A Kentucky pastor who was accused of taking over $100,000 in church donations to pay the mortgage on his home has been legally removed from the church about a month after being unanimously voted out by congregants.
The new board of elders at Southern Acres Christian Church in Lexington announced on Facebook Tuesday that it has taken over legal possession of the church from pastor Cameron McDonald, who had led the church since 2006.
The announcement comes one day after the church told its members through Facebook that all services and events would be cancelled until further notice as a legal dispute between McDonald and the members continues.
“One month ago, members of Southern Acres Church decided, by a vote of 173 to zero, to remove Cameron McDonald as senior pastor and directed us, as members of the newly elected board, to take charge of the church’s affairs,” Tuesday’s Facebook post explains. “Because Mr. McDonald refused to turn over the keys to the property at 301 Harvard Drive for a month after the Feb. 4 vote, last Sunday evening, we entered the building and took lawful and legal possession without resorting to the use of force or violence.”
The post explains that the new board is currently working to take charge of the church’s other assets.
“We thank Mr. McDonald for his past service and wish him well in his future endeavors,” the statement adds. “We will have no further comment at this time and look forward to reopening the building in the near future. We look forward to worshiping Jesus and praying together soon.”
According to WKYT, a total of three lawsuits have been filed against McDonald by church members.
While the first was dismissed, the second accuses McDonald of taking $100,000 of a $170,000 donation from the church in December 2016 to pay for the mortgage of the home that he and his wife had purchased months before.
The third lawsuit was filed after McDonald refused to give up leadership of the church after he was ousted. However, McDonald’s attorney has argued that the new board was not valid and had no authority over the church.
On Monday, legal paperwork was filed with the state to remove McDonald as the official agent of the church. Bill Powell, who filed the third lawsuit against McDonald, replaced the pastor as the agent of the church.
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Source: Christian Post