Nashville megachurch members sue Southern Baptist pastor - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Nashville megachurch members sue Southern Baptist pastor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Members of a Southern Baptist megachurch are suing their prominent pastor, the Rev. Jerry Sutton, for allegedly misappropriating finances and for refusing to allow them to inspect church records.

The lawsuit filed late last week in Chancery Court follows allegations that Sutton spent church money on his daughter's wedding.

The 49 people who joined to file the lawsuit accuse Sutton of failing to abide by church rules and punishing those who question his authority.

Sutton lost a bid to become president of the denomination last year. He has served for more than two decades as leader of Nashville's Two Rivers Baptist Church.

Scott Hutchings, the church's executive pastor, has acknowledged that the church paid about $4,300 for a reception for Sutton's daughter, but said the event was open to all members.

He said Sutton personally paid for another separate reception outside the church. Sutton is a key member of the Southern Baptist Convention's conservative leadership.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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