Local church members say pastor locked them out of their church

Local church members say pastor locked them out of their church

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - For the past three weeks, church members at Mount Olive Baptist Church say they've come to worship on Sundays, only to find the doors locked. They say the doors were locked by their reverend.

For some church members, the church on North Simmons Street is more than just a building.

"This church has been here 78 years," says Clara Joseph, "We feel comfortable on 600 North Simmons Street. We don't want a fuss or anything. We just want to be home."

When their pastor said he wanted to move locations, some church members disagreed. They say when the pastor and other members of the congregation left, he changed the locks on the doors and hasn't answered or returned their calls.

"I've tried calling him every week, but he hasn't given me a response." says Joseph, "He has driven by several times and watched us in the parking lot and still hasn't come to unlock the doors. It hurt, it really do."

Several church members, like Joseph, say they've grown up at Mount Olive, been baptized there, been married there, and even seen some of their children get married there. They say they are taking the matter to court to get access to the church building again.

KPLC reached out to the Reverend, who originally agreed to do an on-camera interview. We were instead sent a statement from his lawyer who said that he would be able to do an interview after the litigation.

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