The former pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church has permanently dropped a lawsuit he filed in June against the church and seven church leaders.
John Rector was seeking $100,000 in damages in his lawsuit, which alleged he was improperly fired and threatened with arrest when he came to deliver a sermon.
State District Judge Jim Meyer of Waco’s 170th State District Court signed off on the lawsuit dismissal Monday. Rector dismissed the suit “with prejudice to refiling,” meaning the lawsuit cannot be reinstated.
Waco attorney David Schleicher, who represents the church with attorney Lawrence Johnson, said Rector received no monetary settlement and no promises were made to him in exchange for him dropping the suit.
Rector’s attorney, Christopher D. Demerson, did not return a phone message Monday.
Rector was hired in December 2016 as pastor at the historically black church at 2814 S. 12th St., which has about 125 members and was founded in 1896.
“We strongly encouraged the Rev. Rector and his attorney to reconsider the wisdom of pursuing this litigation and it appears they did so. We wish them both well in their future endeavors,” Schleicher said.
When asked why Rector was fired, Schleicher said, “they had a different view for what was appropriate for a pastor.”
Schleicher, who was set to file a motion to dismiss the suit, said he tried to convince Rector and his attorney to withdraw it on their own by asserting the doctrine known as “ecclesiastical abstention,” whereby courts regularly reject efforts to involve the judiciary in disputes between congregations and ministers.
Source: Waco Tribune