Ebenezer trial packs courtroom

Church members dispute with pastor over expansion and loans before visiting judge in Erie County Common Pleas Court.
Jessica Cuffman
May 21, 2013


A trial in the dueling lawsuits between former church members and the pastor and trustees of Ebenezer Baptist Church got underway this morning in a packed Erie County Common Pleas courtroom.   

Renee Brown, a church member who was ousted from the church along with four other longtime members after they fought a planned expansion of the church, was the first witness to testify before visiting judge Dale Crawford in the overflowing space inside the courthouse's small courtroom.

Crawford at one point suggested he hoped to finish up the trial today or tomorrow, but it appears there are numerous witnesses scheduled to testify. 

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sandtown born a...

SUE yes thats the christian way


Can we please start taxing churches?

sandtown born a...

The 2 types of people on this earth to be sceptical about are preachers and politicians both share a spot on the bottom of my left shoe with the other crap

Man of the Republic

This whole story really is such a shame... church like this giving a bad name to what churches should be. Most churches don't have fighting like this. Everyone here just needs to grow up, especially since the expansion is done.


I still believe that this is conflict with the ruling about church and state and this trial should not be in a court of law


Through centuries people have left existing churches and started their own. What's the big deal?


I don't see how someone in their right mind can even have the audacity to sue a church. I truly believe this is not about the Pastor, or the expansion. My opinion someone's ego has been busted, and their whole life mission is to now make everyone as miserable as they are.


That sounds about right!

Simple Enough II

Or is the pastor and the existing board palnning on using tax payer funds to "perform" their work in this expanded area?


I believe the Pastor has no final say in how churches spend their money. All Pastors' are on the churches payroll. That church has always been known for helping people in the community. All members have a vote as to what they want to happen, and how things will go. That church still has positive members who want the best. I believe God will work it out for the good. We should all look at the positive and not be so negative.


Religion creates hate. It divides those who differentiate in their beliefs, and uses something no-one can see, hear or touch, in order to make money and keep people where they want them. Not much different than politics.

Matter of fact, religion created politics.

thinkagain's picture

Our bigoted, Godless commentators never miss an opportunity.

Christians, don’t let the mocking blasphemy of the wicked trouble you. They will find themselves without an excuse before God.

Their never-ending pressuring of society to give up religious faith, merely exposes them as preachy, intolerant and hypocritical extremists.


Where did I state Godless, holier than me? I just don't believe as you do. So that makes me a hypocrite and a blasphemer? SMACK THAT BIBLE HARD when you say those words, Christian!