Disgraced Pulelaʻā pastor dies


A former pastor in the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga, disqualified last month following a series of disastrous financial decisions led to the collapse of the Pulela’a church in 2012, has died.

Sione Mataele Pinomi died last week on Thursday 7 in his 50s.

The cause of his death was still unknown but we were reliably told he was in hospital more than two weeks before he died.

It is understood his wake will be on this Friday before he will be laid to rest on Saturday.

Meanwhile tributes have been posted to Facebook with many were shocked to hear about his death.

“Condolences to the Pinomi family? during this difficult time.. We pray that you all be comforted in the saviours love and each others company. Be strong”, a Facebook user commented on Facebook.

Those who paid tribute to Pinomi also left messages of condolence on his family’s Facebook pages.

“My deepest condolences to you and your family at this very hard time. It’s the time God has chosen one of his angels to be with him at this very moment. we will surely miss your dad. A very humble man and will never be forgotten.Sione PN May Our Heavenly Father continue blessing your family especially in this hard moment. Love to you and your family. xxo”.

Rev Pinomi was the treasurer at Pulelaʻā church when there was promises of miraculous financial salvation and fake investors  were presented to church members and claimed they were millionaires who would pay for their loans. But an inquiry led by the church’s Secretary General Dr Tevita Havea found these claims had proved to be  “untrue”, “thoughtless” and “make believe”.

The church owed more than AU$20 million to Westpac bank because of a loan it made to build its property at Glendenning in Sydney.

The bank eventually sold the church to an Indian mission for an undisclosed sum.

The church also  lost five other properties in Australia which were used as securities for the Pulela’a loans.



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