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Significant Dates During the Period from July, 2003 through April, 2005


Pastor Stevens’ absence and lack of involvement in the church.


Board of Elders meeting with Pastor Stevens where the following new elders were added to the Board: Pastors Schaller, Scibelli, Marr, and Guy Duff.


Board of Elders met and Pastor Robinson was unanimously elected as Vice-Chairman of the Board.


Elders Meeting adding Pastor Rodger Stenger as an Elder.

From 11/04

Elders discuss Pastor Stevens’ lack of involvement and activity in fulfilling overseer’s responsibilities.


Pastor Powell presented Pastor with the need for a meeting with the affiliates. Pastor initially agreed and commissioned P. Powell, P. Marr, and P. Steve Stevens to hold meeting at Sandy Cove. Later, Pastor expressed dismay regarding the upcoming meeting.


Elders’ Declaration read from the pulpit.


Pastor, as Chief Elder, appoints Pastor Steve as Assistant Pastor, an Elder, and Pastor Schaller as Director of Missions.


Elders’ Meeting regarding Sandy Cove Conference.

2/1 – 2/4/05

Sandy Cove Pastors’ Conference


Sandy Cove Declaration signed. A copy was given to Pastor at his house. Pastor said he wanted to take out the names of the “marked.” Pastor Marr advised that the document not be changed because it was the product of 66 men and we would have to have all agree.

2 weeks prior
to 3/1/05

Repeated attempts to contact & inform Pastor Stevens of the need to replace him were unsuccessful.


Elders’ Meeting. Elders remove Pastor Stevens.

  • An apparent inability to perform (his) duties and responsibilities due to illness, absenteeism which may impair (his) capacity to serve. Article IV: 2a of the Church Bylaws.
  • Pastor/Trustee David Duff wanted a covering in financial decisions, that the “old” manner of operating was not viable and should be changed.
  • A general concern that GGWO would be open to lawsuits
  • Pastor elected to position of consulting pastor for life with appropriate remuneration for life


Elders Mtg – There was a suggestion by Pastor Marr that the decision to remove Pastor was very sad and that the decision be vacated if Pastor could be persuaded to resign. After discussion about Pastor’s resignation, Pastor Capello brought up the idea of Pastor Rodger Stenger’s role as acting Chief Elder and Pastor of the congregation. This idea was rejected and not discussed further.


Sunday – P. Robinson asks the Body to pray regarding upcoming leadership decisions by the Elders. Many Baltimore congregation members inquire if there will be a vote for Chief Elder.


Monday – P. Robinson informs Pastor Stevens that there will be a new Chief Elder elected. Barbara was in the car and asked Pastor do you understand what Scott is saying? Pastor replied, “Yes, let the Elders decide the future leadership.” Church members begin letter writing campaign expressing their desires to the Elders.


Wednesday – In the Elders meeting, Pastor Stenger is elected as Chief Elder/Pastor of GGWO. He asks that his acceptance be conditional depending upon affirmation of the congregation. The vote is 5-2-2, with 2 elders abstaining. Unanimous vote of elders (9 to 0) made to stand by the decision. Pastor Schaller then departed for the Finnish Easter Conference in Vaasa as previously planned for Wednesday through Monday.


Wednesday PM service – Ballots state that the Elders elected Pastor Stenger as Chief Elder/Pastor of GGWO in Baltimore, asking the Body to affirm or disaffirm the choice of Pastor Stenger. P. Stenger then addresses the body, asks for affirmation before he will accept appointment as Chief Elder. “If I am not the one, please prove it to me.” Some members of the congregation express confusion saying, “How can we disagree with the decision of the elders?” 


Thursday – Phone call in the Missions Office between Pastor Stenger and Pastor Scibelli with students. Pastor Rodger speaks informally with Pastor Love, Pastor Lange, some GGWO staff and some other people in the Missions Office. Pastor Love requests a meeting of the elders with department heads, the “structural part of the church.” Pastor Powell sent a letter to all the affiliates announcing the Elders had voted and elected a new Chief Elder.


Friday – Elders met with the Dept. Heads at Pastor Love’s request in the Youth Hut. Testimonies from the department heads revealed support for Pastor Schaller. Some department heads expressed confusion over the Elders’ choice of Pastor Stenger. The Elders expressed their desire to have the “people’s” voice heard in this difficult decision.


Sunday – Pastor Scibelli, Pastor Robinson, and Pastor Glen Cannon met Pastor Stevens at his house for breakfast before service. Later, at GGWO, Pastor Robinson announces privately in Pastor’s presence to the Elders and others in Pastor’s office prior to the AM service that Pastor Stevens wants Pastor Schaller with Pastor Steve and Pastor Scibelli as his assistants.


At the Elders’ meeting, Pastor David Duff gave the results of the affirmation ballots for Pastor Stenger as follows: 56% affirmed Pastor Stenger (407 ballots); 39% disagreed with it (282 ballots); 5% expressed no decision (33 ballots). There was a total of 722 ballots. There was no restriction on the age limit on those who had voted. (See attached ballot.) Pastor Stenger formally declined the office and resigned from the Board of Elders at the Elders’ meeting. The Elders also decided to allow a non-binding referendum—a ballot which allows the church to vote their choice for Chief Elder/Pastor. An Open Forum was proposed to allow the church to hear from the two candidates who were interested in the position, Pastor Steve Stevens and Pastor Schaller.


Sun. PM – An Open Forum after the service with Pastor Schaller and Pastor Steve answering written questions from the congregation was held. Pastor David Duff presided. Pastor Love announced that voting will take place Wednesday, with ballots accepted by Pastor David Duff in the Finance Offfice until Sunday, April 17th at 12 noon. Criteria for voting: Anyone at least 16 years of age who considers themselves an active member of this local assembly.


Wednesday PM – Pastor Stevens preaches briefly and then on stage he instructs the elders to do what they want. He leaves, and will not take part in the vote. Pastor Love then directs the balloting process.


Sunday – The ballots are counted, results of the non-binding vote are announced after PM service. Pastor Steve receives 289 votes, Pastor Schaller receives 800 votes, others receive 94 votes.


Tuesday – Elders meeting where Elders vote 8 to 0 for Pastor Schaller to be the Presiding Elder/Pastor of GGWO in Baltimore.


Wednesday – Elders begin to meet every day.


Thursday – It is informally announced at the Friendship Banquet that the Elders voted unanimously to accept Pastor Schaller as the Presiding Elder of GGWO in Baltimore.


Friday – Elders meet. Pastor Love sends out an E-Mail to all affiliates and overseas pastors that the Elders unanimously voted for Pastor Schaller as the Presiding Elder of GGWO in Baltimore.


Sunday – Pastor Love formally announces to the Body that the Elders voted unanimously for Pastor Schaller to be the Presiding Elder of GGWO in Baltimore. It is also announced that there will be a timeline available as to how we came to this process. In addition, there will be more open forums in the future.


Wednesday – Timeline finalized and made available to people.