This serves as official notification that pursuant to our authority granted under Paragraph 128 in the Book of Discipline, the Board of Bishops announces the immediate suspension of Seth O. Lartey as an active Bishop of The A.M.E. Zion Church.
This action is taken due to Bishop Lartey’s failure to comply with the terms he agreed upon to resolve the issue of inappropriate use of funds allocated from the Connectional Budget Office to Lomax-Hannon Junior College.
In a signed letter dated July 6, 2022, Bishop Lartey states; “I humbly submit to the Board of Bishops in accepting the sanctions consistent with verifiable proof and our church law that the board may choose to impose.” Sadly, as of this date, he has not fulfilled that promise. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the Board of Bishops to act decisively to protect the integrity of our process and ensure accountability on all levels of our beloved Church.
The gravity of this action weighs heavily upon your Board of Bishops and we grieve that Bishop Lartey’s continuing refusal to accept responsibility and follow through on his signed agreement have left us with no alternative to this action; however, while these actions are immediate they are not terminal. The final disposition of the matter shall be at the seat of the General Conference as the first order of business.
During the term of his suspension, Bishop Lartey will:
1. Be immediately enjoined from operating in the office of the Episcopacy. He shall not speak or act with ecclesiastical or administrative authority within or beyond the confines of The A.M.E. Zion Church. He shall not represent, entangle, or promote himself as a leader in or representative of The A.M.E. Zion Church in connection with any image, contract, authority, or conveyance (e.g., in raising funds), whether within or outside of the United States. This prohibition includes photos, fliers, podcasts, social media posts, etc.
2. Be prevented from participating in Board of Bishops Meetings, Connectional Meetings, Board of Trustees of our educational institutions, or any position that is bestowed upon him by virtue of his status as a Bishop.
3. Have no standing to represent The A.M.E. Zion Church in any ecumenical or civic association and he must communicate such to any current affiliations.
The Board of Bishops appoints forthwith Bishop Hilliard Dogbe to supervise the East Angola, West Angola, South Angola, and Namibia Annual Conferences and Bishop U.U. Effiong to supervise the South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe Annual Conferences.
We call upon all members to pray earnestly for the Board of Bishops and our beloved Zion. We also ask that you pray for Bishop & Mrs. Lartey and his family. Please pray for the clergy and laity of the Central Southern Africa Episcopal District and Bishops Dogbe and Effiong as they provide episcopal oversight to the area.
Bishop Dennis V. Proctor, President of the Board of Bishops
Bishop Kenneth Monroe, Senior Bishop
Bishop Darryl B. Starnes, Sr.
Bishop W. Darin Moore
Bishop Michael A. Frencher, Sr.
Bishop George D. Crenshaw
Bishop Hilliard Dogbe
Bishop Uduak Effiong
Bishop Brian R. Thompson, Sr.
Bishop Eric Leake
Bishop Joseph Johnson, Retired
Bishop Marshall H. Strickland, Retired
Bishop Nathaniel Jarrett, Jr., Retired
Bishop George W.C. Walker, Sr., Retired
Bishop Samuel Chuka Ekemam, Sr., Retired
Bishop Warren Matthew Brown, Retired
Bishop George Edward Battle, Jr., Retired
Done this the 17th Day of October, 2022