The top official of the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.) has been dismissed after a dispute over $40,614 he received in book royalties. The church's 18-member governing board found Robert White guilty of insubordination, charging that he had received "excessive" royalties.

Eventually, White, general overseer of the 4 million- member church, agreed to turn over $10,000 to the denomination and the copyrights to the books Life Builders, Spirit Walk Prayer Journal, and Endued with Power. White may reapply for ministerial credentials next June.

"There's not anything wrong with church leaders getting standard royalty rates, which are usually about 5 to 10 percent," says Mike Baker, director of public relations for the denomination. "But it's something different when royalty rates are excessive, or unusual arrangements are made." Baker says other elements concerning professional conduct and administrative decisions entered into the dismissal; Baker declined to specify.

At its biennial meeting in August, the church's general council chose Paul L. Walker, to succeed White. Walker, 64, had been pastor of the 14,000-member Mount Paran Church of God in Atlanta for 36 years.

Last Updated: October 4, 1996

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