Monday, February 16, 2015

Philadelphia Church Members Sue Claiming Board Misappropriation

The Philadelphia Tribune reported yesterday on a state court lawsuit filed Feb. 5 by members of Philadelphia's historic Zion Baptist Church against the board of trustees and long-time church member Ronald Harper.  The suit alleges that Harper as chairman of the trustees misappropriated and misused church assets for personal gain and profit for his law firm.  Plaintiffs claim that and the board hid the transactions by making misrepresentations to the deacon board and church membership.  The suit seeks an accounting and a forensic audit of the issuance of $18 million in bonds to renovate a church-owned apartment building. The suit also seeks a new membership vote on the ouster of the church's former pastor, Carl Prince, who allegedly was removed because he sought greater financial accountability.