The elders and ministers of a Prince George's Baptist Church said yesterday that the church's senior minister had not earned advanced degrees from three institutions nor served as a psychology consultant for four clinics and hospitals in the United States as he had stated on his resume.
The Rev. Edward William Brandt III, who served as minister of the First Baptist Church of Carrollton in Riverdale for nine years and managed its counseling center, resigned last Sunday after the allegations that he had lied were brought to the church elders by a member of the congregation.
Brandt, who said he earned degrees from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, Harvard Divinity School and Harvard University, did not discuss the allegations when he took the pulpit to step down.
Brandt did not return messages left at this home yesterday. Gary Milne, Brandt's attorney, would not comment on the allegations. "We'll release a statement Monday," he said.
In a written statement to the congregation of the independent Baptist church, the administrative board said it conducted an independent search, which included a trip to Boston by two of the church's ministers, and found the allegations against Brandt were true.
The church's eight elders and the two remaining ministers, who make up the administrative body running the church, also determined that Brandt did not serve as an interning psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, or Lehey Clinic, in Burlington, Mass., nor at Georgetown University Hospital and Children's Hospital in Washington as a "consulting psychologist."
The board said it did confirm that Brandt received a bachelors degree from Trinity College in Clearwater, Fla., in 1968, as he indicated on his dossier. However, the bachelor of arts degree in "Sociology/ Philosophy" that Brandt says he earned, is not offered by the college.
Frank Witsil, registrar of the school, said Brandt's picture is in one of the school's yearbooks but would not say which year, or whether Brandt graduated.
The allegations and the board's findings have shocked and divided the congregation, many of whose members gathered last night at Bowie High School to discuss the findings.
Discovery of Brandt's alleged falsifications unfolded when a 20-year-old member and psychology major at the University of Maryland sought information from graduate schools, including Harvard.
Martin Hafer, upon learning that the university did not offer a degree in clinical psychology and public practice, said he examined a brochure of the the church's Christian Counseling Center, which lists Brandt's credentials. Once he found the discrepency, the senior at College Park brought his findings to the attention of the church's elders.
According to Steven Campen, attorney for the church, the elders "unanimously agreed" that "he Brandt be personally forgiven should he repent and that criminal or civil action not be brought against him by the church."
Robert Emmans, who has been a member of the church for 45 years, said, "I find the whole thing ludicrous. This is going to do irreparable damage to the church."