David Ock-Youn Jang with his congregation, who say they
trust him and are standing by him. Photo / Brett Phibbs
A defiant deposed Presbyterian Korean pastor has vowed to
continue leading church services despite being barred.
David Ock-Youn Jang was struck off the ministerial roll last
Friday after a church investigation found him guilty of
sexual misconduct and abuse.
But yesterday, he led a service - and says he will continue
to do so with the backing of the parish council and
congregation at his West Auckland church.
After his service yesterday, officials from the Presbyterian
Church of New Zealand - Moderator Roy Christian, Asian
ministries co-ordinator Kyoung Gyun Han and Northern
Presbytery clerk Alex Robinson - announced the deposition of
Mr Jang, but were given a cold
More than half a dozen parishioners voiced their wish to keep
their pastor, and most - including Mr Jang - left the service
in protest before Mr Christian could make the announcement.
Church deacon Mrs Hee Sook Cho said: "We trust Rev Jang but
we don't trust the Presbyterian Church."
Many also took offence that a summary of the complaints
hearing committee's decision was circulated before the
The summary contained sexually explicit details, including
the nature of the acts, where they happened and how often the
deeds of misconduct were said to have occurred.
Retail worker Jo Park, 31, was in tears after the
announcement and felt the church's action was "overkill".
"It's unfair not just to Rev Jang and the congregation, but
also the complainant ..." Ms Park said.
The complainant cannot be named for legal reasons.
A Presbyterian Church disciplinary hearing found Mr Jang
guilty of grave impropriety, sexual misconduct and physical,
verbal and emotional abuse.
Congregation spokesman Nathan Jang said the parish council
was looking at all avenues and options, including suing the
Presbyterian Church for defamation, for the way it conducted
Mr Jang told the congregation during the service that he
would continue to lead them as a minister of the Korean
Presbyterian Church Abroad, which did not fall under the
jurisdiction of the local Presbyterian order.
But Mr Robinson said Mr Jang had not gone through the proper
process to be transferred to the Korean church, and had done
so without the approval of the presbytery.
"Regardless of any denomination Jang indicates he is now
affiliated with, he has been found guilty of gross
misconduct, and accordingly is not considered a minister in
good standing," he said.
"He is barred from participating in any ministerial or
pastoral duties within any Presbyterian or Uniting
congregation in New Zealand.
"Should he ignore the ruling to cease and desist all pastoral
and ministerial responsibilities in relation to his current
congregation, we will take the necessary steps to remove
him," Mr Robinson said.