State Supreme Court turns attention to Michigan pastor's ouster

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court wants to hear more about a dispute between a Grand Rapids church and its former pastor.

The Rev. Arthur Pearson Sr. says he was illegally removed at Pilgrim’s Rest Baptist Church in 2012. He sued the church, but two courts say Pearson’s contract claim can’t be heard.

Pearson says church leaders removed him amid financial questions, although the congregation supported him. In April, the state appeals court said it would be improper for courts to intervene in religious matters.

But in an order released last Thursday, the Supreme Court says it will hear arguments and decide whether to accept an appeal or take other action.

Pearson’s attorney, Jerry Ashford, says the case is important. He predicts “anarchy” in certain churches if earlier court decisions stand.


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