The First Sixth Street Baptist Church in Port Arthur obtained a temporary restraining order against its pastor, Donald Toussaint, who allegedly hid his criminal past and now stands accused of misusing church funds.
David Joseph, chairman of the church board, filed the TRO application Sept. 8 in Jefferson County District Court.
That same day, Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, granted the request. A hearing for a permanent injunction will be held at a later date.
According to the petition, Toussaint, who changed his name from Abram to Toussaint after being convicted of robbery in 1982, was terminated as pastor by the church board on Aug. 20.
However, Toussaint refuses to leave the property and gracefully step down, the board claims.
The petition states that the congregation was unaware that Toussaint was charged with capital murder, kidnapping and armed robbery in 1982 for his role in the robbery of a convenience store, which ended in the deaths of two people.
Although he was originally sentenced to death on March 29, 1984, Toussaint's conviction was overturned and he accepted a plea agreement to armed robbery in 1992 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Once Toussaint became pastor of First Sixth Street Baptist, he agreed to salary of $72,000 but asked that $50,000 of his salary be declared as a housing allowance in order to evade paying taxes, the petition alleges.
The 62-page lawsuit goes on to list several more actions the congregation claims were taken by Toussaint and defendant Clyde Levy.
Both defendants are accused of scheming to misuse church funds.
Port Arthur attorney Langston Adams represents the church.
Case No. 190-872