CME Takes Crawford County Church to Court
"I just want to say I don't understand why they're doing us like this."-Beulah Johnson/Mother of the Church
Around two years ago Bethel Church separated from the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church over C-M-E's annual dues for member churches.
But Friday, both the CME and Bethel will be in court over those dues.
Bethel Church members say they were told they owe CME and if they aren't paid the CME will take the church property because once you join the CME there's no way out.
"I don't know but a few organizations that you get in, that you can't get out. This is the United States like he said and you got freedom of speech, you got freedom of choice, and you got freedom of religion. So if you don't want to be in a certain religion you ought to have the choice to get out." - Bobby King/Pastor
"They don't have nothing to do with our church, and we don't want them here. We don't want the CME trespassing here. That's all I got to say about it. Just leave us alone and we will leave them alone."-Beulah Johnson/Mother of the Church
Friday Morning the case will come before the Crawford County Magistrate Court, but members are adamant that the CME has no claim to their property, which includes the church's cemetery where the ancestors of the congregation are buried.
"We have our deeds right here and it don't say anything in the deed about Bethel CME, or it don't say anything about the CME. So I think the deeds should speak for themselves. Because if this deed ain't no good, ain't nobody's deed no good." - Thomas Howard/Church Board Member