When people tithe at their church, they trust it's in the right hands. However, for nearly two years, there's been controversy over money at one Shreveport’s most beloved and historic churches.
The pastor of Little Union Baptist Church, C.E. McLain is speaking out only on Nbc 6 news, hoping to set the record straight. Reporter Karen Hopkins did some investigating and sat down with McLain.
Karen what did he tell you?
Pastor McLain says people are envious of the power of the pastor. A former church member argues he just wanted to see the financial records. The drama came down to a vote. Should McLain stay as pastor?
“You are saddened to see this because it was so unnecessary but you also know people feed on this drama,” McLain says. “You have friends against friends, family members against family members; everybody chooses sides and nobody really wins,” former church member Carl Pierson says.
The battle at Little Union Baptist Church in Shreveport started nearly two years ago.
Former church member Carl Pierson says a group became suspicious after some bills were not paid on time. “We never missed a bill,” McLain says.
Pierson wasn't convinced. He and ten others wrote a petition asking for financial records.
State law gives church members the right to view them. McLain says he was caught in the middle.
“I was told by members who didn't want their records exposed that they would sue if I gave the records. I don't want anyone seeing what I contribute or I would be so embarrassed pastor.”
“I think that was a way to make excuses for not giving us the records,” Pierson says. A Caddo parish judge ordered McLain to hand over the information. McLain says the church could not find all documents dating back to 2000. Next the judge called for an election.Church members would decide if McLain stays.
An outside court appointed panel counted the votes. McLain came out on top. “Now that it’s over how do you feel? Relieved. There is no sense of joy and happiness because the church has been fractured and divided under my watch,” McLain says. “I think the good Lord spoke and he said that enough was enough and he wanted Rev. McLain to remain there, and we're through with it, it's over,” Pierson says.
But anyone. At any church can take note. “The church is also a business people pay into it,” Pierson says. “The congregation needs to be kept abreast more than maybe she wants to know,” McLain says.
Little Union formed more than a century ago in 1892, and played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke there in 1962.