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'PNP pastor' stripped of post - Harvey removed from NCU post after appearance at political meeting

Published:Thursday | March 3, 2016 | 12:00 AMJovan Johnson
Michael Harvey, senior Adventist pastor, ignited a firestorm over his advocacy for the People's National Party.

Dr Michael Harvey, vice-president of the Northern Caribbean University (NCU), has been stripped of his position as a senior pastor at the institution.

The move comes after his appearance on a People's National Party (PNP) platform during the recent election campaign, encouraging Jamaicans to vote for the party that eventually lost at the polls. The Gleaner understands, however, that Harvey had already been scheduled to demit office later this year.

His early removal is the latest disciplinary action taken against Harvey, who the Jamaican Seventh-Day Adventist Church has accused of breaching global church policy.

NCU also cited the pastor for a conflict of interest.

The Gleaner has obtained a copy of a letter sent to Harvey by NCU President Dr Trevor Gardner.

Several senior university and church officials were copied on the letter.

The NCU head advised Harvey that his position as pastor at the university was being reassigned to new leadership effective March 2, the same date that the letter was sent.

Calls to Gardner and president of the Central Jamaica Conference Levi Johnson have gone unanswered.

The Gleaner was also unable to reach Harvey for comment up to yesterday afternoon.

In previous communication leading up to the latest development, the university demanded that Harvey apologise and that he voluntarily relinquish the post.

Reportedly, he apologised.

In the meantime, The Gleaner understands that Harvey has applied to become president of the NCU.

A search committee is due to select a replacement for Gardner by April.

Harvey will remain vice-president of spiritual affairs until a new administration takes office in August.

Both the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and the NCU have publicly condemned Harvey for his utterances on the PNP platform on January 31 when he urged Jamaicans to support the governing party.

Harvey was also placed on one month's administrative leave.