A leading evangelical church on the island has removed from the preaching roster a former convicted prisoner linked to the 1983 execution of Marxist Prime Minister Maurice Bishop following a controversial religious paper that he wrote advocating that no one will go to hell.
Former army Major Leon “Bogo” Cornwall is being accused in religious circles of seeking to advance an edict that goes against the Christian teachings of St George’s Baptist Church headed by Pastor Stanford Simon as he was supporting the notion that everyone will go to Heaven and no one will go to Hell on their demise.
A religious insider at the church told THE NEW TODAY that Cornwall who was a key player in the dispute between moderates and hardliners within Bishop’s then ruling New Jewel Movement -led People’s Revolutionary Government has been removed from the Leadership Council of St George’s Baptist.
He said the decision-making body in the church told Cornwall that he had to step down from leadership position in light of the controversial religious paper that has angered many followers of the Faith.
“They are not putting him out of the church but he cannot serve in leadership and he can’t teach again because of that issue,” he added.
Cornwall was described as one who was becoming a very influential figure in the leadership body of St George’s Baptist church and was seen as “the go to guy” when certain positions were being taken on religious matters at church meetings.
“When Bogo (Cornwall) starts talking everybody is looking at Bogo. Bogo was becoming the de facto leader,” he said.
According to the religious figure, the ex-army chief and former Ambassador to Cuba was beginning to attract a major following within St George’s Baptist church as “people were loving his teaching and he is a good teacher.”
He said that since the religious paper was released, Pastor Simon who is the head of the church did approach Cornwall on the issue and was told by the top figure in the 1979-83 Grenada Revolution that “he (Simon) was hurting his (Cornwall) feelings.
“I guess he (Cornwall) figured that he should not be confronted but the man (Simon) can’t let you tear up his church. He gave you a platform and you’re going to blow that opportunity by teaching something (against the beliefs of the church),” he told THE NEW TODAY.
“It is not something just contrary to Stanford’s church – it is contrary to the entire Christian community pretty much except the Jehovah Witness. It is just not Stanford’s church but Catholics, Pentecostal, Baptist, Methodist – all of them are going to come up against him,” he said.
He went on to say: “…I am sure Bogo can’t preach that stuff in the Methodist Church.”
Pastor Simon is quoted by one religious figure as saying that Cornwall is also of the belief that “the Devil is redeemable”.
“When people hear that, that is what’s going to kill him (Cornwall) in religious circles,” he said.
Cornwall has now started his own radio programme preaching the Gospel under the banner of Cornerstone Ministry of Grace and Truth.
The former army Major had grown up as a Methodist before he started studying Marxism and Leninism along with the NJM ideological teacher, former Deputy Prime Minister in the PRG, Bernard Coard who was the mastermind of the bloody palace coup in which Bishop was killed.
The religious leader expressed fears that Cornwall is now clearly heading in the direction of becoming what he called a “Pharaoh” in the Christian community due to the controversial religious edict.
“It may be too late for him to change his mind – you know when a man gets deep in something, he wants to change his mind but it is too late,” he remarked.
The religious insider at the Church pointed out the fact that Cornwall has a name for his religious programme means that he was clearly thinking “of starting his own church or something.”
The popular American televangelist Carlton Pearson had put forward those controversial scriptures like Cornwall which denied the existence of Hell and was shunned by several major religious leaders and millions of Christians around the world after he preached the sermon “To hell with hell.”
Pearson was ostracised by his own church and put out of the religious order and that was the end of his promising career as a Televangelist.