Posted: Nov 16, 2012 7:14 PM by Andrew Ellison - email@example.com
Updated: Nov 20, 2012 7:05 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - A viewer contacted 6 News about the new pastor at the Peoples' Baptist Church off of Old Brownsville Road. She says she's concerned about allegations at this previous ministry.
We went to talk with the new pastor of the church, Earl Mitchell, about those claims.
Mitchell told us that two boys had accused him of things like beating them with a paddle while he was the pastor at "The Abounding Grace Boy's School" in North Carolina.
But Mitchell says the claims are completely false, and that the boys did it because they wanted out of the program.
"It was a political guise to get me out of the ministry up there. Nearly destroyed my wife and our family," Mitchell says.
Mitchell became the pastor of the Peoples' Baptist Church in August, and landed in the middle of a power struggle for control of the ministry.
Court documents show that four men: Roy Bennett, Garland Burgess, Jim Murphree, and Joseph Sowers, are in a legal fight with the Peoples' Baptist Church over who should have control of the ministry.
Mitchell says the four men claim the church's previous pastor, Roy Cowger, was misusing church funds and not properly maintaining the facilities. So in the interim between Cowger's departure in June, and Mitchell's hire in August, those men took control of the church's offices.
And while Mitchell and his administration currently have those offices back, the two sides continue to fight for control.
But Mitchell says those men haven't been members of the church for over two years.
We tried to talk with one of those men, Roy Bennett, today at his home, but no one answered the door.
We also tried to contact the attorney for the four men, Hal George, but he did not return our call.
We asked Mitchell if those men were concerned for their church because of the allegations in his past. Mitchell said it's all part of the power struggle.
"I expected it. I knew when I came down here that it wasn't going to be easy. I expected their to be a fight," Mitchell says.
In the end, Mitchell says it's a shame that the church has come apart.
"They're destroying this ministry from without, and they used to be a part of it," Mitchell says.
The case is set to be heard in court on November 26th.
Do you have a tip, information about a breaking news story, or a story idea for 6 Investigates? Contact the KRIS 6 News Desk at 361-884-6666 or send us an email.
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