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Elder Marlving Charlet and the Church Clerk

Written on:May 24, 2012
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Elder Marlving Charlet

Elder Marlving Charlet

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If there is anything Seventh-day Adventists hold sacred it is the Seventh-day Sabbath which is Saturday. Each and every Sabbath Adventist church congregants gather to worship at the church of their choice. Preparation for the main worship service should be preceded by gathering in the church and quietly and prayerfully waiting for the service to begin.

On one Sabbath in late 2011 while the worship participants were preparing for morning service Elder Marlving Charlet asked the head clerk to come into the pastor’s office. Present was the first elder of the Brooklyn Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church and one of its local elders.

Elder Charlet was dissatisfied with the clerk for not returning a phone call as promised the Friday before. Elder Charlet minced no words in letting the clerk know that she should call him back whenever he calls regardless of whatever is going on in her life. He went into a tirade telling her that he didn’t need her or her sick husband and told clerk to get out of his office.

After the clerk left Elder Charlet was told by the two elders that he needed to apologize. Elder Charlet refused.

The clerk and her husband left church and went home. There was no worship for them with their church family that day. Her Sabbath was rendered unhappy.

Elder Charlet apparently fears neither man nor God. He proceeded to gather the elders, deacons, deaconesses, and any other participants and held service as if nothing at all had happened. Elder Charlet had no fear that God was not pleased with his behavior. He had no fear that the Holy Spirit might not be with him as he facilitated the service for the day and then delivered the day’s sermon.

The story doesn’t end here. The elders who were present during the Elder Charlet’s diatribe pressed him to apologize to the clerk. He continued to refusing to apologize but finally gave in after several days of coercion. Elder Charlet sent the clerk a text with a message that began with “If I offended you . . .”

This was not the first incident that the clerk had with Elder Charlet. In 2010 she threatened to resign because she could not deal with Elder Charlet. The clerk contacted Elder Walton Rose, the Ministerial Secretary for the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, who is effectively the pastors’ boss. Nothing was accomplished through his office.

The clerk was nominated to serve in 2011 as head clerk and decided to serve only because she was working for God and not Elder Charlet.

The clerk wrote Elder Trevor Baker, the president of the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, to complain about the behavior of Elder Charlet. The response she received was simply that Elder Baker hoped that she and Elder Charlet would resolve their problem.

The clerk did not immediately let her husband know what had happened. Her husband was previously a member of the military and she feared that he would physically harm Elder Charlet.

There are three disturbing parts to this incident. The first is that Elder Charlet has so little control over his emotions that Sabbath or not he will do whatever they are telling him to do. Second, the elders of the church don’t take his behavior as serious enough to warrant them approaching the Northeastern Conference for relief. And last, even if the Northeastern Conference is approached about Elder Charlet’s misdeeds, they ignore them.

When Elder Charlet was told by one of his elders that members of Brooklyn Temple wanted to write letters to Northeastern Conference complaining about his behavior he responded by saying that the conference would simply ball up the letters and throw them in the garbage. The lack of any action by Northeastern Conference suggests that Elder Charlet was telling the truth for once.

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