, and donors in support of It Is Written Oceania, we seek the immediate reinstatement of Pr Gary Kent as speaker/director of It Is Written Oceania.
We seek your continued support of Pr Gary Kent as the Speaker/Director of It Is Written Oceania. We are setting up a Go Fund me campaign page raising funds for two purposes:
1) Funds for use of It Is Written Oceania if Pr Gary Kent is returned to his position.
2) If not re-instated, funds to be used for his defence and for future establishment of another ministry fully pledged to support the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific Division.
Donors of It Is Written Oceania."
[UPDATE]: We are informed this morning that the SPD has issued a lifetime ban to prevent Gary Kent from speaking as a representative of IIWO in any Adventist Church in their Division. This is a massive abuse of leadership power, and an unwashed thumb in the eye of Adventist evangelism and faithful supporters. We are hopeful that grassroots members rise up and demand leadership change in the SPD, as other areas of the world church are now doing.
Stay tuned for more information on what we understand to be a long history of heavy-handed abuses of authority by the South Pacific Division leadership.