Judge dissolves congregation's TRO to remove church pastor

David Yates Aug. 8, 2011, 1:25pm

A local judge has dissolved a restraining order brought by two members of Sunlight Missionary Baptist Church of Beaumont, who alleged their pastor refused to abide by the congregations' request to step down.

As previously reported, Curtis Levias and Ralph Tuck sought a TRO against Pastor Irvin Barrett.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, granted the TRO on March 15, court records show.

On April 1 Barrett filed a motion to dissolve the order, which was granted ten days later.

Judge Floyd found that the plaintiffs failed to meet their burden of proof and ordered that a bond deposit of $250 be paid to Barrett to help cover his legal expenses, the April 11 order states.

The original petition alleges 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 petition 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."

Kountze attorney Richard Dutton represented the plaintiffs.

Case No. E189-653

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