3 News reports…
“A senior pastor at New Zealand’s Assemblies of God church has been sacked for misconduct.
Vosailangi Sikalu lost his job after being investigated for sending threatening text messages. He’s also accused of mismanaging church donations, but says in that regard he’s done nothing wrong.
Mr Sikalu has been a pastor for more than 10 years. But recently his work to spread the word of God was challenged after the Assemblies of God revoked his ministerial credentials.
“I received the letter from the executive,” he says. “I accept it. I honour the decision and I surrender and say sorry to those that accuse me.”
Mr Sikalu is apologising for sending threatening text messages. He says he was stressed and upset.
One message threatened church member Isileli Halalupe and his family.
Police gave Mr Sikalu a formal warning.
“I say sorry, please forgive us and let’s move on.”
But Mr Halalupe says he can’t move on. He says Mr Sikalu has also cheated him out of thousands of dollars.
“Very, very concerning and very, very upset to me and my family because I put everything to church from my heart,” says Mr Halalupe.
When Mr Sikalu was a pastor at Harvest Time Church in Waterview, a fund was set up to build a new church. A similar fund was set up when he worked at a church in New Lynn. Members were also asked for money to help with missionary work in Cambodia.
Mr Halalupe says the cash never reached the mission.
“When I see the money not going on the right spot, that’s when I jump in and ask him. I need my money back. And I hope it’s fair enough to need my money back, because I know from my heart he ripped me off.”
“No, I don’t try to rip them off,” says Mr Sikalu.
Mr Sikalu says he plans to get proof the money reached Cambodia. As for the building fund, he says that money remains with the church he left. His accuser isn’t convinced.
Mr Sikalu says he has nothing to hide and is now working at another church in Mt Roskill.
His wife, who is also a minister, has applied to get a new membership with the Assemblies of God.
The superintendent of AOG NZ declined to comment.”