January 30, 2006

Church members seek answers

Jersey Journal

Monday, January 30, 2006
Congregants of St. John's Baptist Church in Jersey City are demanding answers from church leaders about the sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the pastor that may cost the church more than $100,000.

Three members of the congregation walked out during the Rev. Sammie Lee Hawkins's sermon yesterday, while dozens more remained inside, signing a petition calling for a mediated discussion about the issue between church leaders and congregants.

"The people of St. John's know what's going on and we want answers," said Darreth Millers, a board member for 12 years who was among the three who walked out yesterday, and helped spread the word about the petition. "The sad part is that the people who should be giving answers haven't been giving them."

Millers said the purpose of the petition was to convince the pastor and the board to talk about the lawsuit and what it means to the congregation.

"You can't treat us like you'd treat a dog, just because you're the pastor," Millers said. "You have to respect people and give them answers."

Posted by kshaw at January 30, 2006 08:42 AM