Members for Church Accountability Inc.

1998 Third Quarter, No. 1

This is the quarterly newsletter of Members for Church Accountability. The objective of this organization is to promote accountability within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. MCA itself is primarily an umbrella organization within which representative/agents and their supporters can work to further this objective.

Section 1 - Financial Report

Summary financial statement for third quarter 1998:

We are not showing statement in the web display because we have not yet figured out how to not have it scrambled in html.

Section 2 Trustees Reports

Norm Smith - Secretary Treasurer

  • Computer Accounting Systems Help of Englewood, CO. with whom we had arrangements for bookkeeping services, gave notice that they are changing the focus of their business to that of accounting system setup services rather than regular bookkeeping. Thus, they will no longer be able to continue our bookkeeping service. We had made arrangements with this firm because they charge a lower rate for regular bookkeeping than we would get from an accounting firm. Gordon, Hughes & Banks, LLP of Lakewood, CO. is still our accounting firm. They review the bookkeeping and prepare our tax return. It was decided with the concurrence of Gordon, Hughes & Banks that the Secretary Treasurer would do the regular bookkeeping under the guidance and oversight of their firm.
  • We have a few names of members for which we no longer have a current address or question their address. If you know any of these people and could give us their current address or could ask them to send us their current address, it would be appreciated.
  • Names not shown in web version.
  • MCA is an umbrella or bookkeeping and accounting organization. Various member groups can organize within the MCA umbrella. So far there is just one such group, the General Conference Reform Group lead by George Grames and Stewart Shankel. Correspondence intended for the General Conference Reform Group should be addressed to:

George M. Grames

1472 Piedmont

Redlands, CA 92373

Correspondence and contributions intended for MCA should be addressed to:


PO Box 1072

Morrison, CO 80465

  • Contributions to MCA should be marked for their intended use, i.e., General MCA expense, General Conference Reform Group expense or Member Holding Account. Contributions not marked will be directed to General MCA expense. Please make any 1998 contributions by December 15, 1998.
  • Some have written letters giving details of incidents showing lack of accountability of church leaders. We are a new organization and are presently not entirely clear about what we can print in this newsletter without becoming liable in a suit. Until we are clear on this, we will be hesitant to publish some details sent to us. However, we appreciate the information that is sent to us and are dedicated to bringing this information to light in the correct manner.

Section 3 - Amendments and Elections

  • The bylaws provide that during the year of 1998 only, the trustees may elect additional trustees without the need to hold a general membership election. Jane Smith has thus been elected a trustee of MCA.

Section 4 - Member Letters

This section is for printing the letters that members send in. It provides the means for members to communicate with one another. It is also one way that representative/agents can communicate with those in their group. Needless to say, these letters do not speak for the MCA organization itself. So far as time and budget allow, we will print all letters from members. We will print the shortest letters first.

Stewart W. Shankel, M.D. and George M. Grames, M.D. (leaders of the General Conference Reform Group of MCA) write:

As you know MCA is flexible, thus permitting members to form groups to address issues in their local conferences. We (Stewart Shankel and George Grames) represent the General Conference Reform Group. Our efforts to stimulate the General Conference to sponsor an independent investigation have thus far failed. Since the church controls the press, church members are not generally informed of malfeasance by church officials, such as misappropriation of funds and conflicts of interest. Therefore, we are embarking on a mail project to reach 30-40 thousand Adventist homes to inform church members of the issues and recruit additional members for MCA. We would welcome contributions to help defray the cost of this endeavor, but more importantly, we would welcome local volunteers to assist us with mailing. Since we have no clerical assistance, this project will take us several months to complete. We would like to increase our membership by several thousand and then reapproach the General Conference with another call for an independent investigation into the David Dennis allegations. We will also press the General Conference for a system change, which would include effective independent monitoring of performance and meaningful discipline to assure church accountability. Please copy the membership form and join us in our recruitment efforts. Thank you.

They include the following blank for use in recruiting new members.





Telephone (optional):


/__/ I wish to be a member of the General Conference Reform Group


You will receive:

A copy of the MCA bylaws upon request

The MCA newsletter

Send to: Members for Church Accountability, Inc.

PO Box 1072

Morrison, CO 80465


Jerry Lastine writes (in part):

The main concern that I have is that delay is dangerous. What can be done to bring this to a court of law and let the chips fall where they will? Can’t Dennis move things along faster by some legal device? Let’s not have another "Clinton Delay" tactic.

Paul Shakespeare, M.D. writes a fairly detailed letter describing the origins of the animosity of the GC leaders to David Dennis. We will not include these details here, mainly because of present lack of clarity on our part about how to avoid legal entanglements. (See note above.) He writes:

I would say that your secy/treasurer, Norm Smith, was overly cautious in his description of the issues, so I am enclosing extensive documentation of mishandling of large amounts of funds by our top leaders. What is worse, much of this money was donated for the specific purpose of "Needy student loan funds" and was misappropriated for self use by &

Colin D. Standish writes:

I am expressing support for the responsible approach outlined by Norm Smith, the Secretary-Treasurer for MCA. At this point much of the concerns surround the allegations made by David Dennis. Any attempts to confound the allegations made by the General Conference against Pastor Dennis with the allegations made by Pastor Dennis against the General Conference are invalid.

Pastor Dennis’ allegations of serious financial self irregularities at the General Conference level do not depend upon the guilt or innocence of Pastor Dennis. I strongly support the vigorous efforts of MCA to investigate the validity of the charges made against the General Conference and some of its leaders. The fact that many of these concerns were raised by Pastor Dennis, while he still held the office of auditor of the General Conference, refutes any claim that this is simply a retaliation to the allegations made by the General Conference against him.

The General Conference must not only be honest in its dealing but be patently transparent in every transaction so that the integrity of God’s remnant church cannot come into disrepute.

He also writes (in part):

I have been greatly burdened since the General Conference in 1995 at the absolute way that control has been taken over in our constituency meetings. And now I see it in the local conferences here in North America.

Once it was possible for a nomination to be made from the floor, contrary to that which had been brought in by the nominating committee. Rarely did I ever see such a nomination succeed, but, nevertheless, it was the proper protocol. Now that is impossible. Everything has to go back to nominating committee, constitution committee or the church manual committee. Therefore, tremendous frustration was developed amongst many of the delegates.

I will never forget the frustration expressed from a delegate from the Southern Union who was on the Southern Union Committee and also on the Florida Conference Committee. This retired physician almost lost his faith in the Seventh-day Adventist Church organization by what he saw as a delegate to that session.

I understand the same kind of thing happened at the Potomac Conference when there was a large support for the reelection of the incumbent treasurer but for reasons, maybe good reasons for all I know, the nominating committee did not renominate him and there was attempt after attempt to get the incumbent’s name on the floor, but it never did succeed.

Our lay people are becoming more and more disenchanted with the controlling mechanisms and methodology that are being employed today. That is a very important issue.