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Assistant Pastor in Adventist Church Dispute Surrenders to Redlands Police

Lucan James Chartier joined Creation Seventh Day Adventist founding Pastor Walter McGill, of Guys, Tenn., at Central Detention Center in San Bernardino, according to inmate records.

An assistant pastor and spokesman for the jailed founder of a small Tennessee church involved in a trademark dispute with the Seventh-day Adventist Church of North America gave a press conference Tuesday in Loma Linda before surrendering as a fugitive to Redlands police.

Lucan James Chartier, 26, is a member of Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church of Guys, Tenn., founded by Pastor Walter "Chick" McGill, who was arrested July 13 on a federal warrant on the grounds of Loma Linda University Church of Seventh-day Adventists.

Chartier and McGill have been found in contempt of federal court in Tennessee, where a judge ruled in April they violated an order they cease using the name "Seventh-day Adventist" and the acronym "SDA" to describe their church.

The trademark infringement dispute was initiated in court by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, also known as the Seventh-day Adventist Church of North America.

On Tuesday, Chartier met a group of reporters and cameramen at a pre-arranged time at the Loma Linda University Church of Seventh-day Adventists and underscored his defiance of the federal court order.

"Our religion requires the use of this name to describe our faith," Chartier said. "We can't change the name without disobeying a pointed instruction of God. So this isn't a matter of just changing our name on a whim. This is a matter of either obeying God or obeying man. And in that circumstance, we can't choose to obey man over God."

United State District Judge J. Daniel Breen stated in April that if McGill and Chartier failed to comply with court instructions, he would "direct the United States Marshals Service to issue a warrant for their arrest."

About 6:30 p.m. Tuesday July 31, Chartier alerted Loma Linda University campus security of his presence, his identity, and his intent to surrender to law enforcement as a fugitive.

Security officers indicated a Loma Linda deputy would come to arrest Chartier, a scenario similar to when deputies arrested McGill at the same church on July 13.

Chartier earlier said in communications with reporters he was concerned he would be arrested immediately and not be allowed to say all that he wanted.

Instead, he stood on the sidewalk next to the church's property and spoke freely for 20 minutes or so with no sign of a deputy. At the end of his press conference he conferred with campus security again and decided to turn himself in at the Redlands Police Department compound on West Park Avenue.

Outside the police building in Redlands, Chartier used an after-hours telephone to speak to a dispatcher, and he waited more than 30 minutes until two police officers, including one who identified himself as the shift watch commander, took him into custody at 7:45 p.m.

Chartier was held Wednesday morning without bail at Central Detention Center in San Bernardino, according to inmate records. Before his arrest, Chartier said he expected to spend 10 days or more in jail. He also said he intended to fast while incarcerated, following McGill's example.

McGill, 66, was also held without bail Wednesday morning at the same lockup facility, according to inmate records.

At a detention hearing two weeks ago in Riverside, "McGill was remanded to the custody of the US Marshals to serve 30 days in custody, as per the district court's contempt order," Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek said.

McGill will serve the remainder of his time in San Bernardino County, Deputy U.S. Marshal Laura Vega said.

George Johnson Jr., communication director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church of North America, issued a statement after McGill's arrest that included the following:

"We believe that Pastor McGill has the right to exercise his religious beliefs and operate a ministry, however to falsely identify himself with an organization of which he is not a part, is not acceptable.

"This false association confuses the public, media and at times our own members. The Seventh‑day Adventist Church has defined processes and procedures for establishing and maintaining congregations."

In interviews and in a press release after McGill's arrest, Chartier said there was no confusion and he said it again Tuesday before he surrendered himself to police in Redlands.

For previous Redlands-Loma Linda Patch reports about the dispute, click , and .

Approximately 6,500 members of the Loma Linda University Church of Seventh-day Adventists comprise the largest Adventist congregation in North America, according to the church's website.

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Amanda Frye August 01, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Wonder what Jesus would say?
David Aguilar August 01, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Well, he obviously wouldn't thank anyone for putting people in prison on his behalf!
Diego Jones August 02, 2012 at 12:02 AM
I wonder if Martin Luther King, Jr. followers can be called Lutherans?
Sandiah August 02, 2012 at 07:16 AM
Jesus would tell us a parable that those with ears to hear and eyes to see would understand. I wonder what the Sadducees and Pharisees would say...about either side? The point is rather, what do you say about it and how does it affect your relationship with all parties concerned.
daniel simon August 04, 2012 at 04:51 PM
he has the right to establish his own ministry but not with the name-seventg day adventist church. That is ridiculus!
John Samuel August 09, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Since the name Seventh Day Adventist is a registered trade mark, as a commerce, selling buying reading materials, schools, colleges, hospitals, generating money and trading, no identification of a religious Gospel preaching organization, which is protected under the constitution, no laws etc. against a religious body. For a trivial differences of doctrinal issues the generic name given by God Seventh Day Adventists stands as a rebuke to the false day of worship. Next is the GC and the catholic attorneys in cohorts also trademark the name of "JESUS". People (SDA'S) go do your homework before you make lack of knowledge comments. It is absolutely wrong to sue in the courts made up of sinners brought on by the GC sinners, instead of propagating the Gospel of Christ to the world. It is a shame, on what we as Adventists represent the forgiving spirit of Christ, and for the GENERAL CONFERENCE of SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS to defame the character of the majority of the SDA"s who disapprove the actions of the GENERAL CONFERENCE which is accountable to GOD and JESUS. I firmly disapprove the insensitive actions, non forgiving spirit exhibited of the GC. God separates the wheat and tares. There are already numerous false gospel teaching wolves in sheep's clothing throughout the denomination, whose only motive and desire is to destroy the Word of God and uplift satanic causes. Why does the General Conference root out these wolves that destroy from inside out.
John Samuel August 09, 2012 at 04:28 PM
that is a correct analysis of this scenario of using the civil authorities under the civil trade mark laws to enforce religious beliefs and silence the true Word of God being preached. God will take care of those who destroy His Word just as much as He will gladly with arms wide open take those who have chosen to give up everything in this life including the enforcement of the SDA trademark. There is no need to have a protected trade mark since God takes care of His own business and does NOT need human help, even to spread His Gospel, it is a privilege extended to humanity to be co-workers with the Heavenly Personnel.
Walter "Chick" McGill October 04, 2012 at 05:12 AM
If you support liberty of conscience and would like to see the persecution stopped, please sign the Liberty Petition. http://libertypetition.com/ Thank you.

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