North Zimbabwe Conference President Allegedly Embezzled Church Monies — and More News Shorts

Written by: 
Published:
June 25, 2019

In this week’s news round-up, a conference president is under investigation for alleged embezzlement, an Andrews University professor pens first Christian business ethics book, Oakwood University is ranked in top 10 best Historically Black Colleges & Universities, a former Adventist teacher is accused of sexually assaulting three boys, and the baby boy cut from his Adventist mother’s womb has died.

North Zimbabwe Conference President Allegedly Embezzled Church Monies. The president of Seventh-day Adventist North Zimbabwe Conference is under investigation for allegedly swindling the church of funds amounting to more than $ 20,000. The church’s auditors are currently combing through the church’s books following indications that Pastor Albert Mangwende, who has held the office of North Zimbabwe Conference president for 18 months, misused the church funds. Pastor Mangwende confirmed that the audit is ongoing but denied the allegations. “Yes, I am under audit although I have not received any official communication to enlighten me on what I am being accused of and any other details of what is really happening.” He denied having swindled the church, stating that there is a paper trail to show the North Zimbabwe Conference’s transactions. Pastor Mangwende said there have always been calls for him to be audited. However, he feels the calls are being driven by invisible hands seeking to tarnish his image.

The allegations triggered an outcry within the church, hence the ongoing audit. The church’s executive secretary of Zimbabwe East Union, Pastor Zibusiso Ndlovu confirmed the development. A member of the church who spoke on condition of anonymity revealed that church politics has rocked the SDA church in recent times, although most of it has reportedly been swept under the carpet. “Most senior members plot against their rivals in influential positions to topple them and lay their hands on the church’s funds,” the source said. The source added that factions and in-house hostility are slowly devouring the church which is believed to be one of the richest churches in the country. From The Sunday Mail, “SDA pastor under investigation for fraud.”

Andrews University Emerita Professor Pens First Christian Business Ethics Book. Annetta Gibson, professor emerita at Andrews University, has recently completed a new book, Honorable in Business: Business Ethics from a Christian Perspective. Written with contributions from Daniel Augsburger, professor emeritus who died in 2004, the book presents readers with a mental framework for approaching the world of business as an ethical Christian. The book begins by laying the foundation for a Christian worldview with principles garnered from Genesis and the Ten Commandments. It then applies these principles to a number of business ethics topics, including employee rights, discrimination, technology and privacy, insider trading and accounting fraud, and working internationally. Ralph Trecartin, associate provost and dean of the School of Business Administration at Andrews, said the book is “really an outstanding accomplishment, since, to my knowledge, this is the only book of its kind.” From The Herald Palladium, “Gibson releases new book.”

Oakwood University in Top Ten Best Historically Black Colleges and Universities Ranking. College Consensus Ranking organization has listed Oakwood University in the top ten of majority-black institutions founded before 1964. The College Consensus ranking of the Best Historically Black Colleges and Universities has a broader purpose than finding the HBCUs most praised by published rankings and student reviews. College Consensus pulls together data from numerous college ranking sites, including U.S. News & World Report, WalletHub, and The Wall Street Journal. It combines those results with the most reputable student reviews from sites including Niche, My Plan, and Unigo, creating a Publisher Rating and a Student Review Rating. The combination of these two creates the Consensus Rating, making College Consensus a comprehensive meta-ranking. From College Consensus, “Best Historically Black Colleges & Universities.”

Former Teacher at SDA Schools Accused of Sexually Assaulting Three California Boys. Christopher Bispham, a former Collegedale, Tennessee, teacher, is accused of sexually assaulting three boys in California, two of whom he knew from Tennessee. He faces numerous charges including sexual battery and assault. He is being held in the Fresno County Jail and is due in court on June 26. Bispham previously taught at A.W. Spalding Elementary School in Collegedale, a private school associated with the Greater Collegedale School System. He graduated from Southern Adventist University in 2011. 

According to court documents, Bispham was fired from Spalding Elementary after he was charged with a DUI. In 2013, he moved to California to teach at the Fresno Adventist Academy and shortly after began victimizing the boys, according to court documents. The alleged victims ranged from ages 10-14. Two of the boys were also from Collegedale. One of the plaintiffs is also suing the Central California Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for allegedly negligently hiring, retaining, and supervising Bispham while he taught at the academy and for tipping him off that he would be arrested, according to a mother of one of the alleged victims. Court documents also allege that Bispham was allowed to take students on overnight trips and share hotel rooms with them. Bispham has pleaded not guilty to all charges and refused a plea deal. He faces up to 260 years in prison. From Times Free Press, “Former Collegedale teacher accused of sexually assaulting students in California” and from The Fresno Bee, “Former Christian school teacher to stand trial, accused of molesting four students.”

Baby Boy Cut from Adventist Woman’s Womb has Died. A baby cut from his mother’s womb during a brutal attack in April has died, a family spokeswoman said. Yovanny Jadiel Lopez had been in intensive care since his mother, Marlen Ochoa-Lopez, was killed in Chicago. The infant died Friday due to a severe brain injury, Julie Contreras said. The baby's condition earlier this week had been dire, according to his father's lawyer.

Yovanny's mother, Ochoa-Lopez, 19, was lured to a woman's home by an offer of free baby clothes, police say. She was then strangled and her unborn baby cut from her. Her body was found weeks later in a garbage can. Three people have been arrested and charged in the killing. From CNN.com, “A baby boy has died weeks after being cut from his mother's womb.”

 

Pam Dietrich taught English at Loma Linda Academy for 26 years and served there eight more years as the 7-12 librarian. She lives in Yucaipa, California.

Image credit: Wikipedia.org

 

We invite you to join our community through conversation by commenting below. We ask that you engage in courteous and respectful discourse. You can view our full commenting policy by clicking here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email




Current Issue

Newsletter Sign Up