NEWS

Ex-Church Head in Row

A former Apostles Gospel Outreach Fellowship International Church leader, and now a general election candidate, is under police investigation after a church row. Pastor Poate Mata, who stepped down in
20 Aug 2014 15:43

A former Apostles Gospel Outreach Fellowship International Church leader, and now a general election candidate, is under police investigation after a church row.

Pastor Poate Mata, who stepped down in March over an alleged church issue, was the founder of the church and president.

He is now a candidate for the People’s Democratic Party for the September 17 general election.

Police were called to a church meeting at Nokonoko, Laucala Beach Estate, Nasinu, on Monday night.

Pastor Mata had attended the meeting even though he was not the president.

The church’s general secretary, Reverend Orisi Qica, confirmed that Rev Mata had stepped down from the church’s presidency since March this year.

“So from March 17, the executive church members are running the affairs of the church as a whole,” Rev Qica said.

“He (Rev Mata) came in last night (Monday night) to stop the praise and worship team and that to us was interfering with the running of the programme of the whole week. So what we did, we just called the Police and we are looking to the cops to do their job and for us to do our own thing. That was where the law came in last night and he went back so we carried on with what we were doing.”

Police spokesperson, Inspector Atunaisa Sokomuri confirmed that a report was lodged by a pastor from the church. It was alleged he went in to stop the church’s activities.

Pastor Qica said the church would later reveal the reasons for Pastor Mata’s stepping down during the church’s conference, beginning today. When asked whether it was to do with Pastor Mata entering politics, he said: “Our church constitution is silent on that, there is nothing about church leaders or church pastors involvement in politics so it will be discussed in our meeting tomorrow (today).”

Meanwhile, Pastor Mata denied the claims and said he was not at the church to stop the meeting.

“I did not stop them, it’s just protocols. I’m senior pastor for Nokonoko and there are certain procedures that need to be followed before they go and do that, that’s all I said last night,” he said.

“I still have not spoken to the Police and I’m still lost. It is a church internal matter and its best solved within the church. That’s my view.”

He also declined to comment on his candidacy for the PDP.

“I don’t want to add that with politics, this is a church thing, don’t mix the two together. Don’t come here with ulterior motives because I am a man of God,” he said.

“Don’t deal with me like that. Be clear with your conscience. Don’t tie that with that. I can only speak about the church and nothing else outside that.”

“Don’t come here with hidden personal agenda. I am not going to answer any other question apart from the church. That’s it.”

He denied that he stepped down from to pursue politics.

Feedback:ana.sovaraki@fijisun.com.fj




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