Agreement resolves complaint against longtime Kentucky pastor
August 1, 2005
By Kevin Evers*
WILMORE, Ky. – The Rev. David A. Seamands, retired
former pastor of Wilmore United Methodist Church, and a noted author,
seminary professor and preacher, has publicly apologized and accepted
responsibility for “a breach of trust and moral failure” involving an
allegation of sexual misconduct.
Seamands read a statement to a congregation of nearly
200 people at Wilmore United Methodist Church following the July 31
worship service. He served as pastor there from 1962-84 and is professor
emeritus at Asbury Theological Seminary, where he was a professor and
dean of the chapel until his retirement in 1992.
His statement was the result of the supervisory response within the United Methodist Church. According to the denomination’s Book of Discipline, the process seeks to realize “justice, reconciliation and healing” when a complaint is lodged against a pastor.
As part of an agreement, Seamands will refrain from all
ministerial functions and undergo a time of “penitential” prayer and
discernment to further healing of all involved in the situation.
This confidential process involved Seamands, the victim, the office of Bishop James R. King Jr. and third-party facilitators.
“In response to a complaint filed against me of sexual
misconduct with an adult female occurring over a number of years, I
admit that I have broken my covenantal relationships and have abused the
trust of those I have harmed,” Seamands told the congregation.
“I participated in a procedure initiated by the bishop
as a supervisory response and required by church law of The United
Methodist Church for the purpose of healing, reconciliation and just
resolution. I confess my breach of trust and moral failure. I deeply
regret the pain and suffering I have caused to the victim, to my family,
friends and the church.
“I have sinned against the victim, the Wilmore United
Methodist Church, Asbury Theological Seminary and Asbury College, the
Kentucky Annual Conference, my fellow ministers, United Methodists and
my God. I have also sinned against my wife and children, grandchildren
and against my family heritage. One of the roots of my sin has been the
sin of pride. This process has been a painful one for all involved. The
process has yielded a redemptive plan of accountability that is
consistent with and according to the law of The United Methodist Church.
“This plan has been arrived at through the participation
of the victim, the church and trained, impartial third-party
facilitators as directed by church law. I take total responsibility for
the harm I have done to the victim. The ownership and responsibility for
my moral failure, my breach of covenant and my abuse of power lie
solely with me. I have confessed these to the victim, my family and my
God and have asked for and received forgiveness.
“I have agreed to participate in the redemptive plan of
accountability designed and agreed to by all affected parties. During
the next year, we have agreed that I will refrain from all ministerial
functions and actions and will use this year as a time of penitential
prayer and discernment as to how I might further this redemptive plan of
accountability and healing.”
Concluding his statement, Seamands said he was “deeply sorry.”
*Kevin Evers is communication coordinator for the Kentucky Annual Conference.
News media contact: Tim Tanton, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.