Wednesday, February 03, 2016
Suit Seeks To Oust Pastor Claiming Fraud As To Credentials
The Record reports today on a suit filed last December by 13 members of the Canaan Korean Community Church in Hackensack, New Jersey against their pastor, Sungnam Choi, and against the church. The suit seeks to have Choi's contract rescinded and asks the court to bar him from serving as pastor. Alleging fraud, breach of contract, emotional distress and negligence, the members claim that Choi lied about being a credentialed minister when the church hired him. Just days before he was hired by the church, Choi surrendered his credentials to the United Methodist Church which had accused him of mishandling grant funds that were supposed to go to the Church. Choi agreed to pay $37,000 in restitution to the United Methodist Church in exchange for their agreeing not to pursue further legal action against him. When some congregants confronted Choi, he apparently retaliated against them by spreading rumors about them and threatening to have them arrested for trespassing if they tried to attend religious services. Among those the pastor has barred from worship is Chang Duk Cho, a 30-year member who lent the church $2 million to purchase a new church building. Church leadership however continues to support Choi and are preventing his removal.