Baptist Minister being sued by his congregation.

Discussion in '2006 Archive' started by Ben W, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Greater Beulah Baptist Church is one of the more prominent churches in the area. Some would say it is a staple in the community which has as its mission to reach out to the community.

    However, some of the church's members say that mission is blindly being mishandled.

    Every Sunday worshipers gather at Greater Beulah to hear Reverent Paul Hollman.

    B.C. George and Starla Whitfield, members of Greater Beulah Baptist Church, are claiming Hollman and his secretary Dorothy Brown have mishandled church property and funds.

    "The members simply want to know, they want control of their church. They want to know what money is coming in, what money is being spent, why there've been so many real-estate transactions, involved with the church" said attorney Deborah Seagle.

    The lawsuit which lists 24 complaints has been filed in the Houston County court.

    Among the complaints, church property as trust property is being abused and perverted from the uses for which it was devoted and dedicated

    The Pastor refuses to give an explanation of the incorporation of Beulah Land, Inc, a church subsidiary which advances the goals of the church.

    There are also allegations that Hollman is keeping members in the dark as to who he appoints over certain positions and when the lawsuit also claims Brown forged trustee signatures on church checks.

    None of the parties named in the suit was able to comment. But News 4 caught with commissror Curtis Harvey, a Poster and minister at the church.

    "I think there are allegations from two people. I don't think they are allegations from the church because two people can't represent the church as a whole and I don't think the church feels that way because these are brand new to me" said Harvey.

    The question is what will documents inside the church expose? The lawsuit may be found at the Houston County courthouse.

    News 4 spoke with one of the plaintiffs in the case and we were told that this lawsuit is nothing personal. They just want to get the church back to what they claim.

    Hollman and Brown’s attorney, Tom Brantley, is studying the case and didn't want to comment on the suit at this time. However a news conference will be held Monday at 11 a.m. in the Greater Beulah Baptist Church Chapel

    http://www.wtvynews4.com/home/headlines/2471856.html
     
  2. Daisy

    Daisy
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    There should always be oversight.

    The person/people writing the checks should not be the same as the ones balancing the accounts. Even good people can be tempted at a bad time or just careless or neglectful; bad people can clean out an account before you can blink. It's irresponsible not to have an oversight committee.
     
  3. carpro

    carpro
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    I would guess that there is oversight in the vast majority of churches. Baptists normally can't cross the street without a committee to study and OK it, with another to be sure we have the funds and another to authorize the expenditure.

    The pastor in our church does not touch the checkbook or authorize any but the most minor emergency ministering (usually less than $100) expenditures.
     
  4. SpiritualMadMan

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    Open Books, at least to all members, is a good policy...

    Mike Sr.
     
  5. Bro. James Reed

    Bro. James Reed
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    Our Pastor has nothing whatsoever to do with the funds.

    We have 2 deacons, one of which is the church treasurer, who are also the trustees.

    The deacons have authority from the church to authorize emergency expenditures, for smaller amounts, and amounts, up to a set limit, to pay visiting ministers.

    Other than that, the whole body votes on major expenditures at our quarterly business meetings.

    I think we have a very good set up to keep any look of inpropriety abated.

    Our books are open to all members at any time, and our treasurer gives a financial statement at each business meeting, with expenses broken into groups, and subgroups.

    I, personally, do not go for a small group to decide all of the financial decisions for the whole body. The church as a whole should have the final oversight of those entrusted with the church funds.

    Our Pastor does not even have a vote in business meetings, since he presides as the Moderator.

    It is a sad day when people are suing their own pastor.
     
  6. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Sounds like Beulah land has become fighting ground. Just do not give that pastor a pay check and they won't have to worry anymore.
     
  7. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    I dealt with a situation when I got to my first church, where the deacons and their wives were all check signers and one wife was the treasurer. It is illegal in most states to have two people residong in the same household to sign the same check. it is also ollegal to have the treasurer sign checks.
    As the attorneys from the Christian Law Association put it, treasurers are held to normal and accepted acounting practices in a court of law.
    Pastors should never have access to church funds without going through several people. This keeps him clear of crazy accusations.
    I kept the books for a time because the treasurer resigned and left the church. Then she spread a rumor that money was missing after she left, and that their was an investigation. it never happened. I will never touch the books again.
    It doesnt sound like these are much more than crazy accusations. what I find interesting is the claim that it is their church. And they want control. Maybe they should let Christ have it back and he will handle it.
     
  8. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    1 Corinthians 6:1-8
    1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? 6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. 7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? 8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
     
  9. Joseph M. Smith

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    Unfortunately, there are many African-American Baptist churches in which the pastor routinely has financial authority and may even sign his own paycheck. It is a different tradition from those who have posted on this thread, and I agree that it is dangerous. But it is a long-standing symbol of pastoral authority that is not likely to go away. Obviously it is subject to many abuses, and is something of a holdover from the days when the pastor may have been the only literate person in the congregation.
     
  10. carpro

    carpro
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    AMEN!
     
  11. donnA

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    I've heard there is a church in a near by town who is sueing their pastor to get rid of him, they have fired him and he won't go away!
     
  12. mima

    mima
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    A little mouse was in A room where the Pastoral Selection Committee was interviewing candidates for pastor. One of the candidates announced that he would have nothing to do with taking up monies, nothing to do with overseeing monies, and would cast no vote concerning the operation of the church. Immediately the little mouse raced up on his hind legs and shouted hire this man!!!
     

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