Congregation sues to remove church pastor

David Yates Mar. 29, 2011, 6:30am

Two members of the Sunlight Missionary Baptist Church of Beaumont filed a temporary restraining order against their pastor on Friday, claiming Irvin Barrett refuses to abide by the congregations' request that he step down.

Curtis Levias and Ralph Tuck filed the petition March 25 in Jefferson County District Court.

In their suit, the plaintiffs allege Barrett "refused to abide by the decision of the majority of the members of Sunlight by refusing to step down as pastor."

"Acting on behalf of the members of the congregation consistent with Article V of the By-Laws, Barrett was personally given notice by letter of termination," the suit states.

"Unless Barrett is immediately enjoined and restrained, he will continue to hold himself out as pastor of Sunlight, incur debt ... and impair the selection of a new pastor."

In addition to the TRO, the plaintiffs are seeking a permanent injunction.

Kountze attorney Richard Dutton represents them.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E189-653

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