But you know your church’s problems have begun to spin out of control when they suck City Hall and a good portion of an Oklahoma City Council meeting into the fray.

It’s safe to say the Tabernacle Baptist Church, 1829 N.E. 36th St., has had some issues lately. According to a City Council memo, the matter started with an internal dispute at the church and escalated to a charge of disorderly conduct against the head deacon, then two
complaints of assault and battery against the pastor, which were
declined for prosecution. Two cross complaints of assault and battery
between the pastor and head deacon are pending review.

the alleged holy smiting was investigated by the Oklahoma City Police
Department, the complaint went to the city attorney’s office for
prosecution. However, there is a conflict of interest, since someone in
that office is a member of the church and sides with one of the two
factions, said Municipal Counselor Kenneth Jordan at the May 17 council

There was
also a second conflict of interest, Jordan said, but did not elaborate.
Councilman Ronald “Skip” Kelly presided over the May 17 council meeting
until the Tabernacle matter was heard, at which point he recused himself
and left the room. Kelly represented the pastor in a court case in the

With the
absence of Mayor Mick Cornett, Councilman David Greenwell, Councilwoman
Meg Salyer and the recusal of Kelly, it barely left a quorum to decide whether to appoint a special council to review the complaints by police and, if necessary, file charges.

Chief Bill Citty told the council that he spoke with District Attorney
David Prater, who said he would be willing to review the cases and
prosecute them, if necessary.

two factions in the fray, both of which were well-represented in
attendance at the meeting, both agreed this was the best option.

Praise the Lord and pass the Maalox — the city’s leaders have found at least one thing they can agree on.

  • or