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Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church members protest court order
by Jebb Johnston
Feb 17, 2010 | 9957 views | 17 17 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
John Orman with Nickels Signs & Graphics paints over what remains of the white lettering of the name of Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church in accordance with a court order.
John Orman with Nickels Signs & Graphics paints over what remains of the white lettering of the name of Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church in accordance with a court order.
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GUYS, Tenn. — Members of Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church watched Tuesday as a sign company stripped the letters spelling the name of the church from their building just across the state line on Old Highway 45 in Guys, Tenn.

Under the supervision of a constable, the sign company removed all signage from the old gas station-style canopy and then used spray paint to cover what remained. Religious materials were also confiscated, and several church members stood by holding signs of protest.

It all stems from a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church against the Guys congregation which resulted in an injunction barring the church from using the Seventh-day Adventist name. The Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church formed 19 years ago and has been at its Guys location for about eight years.

The church members feel they are victims of religious persecution.

“For us, it’s a matter of religion and conviction to use the name,” said Lucan Chartier, assistant pastor. “For Seventh-day Adventists, that name, using it is actually part of the religion. Both we and the church that is suing us believes that.”

In 1991, the Creation church notified the Seventh-day Adventist Church of its formation, its name and reasons for separating, according to Chartier.

“After 20 years, they finally decided to go after us,” he said.

Chartier said the larger church’s similar action against other churches prompted the formation of the Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church. He said the church used the trademark of the name to “try and shut out any religion that resembles theirs from using that name. We couldn’t be members of a church that was doing that. We couldn’t give our tithes and support to an organization that we thought was forcing people to violate their conscience.”

The churches have some doctrinal differences. Prominent among them is the Creation church’s belief in complete separation of church and state — an area where the trademark issue comes into play.

The plaintiff in the case is the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The defendant is pastor Walter McGill, who church members said is in Africa doing mission work.

Court documents show the plaintiffs filed a motion for sanctions and permanent injunctive relief after the defendant “displayed an unwillingness to appear at several court-ordered mediation conferences.” A magistrate judge concurred.

McGill has since been found in civil contempt stemming from the continued use of websites, signs and promotional materials that violate the injunction.

“They are trying to get an arrest warrant for him as soon as he comes back into the U.S.,” said Chartier. “They are trying to get him extradited. They basically are trying to get all information on bank accounts, our websites, anyone who may be in any way associated with this church, preaching its message in any capacity, and locking them down. So people are at this point either leaving the country or preparing to go to jail.”

It is unclear what comes next for the church, which has had a congregation of 10 to 15.

“There’s really nobody that has been attending for the last few weeks,” said Chartier. “We’re pretty scattered at this point.”

But they are keeping in touch, and he believes they will have a future.

The defendant has been ordered to pay attorney’s fees and costs of $35,567 to the plaintiff.

“Obviously, we can’t afford that,” said Chartier.

Beyond the trademark question, he would like to see a court address whether the larger church’s trademark is constitutional.

Signs and materials were also removed Tuesday from a free community counseling center the church operated in Corinth.
Comments
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Elijah the Prophet
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October 07, 2011
1 Peter 2:20

"What honor is it to those who endure suffering because of their foolishness? But when you do what is good and they afflict you and you endure, then it magnifies your honor with God."

There isn't anything good in disobeying the Spirit of prophecy. God doesn't allow Adventists leaving the church on a whim. He commands them to fight for reform:

"I am instructed to say that we must do all we possibly can for these deceived ones. Their minds must be freed from the delusions of the enemy, and if we fail in our efforts to save these erring ones, we must 'come out from among them' and be separate." E.G.W., Ms 106, "A Plea For Loyalty," Nov. 20, 1905.

You can't be separate from Seventh-day Adventists while demanding to use the same name.

Pastor Chick McGill
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May 24, 2010
If you have been following this controversy, by this time, you should know that the church signs were repainted. Matters of conscience cannot be compromised.

On May 25th Lucan Chartier must face the Magistrate Judge in Jackson, TN to answer for his civil disobedience. It is possible that he will be incarcerated for his behavior respecting his faith.

I consider his actions that were prompted by conscience to be that of a Christian hero. Few in this life-time have such opportunities to sacrifice "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" for the cause of faith.

May God have mercy on America, the once-blessed country of refuge from oppression.

As I, an asylum seeker for the cause of religious persecution in America, now exercise my faith freely abroad, I pray that Lucan Chartier finds "peace in the eye of the storm."

anonymous
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March 24, 2010
"Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day." (Daniel 6:13)

I guess Daniel wasn't living in the real world either.

Incidentally, another recent link:

http://www.wbbjtv.com/Church Sign Returns.html
anonymous
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March 24, 2010
You are wrong AEC. Look up the name Seventh-day Adventist in the government trademark office. Fully enforceable by law. ONLY the name Adventist is not trademarked.

