Statement by Pastor Mark Zschech, Senior Pastor of HopeUC Australia
I have just returned from my first visit to the USA in over two years, where I had the opportunity to meet with representatives of USA churches affiliated to HopeUC Australia. As a result of that meeting, I wish to address a matter relating to HopeUC Inc Los Angeles.
On 3rd December 2021, I was made aware of a lawsuit which had been brought against New Beginnings Family Church of 1900 Walker Avenue, Monrovia CA 91016, USA (subsequently known as The Hope Unlimited Church Inc and now and herein referred to as HopeUC Inc); and I was provided with an extract of an article published on 1 December 2021 in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune which supposedly contained information from claims made in the lawsuit regarding incidents which allegedly took place during the years 2000 to 2003. The article also referred to a meeting allegedly held at the HopeUC Inc offices in 2018.
Prior to 3rd December 2021, I was completely unaware of both the lawsuit and the alleged 2018 meeting. I have no knowledge regarding the truth or otherwise of any of the allegations made in the lawsuit.
HopeUC Inc is one of four USA churches affiliated to HopeUC Australia and has been an affiliate of HopeUC Australia since on or about October 2018.
I understand that HopeUC Inc was incorporated on 25th April 2013 when it was known as The Hope Unlimited Church. The Hope Unlimited Church had already been operating under this name for approximately five years prior to the affiliation with HopeUC Australia.
HopeUC Australia’s relationship with international affiliates is based on shared Christian ministry values and we provide a verbal license to our affiliates to use our HopeUC Australia branding and the right to be included on our international church website.
It is important to note that an allegation of inappropriate behaviour would be taken extremely seriously by HopeUC Australia. We seek to provide a safe place for families to grow in their faith and are deeply concerned for anyone who may feel that someone in a position of spiritual authority has behaved inappropriately towards them. It is our policy to fully investigate any such allegation, including reporting the matter to the relevant authorities for further investigation.
The article has incorrectly linked the name of HopeUC Australia to the lawsuit by naming us and by placing a photograph of our church logo in the article. Whilst HopeUC Inc is currently an international affiliate of HopeUC Australia, the lawsuit relates to alleged incidents from over 20 years ago, many years before HopeUC Australia even existed.
Pastor Mark Zschech
Hope Unlimited Church, Australia.