Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Oct 04, 2013
Disgraced pastor Bishop Earl Randolph Fraser was fired as senior pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church during a meeting of the Board of Trustees on Wednesday night, The Nassau Guardian can confirm.
One senior member, who did not wish to be identified, said there was “no question” that Fraser should have been fired as he was “unapologetic” since he was convicted in 2011 for having sex with a dependent.
The board, along with other senior members of the church, met to vote on the issue.
The Court of Appeal last year condemned Fraser as a “sexual predator” who “disgustingly defiled the sanctum of his church” when it upheld his conviction for having sex with the teenage church member who had come to him for counseling.
Fraser is currently serving a three-year sentence at Her Majesty’s Prisons.
An overwhelming majority of church members voted to keep Fraser as the head of the church back in March.
During the meeting on Wednesday, a letter written by Fraser was read to the board and other church members, according to one of the members.
The letter was a response to the board, which addressed Fraser in writing, detailing the conditions under which he would be accepted back to the church, another member told The Nassau Guardian.
The member, who did not wish to be named, said Fraser wrote back and rejected the terms.
In his response, Fraser reportedly said he would return to the church on his own terms.
The member said that left some members, even some of his most diehard supporters, “disgusted”.
“Bishop Fraser is not a pastor of Pilgrim Baptist Church, but an employee,” the member said. “But the way he addressed the board, he implied that he did nothing wrong.”
The member said because Fraser wanted to come back with the mentality that he did nothing wrong, the members did not want him as their senior pastor and voted to fire him.
“He wasn’t humble,” the member said.
The member said Fraser wrote to the members that he was going to take a one-month sabbatical, with pay, after his release from HMP in the third week of November to regroup and spend time with his wife.
The member said Fraser then said he will return to the church and assume his regular duties of holding office hours, prayer service and ministering.
The member also said that Fraser denied having sex with the girl and expressed his innocence.
Many church members, including his wife, Jacqueline, have been passionate in their defense of the bishop.
More than 100 members turned out for the vote in March. That process at one point erupted into a heated argument between two senior members.
Interim Pastor Leroy Major, who assumed Fraser’s duties after his conviction, told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that he stepped down from the position.
During Fraser’s trial, evidence revealed that he began the illicit affair with the 16-year-old girl shortly after their counseling sessions began in July 2005.
The sexual relationship ended in February 2006, his accuser said.
The girl said she and Fraser had sex on Mondays and Wednesdays on the floor of his office before services and occasionally at his home when his wife was not there.
Police found Fraser’s semen on carpet swaths collected from the church office.