A CHURCH leader has publicly apologised for being "in rebellion" against a fellow clergyman.
Pastor Clement Okusi, of Potter's House Christian Church, in Thornton Heath, has admitted speaking "words of disrespect, dissension and rebellion" against Pastor Nigel Brown, of Potter's House, Walthamstow.
He has agreed to a series of punitive conditions in order to keep his position, including being banned from preaching outside the church for a year.
The long-running dispute, the exact nature of which is unclear, came to a head when Pastor Okusi appeared before the Potter's House Board of Elders, in Arizona, United States, on January 13.
According to a letter seen by the Advertiser, which was written following the mediation meeting, Pastor Okusi was accused of "attitudes, statements and actions that stretch back several years".
He wrote: "It is my desire to repent completely and, in order to do so, I acknowledge that I have operated as an independent man, and been in rebellion against my Pastor Nigel Brown.
"I have spoken words of disrespect, dissension and rebellion, to my pastors and other people.
"I have made rebellious statements about various leadership decisions and stands, and statements against Pastor Mitchell [the founder of Potter's House] and leadership. I fully repudiate all such harmful statements."
Pastor Okusi, who is known for his work turning young people away from gangs, said he had agreed to a number of conditions "in order to remain as pastor of Potter's House in Croydon".
They include immediately resigning as a member of the church's UK executive committee, and changing his branch's charity numbers "to once again bring myself and the Croydon congregation under the submission" of that organisation.
He also agreed to change his church's company number in order to make it "accountable". A new board will be installed at Potter's House Croydon to increase "transparency".
Pastor Okusi has also agreed not to preach outside his church for one year and to amend the "non-compliant and unacceptable" tithe and report policy at the branch he founded in 2001.
He adds: "I vow before God that I will not seek retribution against those Croydon pastors who raised concerns, or spoke against my actions. If I do so they have the right to seek covering from Pastor Brown and the Walthamstow congregation.
"I acknowledge that anyone under my ministry has the right to seek redress if they feel I have been unrighteous and overbearing in my ministry or treatment of them."
The church leader also made a "solemn vow" not to remove Potter's House, in Bensham Road, from the fellowship.
Pastor Okusi declined to comment when contacted by the Advertiser, and Pastor Brown has not responded.