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George Hartwell M.Sc.

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(Although George holds a Masters of Science degree in clinical psychology he is not a registered Psychologist He practices as a counselor or therapist. )

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George Hartwell M.Sc.

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Ralph Rutledge Scandal

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Who is Ralph Rutledge?

Mr. Ralph Rutledge was senior pastor of Queensway Cathedral Pentecostal Church - a 4,000-seat facility with a weekly nationally televised service called Revival Hour. 

What is the Ralph Rutledge Scandal?

A scandal in Rutledge's life required the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC) to remove him from all ministry in the POAC.  This was a painful loss for the PAOC, Queensway Cathedral staff and members and a large television audience.  When Pastor Ralph Rutledge was removed from being head pastor of Queensway Cathedral his credentials to preach within his denomination (his 'papers') were removed as well. 

 My information indicates that he now has papers with Canada Christian College (Toronto, Ontario).

Who Dealt with Ralph Rutledge?

The Penecostal Assemblies of Canada has a Western Ontario District.  The District superintendents from the Western District met with Ralph and there is where he either confessed his sin or was confronted with enough evidence from credible witnesses to result in disciplinary action.  Queensway Cathedral lost their beloved pastor and the PAOC lost their 'golden boy' minister.

When can Ralph Rutledge return to ministry?

For Rutledge to be restored would require full cooperation with the healing process, full healing and submission to an accountability arrangement.  Up until now (2010) this has not happened.

My reliable source indicates that: Rutledge is not fully cooperative with the healing process, will not sign an affirmation that he will no longer act out the sexual addiction and that he will not submit to an accoutability process around his sexual addiction.  This means it would be unsafe to restore his papers or give him a platform for ministry.

Was Sin or Sexual Sin involved in this Scandal?

Both for the PAOC, Queensway Cathedral and Ralph Rutledge this was painful and severe discipline.  Rumors  spread around Quensway that homosexuality was involved on Ralph Rutledge's part.  This was neither confirmed or denied by the PAOC because the process of discipline is considered confidential.

Because the PAOC was not free to go public, they did not  "tell the church," as Matthew 18 requires.  Without "tell it to the church" people have been left confused and bewildered by these events.  For example, Queensway Cathedral was left without explanation or apology by Rutledge or the PAOC.  People do not know if Rutldege can be trusted in ministry again becasue they have no idea how serious his offense was.

Ralph Rutledge's side of the story

With the PAOC maintaining silence, Ralph Rutledge is free to defend his case.  Since they aborted the Matthew 18 process ("tell the church") they allowed Rutledge to:

  1. DENY:  Deny the seriousness of his homosexual involvment: "I was approached by a male and it only happened once."  That sounds a lot less dangerous than a pastor as a minister approaching young men, Christian or non-Christian, under his direct mentorship or not, and misusing his influence as a pastor to molest young men (and destroy their lives.)  Rutledge now can deny and minimize his sin as the POAC protects his information as confidential.  If you were the father of a young man that was involved and hurt in this way with Ralph would you like to have had more information about him or not?  Would you like him exposed or not?  Would you like him stopped or not?

  2. Pretend the Victim:  Pretend that he was the victim of injustice and the PAOC should not have treated him so harshly.  At one point someone was going to write a book in support of this fabrication.  Rutledge can accuse the PAOC of injustice, act the victim and the PAOC will remain silent.  He can ask others to comfort him and pray for him while he is taking advantage of the situation.

  3. Continue as a pastor:  Continue in ministry as a minister of a church.  (He is now, at 70 years of age, semi-retired but there are those who pray the Lord will continue to use him mightily in his senoir years.)

In fact, Rutledge continued to preach and pastor churches after he was defrocked.  Of course, there is no way for a congregation hiring Rutledge to "know the fruit" of Rutledge's ministry because of this confidentiality.

Purpose of writing about the Ralph Rutledge' Story

The purpose of writing about this is to help clear up the air of bewilderment about this man and his removal from the PAOC.  It is to protect those in ignorance by helping to open up this issue and enough to bring some facts to the light.

I have no animosity or personal vendetta against Rutledge.  I believe that bringing an issue like this to the light can exonerate the innocent as well as convct the guilty.  The church is called to speak the truth in love and to expose the works of darkness so that we can grow into maturity.

I have done a full study of the book based on Ralph Rutledge's ministry called: "Demons in the Sanctuary" by Mariam Bellamy.  I have interveiwed the author and others familiar with the events chronicled here.  I have looked at a variety of documents that support this report.

Demons in the Sanctuary was discussed in some detail in my bog "THe New Church Landscape" beginning Jan 04, 2010 with the entry Masculine Tough and Feminine Soft.  Some other posts are:  2.  Narcissistic Personality Pastor,  3. Nicolaitanism - triumph over the lay people,  4. Church Scandal and Financial Wrongdoing,  5. Attitude of a Good Pastor6. The Blessing of Unity.         

See also the blog on "What do we know about Ralph Rutledge?"   The wolf in Sheep ClothingCharacter Issues to ObserveGood Boundaries make Good Ministers, Thesis, Method, Observations and Conclusions about Ralph Rutledge, Ralph Rutledge Defrocked





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