A group of people from a North Myrtle Beach church have filed a lawsuit against a group of deacons.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs are “citizens and residents of Horry County” and “have been duly appointed by the OD Church of the Lost and Found, to serve as an advisory board” for the church, according to the lawsuit. The defendants are also “citizens and residents of Horry County” and were appointed by a pastor “as members of a deacon board” for the church.
According to the lawsuit, the church used to meet at the Barefoot Conference Center in the North Myrtle Beach area. When the founder of the church died in 2016, the plaintiffs claim the church started to change.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs also claim the new pastor appointed a board of deacons to help him because he was new to the area.
The plaintiffs allege that when someone went to buy nametags for the church, they realized the bank account had been closed, and the church leaders were denied access to the newly created bank account.
The lawsuit also alleges that the bylaws of the church were changed and the board of deacons were the only people who could decide church doctrine and rules. The group of deacons is accused of dismissing the pastor and telling him not to come back, as well as changing the locks to the building.
\While the plaintiffs were locked out, the deacons allegedly removed church items including records, bank info, phones, a vehicle, 350 chairs, tables, 250 hymnals, sound equipment, recording equipment, and furniture.
According to the lawsuit, those agreeing with the pastor were meeting at the Barefoot Resort Conference Center, while those siding with deacon board met at a beach house.
The congregation met in August and voted to reinstate the pastor and dismiss the deacon board 176 votes to zero votes, the lawsuit further claims. They met the next week to create new bylaws and passed those 192-0.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs ask for the return of possessions and property “improperly seized and concealed by defendants,” a court order to prevent the defendants from “using the name OD Church of the Lost and Found,” “an award of damages equal to the value of the property improperly seized and concealed by defendants,” and “an award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs associated with filing this action.”
The full lawsuit can be read here.