The trial of a pastor accused of forging church documents took a turn Thursday, as a witness called out the defendant’s accusers in testimony given in the Grand Court.
While giving his evidence, George Ebanks told the court he has known Christopher Murray for 15 years.
“During that time, I’ve found Pastor Murray to be a diligent, hardworking, law-abiding, family man,” said Ebanks.
Murray faces one count of forgery, and one count of uttering a false document.
In 2012, Murray along with Oral Campbell and Winston Calloo, founded the Bethel Refuge Apostolic Church. From its inception, Murray headed up the church as the main pastor, while the other two men were said to be assistant pastors. Campbell and Calloo were also named in the church’s memorandum and articles of association as directors. However, the two have since denied ever signing any such documents. They also denied giving anyone permission to sign any documents on their behalf.
Ebanks said shortly after joining the church he discovered that all three men were “incompetent” to run a business and lacked basic corporate governance knowledge.
“I volunteered my services to help review the church’s memorandum and articles of asssociation,” said Ebanks. “When Campbell and Calloo found out I was doing it they became concerned and invited me to meet with them to let them know what I was doing.”
Ebanks said when he met with Campbell and Calloo, he was greeted with accusations.
“They accused me of being in cahoots with Pastor Murray,” said Ebanks. “They asked me why was I being an adviser to the pastor, and if I couldn’t see that the pastor was incompetent?”
Ebanks told the court he refuted the claims of being an adviser to the pastor and added that when he explained changes were needed to the memorandum and articles of association, both men became angry.
“I told them there were spelling mistakes, and clauses that would have to be changed, because they could not be enforced,” Ebanks said. “When they heard that an annual general meeting had to be called and that the members of the church would have the ability to vote them out from being directors of the church they got really angry and started shouting. Fortunately, my father gifted me strong pipes as well and so I shouted back.”
Ebanks told the court that during the two-hour meeting with Campbell and Calloo, they reviewed every page of the document.
“No objections were voiced about the signature page, and neither of the men complained that they were listed as directors,” said Ebanks. “In fact, they were more worried about being removed as directors.”
Ebanks said an AGM was held and during the meeting neither Campbell nor Calloo objected to their signatures being on the church’s documents.
The jury is expected to return their verdicts on Monday.