Your not living in the real world. The Lord Himself said to obey the laws of the land.

Anyway this is not debatable and there will not be anymore replies from me.

AECAnonymous
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March 21, 2010
More recent development on this unfortunate

SAGA http://www.wbbjtv.com/Church Signs Come Down.html

Obviously, Some of the people who wrote comments on this issue are not entirely familiar with SDA doctrine. "type" or "trademark" are unimportant. what is important is the LOVE for the LORD and SAVIOUR JESUSCHRIST and for one another as seekers of salvation. It is a shame that GC is spending the people's tithe money or should I say the Lord's money on controversies, instead of keeping the commandments,"LOVE GOD ABOVE ALL AND ONE ANOTHER.
anonymous
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March 13, 2010
Isn't this a copyright issue? if it weren't for copyright and trademark laws, anyone could use any name they please to use any way they want.

So if you took a name, "microsoft computers" you will be prosecuted for copyright and trademark infringement. Same thing applies here.

So if you broke away from the SDA church or believe another gospel, why don't you create a unique name for yourselves?

Publish Truth
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February 22, 2010
It is alarming to imagine that the Seventh-day Adventist church who are quite proud to proclaim themselves to be the champions of religious liberty as part of the long standing heritage of the church history, yet turn around and deny those under the SDA umbrella the same privilege that they would defend for others outside the fold. Is this not hypocrisy of the worst kind? God forbid to think to what end they will go to next in an effort to stifle this most basic rite that God has given to man, the liberty of conscience.

StumpPuller
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February 21, 2010
Notwithstanding Christ's warning, men have sought to uproot the tares. To punish those who were supposed to be evildoers, the church has had recourse to the civil power. Those who differed from the established doctrines have been imprisoned, put to torture and to death, at the instigation of men who claimed to be acting under the sanction of Christ. But it is the spirit of Satan, not the Spirit of Christ, that inspires such acts. This is Satan's own method of bringing the world under his dominion. God has been misrepresented through the church by this way of dealing with those supposed to be heretics. {COL 74.1}
mg144
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February 20, 2010
Acts 5:38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:

5:39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.



"Again I say, The Lord hath not spoken by any messenger who calls the church that keeps the commandments of God, Babylon. True, there are tares with the wheat; but Christ said He would send His angels to first gather the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into the garner. I know that the Lord loves His church. It is not to be disorganized or broken up into independent atoms. There is not the least consistency in this; there is not the least evidence that such a thing will be. Those who shall heed this false message and try to leaven others will be deceived and prepared to receive advanced delusions, and they will come to nought."{2SM 68-9}

I don't believe anyone can trademark such a generic name as "Seventh-Day Adventist" that have been used for centuries. Remembering that before the Seventh-Day Adventist,you have the First-Day Adventist (the Millerites) and before the Millerites, you have the apostles, which believe in the Sabbath (Seventh-Day) and the second come (Advent) of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Do we now need permission from the G.C. to call ourselves Seventh-day Adventist? God forbid!! From Ga.
CAllenDoudna
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February 20, 2010
This group has NO doctrinal difference from the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists beyond what is commonly found between small strongly conservative rural churches and large more liberal urban ones. They hold on to the beliefs that were common among all Seventh-day Adventists up into the 1970s.

An extremely important point to remember is that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is a DEMOCRACY not a HIREARCHY. The Conference is able to get away with this because it is assumed a Bishop can issue edicts and all members must obey on pain of excommunication. That may be true of some Denominations. It is NOT true of Seventh-day Adventism. Seventh-day Adventism is set up much more like the U. S. where people may disagree with the Government, protest that George Bush was never elected President or that Obama is not qualified to be President--and we do not jail these people or chase them out of the country and we do not take away their citizenship nor forbid them from calling themselves Americans.

Seventh-day Adventism has NO membership dues. No one can be disfellowshipped for refusing to pay tithe or for sending their offerings elsewhere.

By the way, if the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists insists on using Business Law to force dissenters into oblivion and to refer to its churches as "places of business" and members as "customers" is it not fair to ask how that Denomination stacks up in OTHER areas of Law applying to Businesses? For instance, how many Black pastors does the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference of Seventh-day Adventists employ? Aren't their churches racially segregated and unequal? How many women serve as ordained pastors in the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference of Seventh-day Adventists? Or does the Denomination practice a glass cieling of deliberate and blatant gender discrimination in open violation of Federal Law? How about parking? I wonder what it would cost the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference of Seventh-day Adventists to construct paved parking lots equal to the seating capacity of each of their "places of business" as all real businesses are required to do?

