Members of a Birmingham congregation claims their pastor locked them out of their church Sunday morning. It happened at Friendly Missionary Baptist Church on 6th Street North in the Smithfield neighborhood.
Church members said for several months there have been issues between the pastor and some members of the congregation about who is in charge. In a civil lawsuit filed last year, there are allegations that the pastor told the congregation the church is “His Kingdom” and “He has the only key to the church.”
On Sunday morning members of church arrived for service only to be greeted by a locked door.
“He locks the door. He comes over to this parking lot right here, parked and waits until five minutes after 11am and he pulls off,” said church member Michael Alexander.
Church members opted to have Sunday service on the front steps.
“God is not pleased with this,” said Florence Dandridde, who is also a church member.
Alexander has attended the church 58 years and was a deacon. He said, along with several other plaintiffs who filed the civil lawsuit, that in 2013 the pastor refused to leave after he was fired by the deacons and trustees.
“He told us we couldn’t fire him, nobody could fire him but God,” said Alexander.
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