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Ontario Classis Asks Church to Depose Pastor


Maranatha Christian Reformed Church, Belleville, Ontario, has been asked to depose Rev. John Visser for breaking confidentiality and for abuse of office.

Classis Quinte’s request follows an investigation and recommendation by an independent assessment team appointed by the classis in September 2010 that included three members appointed by the Christian Reformed Church’s Pastor-Church Relations office, one member appointed by the council of Maranatha, and one member appointed by Classis Quinte.

The investigation followed allegations by Bradley Thompson that Visser had used his position of influence, trust, and authority for his own financial gain. Thompson had been in counseling with Visser.

In 2008, Thompson filed a lawsuit against Visser; the council of Maranatha; Classes Quinte, Toronto, and Eastern Canada; and the CRC in North America for $1,000,000 but later dropped the suit.

It is the responsibility of the local church council to supervise and discipline its pastor. However, the council of Maranatha is not in agreement with the classis decision, and a special classis meeting will be held June 2 for further discussion.

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