Mar 20, 2014 2:43 PM by Posted by Bill Folsom

Appeals Court: Colorado Springs pastor wrongly dismissed

DENVER (AP) - The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that El Paso County church members had no right to have police remove their pastor during a dispute over spiritual leadership last year.

The appeals court ruled Thursday that Senior Pastor Willie J. Sutton Jr., was improperly dismissed by dissident members of the St. John's Baptist Church, who formed a separate Governing Board and ordered Sutton to leave after getting a court judgment against him in 2013.

Sutton was hired in 2008 by the church's Deacon Board. The Governing Board also dismissed the deacons.

Sutton's attorney, Adam Weitzel, said Thursday the court order barring Sutton from his pulpit came without warning.

An attorney for the Governing Board did not return a phone call seeking comment.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)




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