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SBC DIGEST: One suit against FBC Bossier City dismissed; Long Hollow employee terminated for fraud

One lawsuit against FBC Bossier City dismissed, another pending

By BP Staff

BOSSIER CITY, La. (BP) – A district judge has ruled to dismiss a lawsuit against First Baptist Church in Bossier City, La., KTBS news has reported. KTBS is an ABC affiliate in nearby Shreveport, La.

In the suit, the plaintiffs accused Pastor Brad Jurkovich of “improperly removing any who may disagree with him from the membership rolls of [First Baptist Bossier].” His ability to do so, they allege, was rooted in a June 15, 2014, church-wide voice vote called by Jurkovich.

Plaintiffs said that vote did not occur at a regularly called meeting with 30 days’ written notice for members nor did voters receive a copy of the proposed amendments, all of which was stipulated in the church’s charter at the time. Article VI of First Bossier’s current constitution says articles can be amended with a two-thirds vote by members at a regularly called meeting. Thirty days’ notice must also be provided.

The church argued that internal church disputes should not be settled in court and that some plaintiffs were no longer members of the church and thus had no legal standing, KTBS reported. It also said the timing of the suit (eight years after the events in question) put it out of compliance with state law.

In a different suit by the same plaintiffs, a judge ruled earlier this month to allow the plaintiffs to view financial records going back to 2013 amid claims that the church’s constitution was amended improperly a year later. They allege that in recent years, those amendments have provided cover for funds intended for Southern Baptist missions to instead be channeled toward supporting the Conservative Baptist Network, of which Jurkovich is a steering council member.

Long Hollow Church staff member commits fraud of more than $100K

By BP Staff

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (BP) – An executive staff member at Long Hollow Baptist Church has been “systematically abusing his access to church resources,” the church said in a statement released today (June 23).

The statement is signed by Senior Pastor Robby Gallaty and Executive Pastor Collin Wood.

Through an audit, Daniel Meadows, a campus operations specialist and executive assistant, was discovered to have made fraudulent and personal purchases of more than $100,000.

“We passed our most recent external audit this spring, but no system or safeguard is 100% effective against a determined employee,” the church’s statement says. “Despite our rigorous safeguards, Daniel was in a unique position to exploit the system by spreading dozens of purchases across different budget lines and disguising his behavior behind events and other complex projects.”

The statement added that the staff is instituting new protocols recommended by the church’s auditing firm.

“As you can imagine, this news has been devastating to our staff,” the statement reads. “We find ourselves seeking justice for the financial abuse that’s taken place, but also seeking mercy and healing for a brother who has fallen prey to sin. Join us in praying for Daniel and his family in the days ahead.”

An investigation is ongoing.

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