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Birmingham church protests, calls for pastor to step down

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Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 6:49 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Not everyone is singing from the same hymnal at one Birmingham Church, and this division is something that both sides say is sad.

Some members protested in front of the Greater Saint John Baptist Church on Sunday morning because they want the current senior pastor gone...but he says he is not leaving.

Those opposed to Pastor Nathaniel Brooks, whose been the pastor of the church for five years, are making allegations of financial misconduct with church finances, but Brooks says those allegations are not true. Despite the call for him to step down, the Pastor said he is not going anywhere.

“We have an affidavit on record where the full leadership on record still supports this pastor,” Brooks said.

Sunday morning, members sang and carried signs protesting Pastor Nathaniel Brooks.

“We have gotten together as a congregation and collectively as a majority and terminated the pastor,” Carla Carter said.

Brooks said when he got to Saint John’s there were questionable accounting practices and he made changes, including personnel.

“Whenever someone wants to discredit your name, they have to bring up some type of scandal or money. There was no money taken away from the church. I’m not on any type of bank account. I’m not on any type. I can’t even get into the safe,” Brooks said.

Other church members stand behind Brooks.

“He has built this church up when it was torn down--financially, spiritually. He brought back a lot of things that were missing here,” Diandra Cohill said.

A protester who has been with the church for more than 60 years says the divide is hurting the church.

“I hope he will have a meeting with the people and get some of these things straightened out,” Arthur Hardy said.

A Birmingham attorney told Fox6 News both sides need to look at church bylaws to see what it says in order to resolve differences with church leadership.

Those protesters contend Brooks changed the bylaws, but he says his future is up to church deacons and the church board.

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