Please understand: I don't care if they are segregated, don't allow women to be officially ordained as ministers, and have parking lots woefully inadaquate to the theoretical seating capacity of the church it serves. But if they're going to use Business Law against their Brethern, shouldn't they be prepared to have it used against themselves?
whalontx
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February 19, 2010
This is just the results of us Dan.11:41 coming to fulfillment.

He[king of the north -papacy] has been entering into the glorious land [ primarily the SDA Church] overthrowing many [especially leadership]. Now after many years of popery entering in shall we not expect the the spirit of the papacy to be manifested in the glorious land. Now the Roman Church was an ecclesitical power clothed with the civil power.

Its time for Martin Luther or the Protest of the German Princes -

One of the noblest testimonies ever uttered for the Reformation, was the Protest offered by the Christian princes of Germany at the Diet of Spires in 1529. The courage, faith, and firmness of those men of God, gained for succeeding ages liberty of thought and of conscience. Their Protest gave to the reformed church the name of Protestant; its principles are the very essence of Protestantism. {GC88 197.1}

And then of course there is the bible injunction - 1 Cor. 6:1 = Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints?

CJ12
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February 19, 2010
The SDA church is not a "type" but a denomination. It is different from "Christian," which is a general name for many religions, both Protestant and Catholic, composed of members who call themselves Christians but are part of a specific denomination. I don't believe that other churches whether they are Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, or whatever, would appreciate a group just forming a church and using their denominational name if they broke away from their church and do not follow the precepts of their particular denomination. Since the law has sided with the GC, it appears the law states the GC of SDA's has an exclusive right to use the name for a formal church. They dear folk in Guys do not unless they formed their church under the auspices of the GC of SDA's. That is my humble opinion, even though I do agree that any individual can call himself or herself anything they want according to what they believe and how they worship but not on a corporate level. Blessings to all! C. from California
Jim and I am a SDA
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February 19, 2010
Greeting my dear brother and sister, Peace be unto you and peace be unto your house in the Lord. I am truly sadden by the the treatment of the brethren and the Mother Church position . This is a sad time in which we live in. Surely the Good Lord is coming soon. I pray we will be ready by His Grace and His Grace a lone when He comes back.

My dearly beloved brothers and sisters, do you believe this is TRUE Religious Persecution or is it self inflicted. The Prophet to the Remnant Church says this is the name the Lord gave us. We settle into the truth in our hearts/ minds not on billboards and signs. These people want to fight the mother church over a name that belongs to every person that believes in the Seventh-Day Sabbath and the Advent message.

The Mother Church has copy right on the name to not only protect them but us also. Sure, I know the leaders for the most part are in apostasy but the church is not no Babylon, it is just run for the most part buy Babylonians. Matt. 13:30

I just do not see this as religious persecution, I see it as picking a fight with a big dog. We as true pioneer Seventh-Day-Adventist need to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Persecution will come. Our dear LORD and SAVIOUR did not do the the SDA church of HIS day proclaim HE was ans is the CHRIST, surely he had and has right to the name. He did not invite persecution by waving a sign or placing it on billboards.

If these dear brothers and sisters in the Lord were just worshiping on the Sabbath and calling themselves Seventh-Day-Adventist and the mother church came in and say , "you can not worship on the Sabbath and you can not call yourselves Seventh-Day-Adventist then that would to me be religious persecution.

ref: Mother Church.... only because of the name "Seventh-Day-Adventist" copy right by them which identifies the Remnant Church.
willer
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February 18, 2010
SDA is a "type" of religion. It is called a "denomination" same as Baptist or Catholic. It is a different set of beliefs than say Baptist or Catholic. If it weren't then they would just be called Baptist or Catholic. SDA observe on Saturdays because they believe it is the original Sabbath day. They believe in 28 fundamental beliefs. These differences from the norm of Christianity make it a "type" not a organization. You can be Baptist but not belong to a Baptist church, just as you can be a SDA and not belong to the SDA church.
Wallin
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February 17, 2010
Unless it has been proven that this church and it's members are breaking laws other than supposed copywright infringement of a NAME, The Seventh Day Adventist Church should leave these folks to the way that they see fit to woship God. I believe God prefers them to go out and preach the Gospel, rather than chastise another of The Father's flock. This court injuction and the whole debaukle shows no sign of a Christian heart or soul...........
anonymous
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February 17, 2010
Seventh-day Adventist is not a "type" of religion it is a name of a church organization. Same as Microsoft or Dell. The Creation church by it's own admission broke away from the SDA Church so they should have no legal clams to the name.
willer
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February 17, 2010
I'll have to side with the church in Guys on this one. Seventh-Day Adventist is a TYPE of religion. You can't copy write something like that. It would be like saying that you can't use the word Christian in your name because someone else has decided to use it, and wants to copy write it.