Home Christian News Celebration Church Pastor Announces Resignation Amid Bitter Legal Dispute

Celebration Church Pastor Announces Resignation Amid Bitter Legal Dispute

stovall weems
Stovall Weems delivers a message on April 25, 2021. Screenshot from YouTube / @Celebration Church

Stovall Weems, who on Jan. 7 was suspended as the senior pastor of Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Fla., announced on Instagram Monday night that he was resigning from his positions at the church effective immediately. Weems’ resignation comes in the middle of a bitter legal dispute with Celebration Church. 

“Hello, Friends,” said the caption of a post on the Instagram account for Stovall Weems and his wife, Kerri. “We wanted you to hear directly from us about our recent decision, made on Friday, April 15, to separate and resign from Celebration Church of Jacksonville (CCJ).”

The post is an image of a letter from Stovall Weems addressed to Celebration Church’s trustees, directors and officers. In it, he states he is resigning as the church’s senior pastor, president and CEO, chair and member of the board of trustees, and registered agent.

Stovall Weems: Resignation Won’t Impact Legal Claims

Stovall Weems, who with Kerri founded Celebration Church in 1998, said that he has “spent much time in prayer and received counsel from other pastors here in the city, the region, and around the world. The Trustees’ actions lead me and my family with no choice but to legally separate from CCJ and continue our ministry elsewhere, placing ourselves under the proper accountability and oversight of a council of apostolic pastors and elders in our city, nation, and world that understand and model biblical governance.”

Celebration Church’s leadership, alleges Weems, has abandoned “the clear biblical principles and scriptural qualifications for spiritual covering, spiritual authority, and ecclesiastical governance and oversight.”

Stovall Weems was suspended as pastor of Celebration Church in January due to “possible improper financial practices and/or failure to fulfill duties and responsibilities.” On Feb. 23, Stovall and Kerri Weems filed a lawsuit for injunctive relief against the church, making requests that include the restoration of their base salary, benefits and back pay and the restoration of the status quo to what it was when the church suspended Weems. 

Celebration Church responded with a motion to dismiss the injunction, alleging that it “presents the latest chapter in a campaign of deception, manipulation, distraction, and abuse of power by Stovall and Kerri Weems against Celebration.”

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Jessica is a content editor for ChurchLeaders.com and the producer of The Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing professionally for the past five years. When Jessica isn't writing, she enjoys West Coast Swing dancing, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.