Report: Church President Steps Down
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is stepping down amid a controversy over his business dealings, The Washington Post reported today.
Robert Folkenberg, 58, had been under pressure from officials of the 10-million-member denomination to resign since mid-January, when the church began to review his business dealings. The review was prompted after a California businessman filed a lawsuit against Folkenberg and the church, saying that they had reneged on a 1993 business deal.
The Post said Folkenberg told staff members of the Silver Spring, Md.-based denomination Monday that the controversy ``is detracting from God’s work. To avoid additional pain and conflict to my family and the church I love I am ... tendering my resignation.″
G. Ralph Thompson, secretary of the church’s top policy-making body, will serve as acting president. The church’s General Conference Executive Committee, which was scheduled to consider Folkenberg’s dismissal on March 1, will now select a new president.
Folkenberg had been president of the denomination since 1990.