Rev. John J. Hunter Black Church Scandal

"Church Scandal John Hunter image"
"Church Scandal John Hunter image"

Church Scandal involving Rev. John J. Hunter is headed to Court!

I posted last month an article warning you that it appeared that Rev. John J. Hunter was headed for a black church scandal,  after the members locked him out the pulpit on the first day he was to report to his new church home.

Well CLB family, the scandal has arrived.   First AME filed a 14 page lawsuit against the pastor Elect and his wife, Denise for “holding dictatorial control over [the church] … for their own personal gain — both financially and for self-aggrandizement.”

Heads up young Pastors,  make sure you read this article carefully as Saints are no longer going to sit back and allow Pastors to just run their churches into the ground for their to satisfy there egos and pockets.

Now if you are  guilty of some of the accusations being made by these parishioners you better wake up cause the JIG is defintely up.

The LA times is reporting:

The oldest black church in Los Angeles this week filed a lawsuit against its former pastor, his wife and a small “cabal” of church leaders, the latest move in an ugly battle for control of the church and its nonprofit corporations.

The 14-page lawsuit, filed Tuesday by the First African Methodist Episcopal Church, is filled with allegations against the Rev. John J. Hunter and his wife, Denise, accusing the couple and other leaders of “holding dictatorial control over [the church] … for their own personal gain — both financially and for self-aggrandizement.”

The bishop who oversees AME churches in the western United States abruptly transfered Hunter to a church in San Francisco in late October. But that church took the rare step of rejecting Hunter. On the day he was supposed to deliver his first sermon, church members physically blocked him from taking the pulpit.

Now Hunter is fighting to regain his position as pastor at First African Methodist Episcopal. He continues to live in the posh Encino home that the church pays for while the new pastor, the Rev. J. Edgar Boyd, lives in a hotel and is not receiving a salary. Hunter’s wife is also refusing to relinquish control of the church’s nonprofit organizations, according to the lawsuit.

Hunter has had a rocky tenure at the church. Since taking over First AME in 2004, Hunter has been sued for sexual harassment, a civil claim that was settled for an undisclosed amount. The Times reported in 2008 that an internal audit found he charged $122,000 in jewelry, family vacations and clothing to the church’s credit card. He later agreed to a nine-year repayment plan.

He earned a generous salary during his tenure, lived in a $2-million home and drove a Mercedes-Benz paid for by the church. His wife earned $147,000 a year running nonprofit organizations connected to the 19,000-member congregation.

But over the last few years, the hilltop church in the West Adams district has fallen into debt. The church owes nearly $500,000 to creditors and some vendors say they have not been paid in more than a year.

In interviews this week, Hunter defended his stewardship of the church and said he was “blindsided” by the lawsuit.

“My life, my ministry has been characterized by those attacking me,” Hunter said. “To be then characterized as some looter and somebody who’s been greedy … nothing can be further from the truth.”

The lawsuit cited the sale of six parcels of church land worth $6.5 million, a transaction Hunter has publicly counted among his successes. The lawsuit alleges that “whereabouts of the sale proceeds remain a mystery.”

In addition to the church’s sizable debt, the lawsuit said recorded judgments against the church total an additional $200,000.

The troubles extend to the church’s nonprofit corporations, which were formed in the wake of the 1992 L.A. riots to provide loans and other support to help rebuild the community.

The lawsuit alleges that Denise Hunter orchestrated a “coup” to seize control of the nonprofits that she ran “as her own personal fiefdom.” Federal tax records show the nonprofits have assets worth several million dollars.

One day after Hunter was moved from the Los Angeles church, Denise Hunter filed documents with the California secretary of state’s office, appointing herself the corporations’ new “agent for service,” allowing her to act on behalf of the organizations, according to the state agency.

The lawsuit alleges that she removed all the corporations’ files from church offices and told 100 employees that she — not the new pastor — was the chief executive. Since then, she has denied the church access to the financial records, the lawsuit states.

“She recently admitted to Pastor Boyd that her coup is designed to sever any supervision, control and influence” of the church and its parent over the corporations, the lawsuit states.

read more on the church scandal 

Source: LA Times