Pastor has no business in church, says judge

April 30, 2008 at 7:17 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Pastor has no business in church, says judge
Judge Robert Chaisson, of the 29th District Court in St. Charles Parish, agreed with members of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Ama and ruled that Rev. DeVairre B. Mollaire can no longer be pastor of the church.

Mollaire’s name must also be removed on any and all banking and financial church transactions.

Chaisson based his ruling on the fact that the pastor was never legally sworn in to head the church in the first place.

According to court documents, on Sept. 9, 1995 the number of members present to vote Mollaire in as pastor were not the two-thirds majority required according to the rules of the church.

Mollaire's attorney, Walter Willard, says his client has not dismissed the idea of asking for an appeal.

"My client has the option of the appeals process," Willard said. "He can request that the judge respectfully reconsider his ruling or he can go before the 5th District Court of Appeals in Gretna to allow the case to be heard again."

Willard asked Chaisson to disregard the fact that Mollaire was illegally voted in to head the church in the first place.

"As to whether or not the pastor in 1995 was properly chosen by the body as their new pastor, without challenge from the congregation, the plaintiff would urge that this issue not be allowed in as a factor in these court proceedings," Willard wrote. "The issue has never been raised by a member of the congregation, nor the deacon board, nor the individual deacon chairman in these several years that he (Mollaire) has served as pastor."

Chaisson's ruling states  that “although the plaintiff was allowed to serve as pastor without objection for the past 13 years, any member in good standing has the right to request an injunction against the plaintiff (Mollaire) to prevent him from acting as pastor."

Kurt Garcia, attorney for the church, argued that Mollaire was an at-will employee because of the way he was voted in as pastor.

"Employees hired without a fixed-term are subject to dismissal by their employers at any time, for any reason, without employers' incurring liability for wrongful discharge."

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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