A couple months ago I pointed out this story about an LCMS pastor arrested "in the pulpit". Now some further developments...
From the Chicago Sun-Times. Please keep Pr. McCants in your prayers.
Pastor's eviction was a mistake, sheriff's department says
May 9, 2006
BY CATHLEEN FALSANI Religion Reporter
One Sunday morning about two months ago, some members of his congregation
had the Rev. Jimmy McCants arrested for trespassing as he stood on the altar
On Monday, the same group of congregants from Zion Evangelical Lutheran
Church on Chicago's South Side had McCants and his family evicted from the
parsonage next to the church that he has pastored for a decade.
Cook County sheriff's police stood guard as evictors removed all of the
McCants' belongings and piled them on the lawn and sidewalk in front of the
house at 10855 S. Calumet.
Now the sheriff's department and an official for the denomination to which
McCants and his congregation belong say it was all a big mistake.
"Technically, the eviction should not have taken place," said Sally Daly, a
spokeswoman for the sheriff's department. "On March 30 there was an eviction
order entered in Cook County Circuit Court. Unbeknownst to us . . . Mr.
McCants' lawyer went into court and got it vacated."
But the pastor's attorney didn't file the proper paperwork with the
sheriff's department, which conducts the evictions on behalf of the court,
alerting it that the eviction had been vacated, Daly said.
McCants could not be reached for comment Monday.
McCants' Feb. 5 arrest was the result of a rift in the small congregation of
about 75 that began more than a year ago, said the Rev. William Ameiss,
president of the Northern Illinois District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri
Last December, a "minority group" assumed control of the church's board and
voted McCants out, Ameiss said, but they did not have the right to do so.
McCants was quickly reinstated as pastor, and Ameiss wrote letters to police
and bank officials letting them know that McCants was the legitimate pastor
and had the right to be on church property, he said.
But Ameiss said he had no idea the small group -- about 14 people, he said
-- had initiated eviction proceedings against McCants at the parsonage.
"The church is supposed to be controlled by the majority," Ameiss said. When
McCants was reinstated as pastor, it was by a vote of 42-0, he said.
Late Monday afternoon, McCants had begun to move his belongings back into
the parsonage, Ameiss said. "But the house is torn up pretty badly," he
said. "Apparently they had to break down doors to get in."