IT appears as though the well known Pastor Saul of Victoria Village, East Coast Demerara has made himself so unpopular that he has incurred the wrath of that entire village, and residents are now calling him “a greedy gold-digger.”
That development follows this newspaper’s publication last Monday of an extensive story detailing Pastor Saul’s alleged demolition of a building that housed a large, extended family even while they still occupied the structure.
Those allegations were, of course, made by the Christie family, who had occupied the now demolished building.
It has been said that the pastor, in the presence of court marshals and police officials, demolished the house occupied by the family so as to get access to the plot of land he claimed he had bought from the owner, one V. Sandiford.
After reading the story, a relative of the pastor who works in the media described the man of the cloth as a greedy, controlling individual who would grab everything he could put his hands on in terms of property, land etc. This individual also related that the pastor has rightful claims to the land in question, and indeed purchased it from the prior owner.
Recently, several Victorians, incensed at the apparently unscrupulous actions of the pastor, came forward with various stories about the holy man, and among them were mothers of students who are attending a trade school owned by the pastor.
A popular entertainment promoter in the village claimed that Pastor Saul had formed what he called the “Victoria Resuscitation Group” in the promoter’s home, and had informed him that he would get from overseas agencies financial and material help for villagers in need. The promoter said that, most times, when the pastor makes his trips to either Canada or the USA, he would return with clothing and other items from donors, which are disappointingly not distributed as expected, but would be sold, and the pastor would take the surpluses for himself.
Some villagers related that the pastor had built himself a shop in which he sells these articles, and the moneys gained from sales are not given to villagers for financial assistance, as had been promised.
Parents of at least three students of Pastor Saul’s Trade School were very vehement in voicing their disapproval of his alleged wrong-doings. These mothers related that, before time, the Trade School was fairly vibrant; but over time, according to reports from students, it no longer offers anything of significant interest.
Parents noted that the students are placed to work on a farm rigged up by the pastor more than they spend time being tutored in a classroom, and this happens under the pretense of doing ‘extensive agricultural chores’. The mothers declared that produce from the farm is sold to established supermarkets in the city, and the pastor keeps the earnings for himself.
One mother, who preferred not to be named for fear of her child being victimized, noted: “This man is really terrible! And to think he calls himself a pastor and a man of God. He just using everybody and every opportunity he could get to rob poor people, and use them so he can get rich.”
On Monday, January 14, a small group of students turned up to work on the farm, and after realizing that the house of the Christies had been demolished, expressed their utter disgust at the pastor’s actions, and left without tending to what appeared to be young peas plants growing on the farm.
Battle lines drawn
The pastor has declared that one of the Christie females had threatened him with a cutlass, and had made a report to the police about him assaulting her, resulting in him being charged. But yesterday, the young lady angrily contacted this newspaper to claim that the pastor was lying, since police had sent them both to their respective homes, and had not pressed any charges.
“This man is such a liar! The female police inspector never pressed charges, and did not even write anything down. She said it was a private matter (and) just sent both of us home.”
The young lady further alleges that police on the East Coast seem to be accepting favours from the pastor, since they had all his phone numbers, would call him directly, and never arrested him in any matter; but always promised to call him via cellular phone and have him report to the station.
Consequent to their home being demolished, the Christies have constructed a makeshift camp, which they claim is very uncomfortable. They are also claiming ownership of the plot of land under dispute, and have produced what appears to be a legal transport to support their story. They have also produced what appears to be a court document dictating that the battle for land rights between the two parties ended in July 2012, when the case was dismissed.
Pastor Saul, on the other hand, has also produced what appear to be documents giving him rights to the land, and has also displayed what looks like a legal document claiming that the transport owned by the Christies has been fraudulently obtained.
The pastor recently refuted as biased, malicious, and intentionally destructive all the allegations levelled by villagers against him. He maintains that he would not have his photograph taken, strictly for security reasons.