Ethical Questions Raised About Australian Union Conference Leadership

The upcoming New South Wales General Constituency Meeting, or Session, is to take place on September 15, 2019.

Fulcrum7 has been informed by constituents of North New South Wales (NNSW) that there were ethical violations and manipulation by Jorge Munoz, the president of the Australian Union Conference (AUC) in the events leading up to this Constituency Session. Here is what we know at this point:

  • Prior to this upcoming 2019 AUC Session meeting, the NNSW Nominating Committee convened to nominate officers for their Conference.

  • The Nominating Committee was chaired by Jorge Munoz.

  • The Committee voted to not return Tom Evans to the position of President of NNSW. He subsequently returned to Oregon. We are not sure if Jorge Munoz tried to affect the outcome of that vote.

  • Several members of the Committee suggested Pastor Justin Lawman for the position of NNSW Conference President.

  • Justin Lawman was the previous President of the NNSW Conference, stepping down in 2017 to help attend to his mother’s health, and also with a desire to be a pastor again. Reports that we have received indicate that Justin Lawman is a decent man, and was elected by unanimous vote in 2015. He returned to pastoring in 2017 for the aforementioned reasons.

  • Jorge Munoz opposed this suggestion, calling Justin Lawman unethical and dishonest. “He then continued his personal attack, and immediately before bringing the motion to a vote, said that anyone on the Committee who voted for Pr Justin Lawman’s return would have ‘blood on their hands’.” Apparently, this speech and these words were spoken immediately before the vote was taken, casting a pall of negativity over the minds of the members of the NC toward Justin Lawman and his potential nomination.

  • Not only did Munoz unethically try to steer the outcome of a NC vote, he apparently violated standard Division policy by not making incumbent appraisals available to Nominating Committee members.

  • Munoz’ actions drew a response from Pastor David Assherick, calling into question his attempts to manipulate the outcome of a Nominating Committee vote.

  • These facts are confirmed in David Asscherick's letter that is downloadable on the website” David Asscherick is a co-founder of ARISE and currently pastors the Kingscliff Seventh-day Adventist church in Chinderah, New South Wales, Australia.

  • David Asscherick’s Letter

Constituents in Australia Speak

“Most of the preaching here in Australia—under the control of Glen Townhend and Jorge Munoz—is best described as bubble and froth.” We have to go to Audioverse to hear substantive preaching.”

“It's difficult to find a genuine 3 Angeles message church that's preparing us for God's soon return.”

“North New South Wales is the best Conference in Australia. It is relatively conservative and takes the Three Angels’ Messages seriously. For that reason it is a target of liberal leaders.”

“There’s a lot of control that goes on down here, like what they did to Gary Kent.”

“NNSW 2019 Campmeeting was held over Easter weekend. It was very good. The drums were removed from the stage and more consecrated music was used in the Campmeeting. Jorge Munoz wasn’t pleased with the conservative direction.”

“Many of us conservative members in Australia who care about the Advent Message feel alone a lot of the time. We could use some help from the GC or those Compliance Committees. Are they actually going to use those Committees?”

“Munoz should lay it out on the table. But in all seriousness he not a honourable individual. Many people have said he is unfit to lead and should submit his resignation.”

Suggestions Going Forward

  • The NNSW Executive Committee should direct the Selection Committee to appoint a new Nominating Committee. The current one has been compromised by the influence of the Chairman (Munoz)—who is ethically bound to remain neutral in nominating processes.

  • That the new Nominating Committee start over, and do their work with proper documentation and without manipulation.


“Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Cor 14:40).

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colossians 3:23).