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Reverend fired from SF’s oldest black church

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From page A3 | February 11, 2013 | 3 Comments

SAN FRANCISCO — A reverend transferred to the oldest black church in San Francisco last fall from the oldest black church in Los Angeles during a controversy involving a federal tax investigation and other issues has been fired, the Los Angeles Times reported on its website Saturday.

The Rev. John Hunter was fired from San Francisco’s Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in a letter dated Friday from Bishop Larry Kirkland, the newspaper said.

“I hereby immediately relieve you of the pastoral charge of Bethel AME Church,” Kirkland wrote. “You will have no further contact with that congregation in an official capacity.”

The firing of Hunter, 55, comes after he had been transferred in October to San Francisco after eight years at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church.

In 2008, Hunter acknowledged using First AME’s credit cards for $122,000 in personal expenditures on items including suits, jewelry, vacations and auto supplies.

A year later, the Internal Revenue Service said he owed more than $300,000 in back taxes. Hunter has said he repaid both debts.

Hunter – who has maintained that his rights as a minister were violated when he was moved to a smaller San Francisco church without a 90-day notice and without reason – had appealed to the denomination’s equivalent of the Supreme Court, but his appeal was denied on Feb. 1.

Hunter has also filed a civil lawsuit against church leaders in San Francisco for physically barring him from taking the pulpit.

Attempts to reach Hunter for comment were unsuccessful, and a call to Bethel AME was not immediately returned.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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Discussion | 3 comments

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  • SprdthewrdFebruary 11, 2013 - 5:48 am

    This guy does not get it. First he uses money belonging to the congregation and buys personal stuff with it. (Stealing). He then cheats the IRS. ( not rendering to "Caesar" what he is due) and then he sues other believers in court ( 1 cor 6:1-6 ) He probably lied a lot too.. God has all the answers, they are in the Bible, one answer is we are not perfect and God offers forgives through Jesus. He makes us perfect through His death on the Cross as payment for our sins. And still this "Rev" might be saved, we though are judged by our fruits but we fall often. god still forgives if we have faith in Jesus. Believe it or not that is the question AND the answer !Ii

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksFebruary 11, 2013 - 8:19 am

    Yeah, there's a lot of that going around and sadly, no cure.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensFebruary 11, 2013 - 10:35 am

    Let us "prey".

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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