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City Harvest Trial Verdict: A Statement from The Board

October 27, 2015

Hello Church,

On behalf of the church board, I would like to thank you all for standing so steadfastly with the six who went through the trial. Your prayers, fasting and encouragement have made an enormous difference.

I know we all were deeply saddened by the verdict that the judge delivered on Wednesday. He convicted the six of all the charges they faced. I know some of us did not expect that, but the judge explained how he arrived at his judgment and we respect that. The six are studying the judgment intently and will take legal advice from their respective lawyers in the days to come.

I think it is very important that as a congregation we understand what the judgment was really based on. In his written judgment, the judge said the following:

Para 187 “I have no doubt that they loved CHC and had no wish to do any harm to it, and I accept that, in using CHC’s funds for the Crossover, they believed that they were using church funds for an evangelistic purpose that was not just permitted but positively mandated by the vision and mission of CHC, and which was supported by the vast majority if not the entirety of the congregation.”

What the judge based his verdict on was on “wrong use of the building fund”.

Para 187 “But saying that they believed they were using ‘church funds for church purposes’ is not an answer to the charges; so long as they intended to use CHC’s funds in such a manner that amounted to a wrong use in the knowledge that they were not legally entitled to do so, the element of dishonesty would be made out.”

While we may not understand the full meaning of this judgment, one thing we do know is that the judge acknowledged that the motive of the six was their love for the church, and that they believed they were using church funds for an evangelistic purpose.

As the board, we want to assure everyone that we will not let this trial happen in vain. Pastor Kong has shown us the blueprint of CHC2.0. Over the past 3 years, the Board has taken significant steps to improve our governance, to fulfill the purpose and mission God has placed upon this church in wiser and lawful ways. And we will continue to do so as we journey towards our future.

The steps taken include the following:

  • The renewal and rotation of Board members to ensure independence is enhanced and maintained;
  • Selection of well diversified experienced Board members;
  • A significant majority of board members are non-executive Board members and independent
  • Appointment of a legal firm as legal advisor to the Board
  • Setting up of internal compliance team
  • Annual outsourced internal audit function

Let us continue in prayer for the six and their families as they prepare for the oral submission for sentencing on 20 November. We pray God grants them and their lawyers great wisdom and favour as they make preparations.

Church, let’s be united as one and let’s never let go of the destiny our God has for City Harvest Church.

In Christ,
CHC Management Board