According to a news story by The Christian Post, pastor Paula White of Without Walls International Church in Tampa, Florida is suing a former staff member of a sister church for “stealing” members for his new ministry, for using church property for his personal use, and for bad-mouthing WWIC. The accused, Bishop Randy L. Coggins, now runs Bridge of Hope Church in Lakeland and says the lawsuit came as a surprise to him, especially as White is asking for $15,000 in damages. In an interview with The Ledger, Coggins said he prayed that “this will be able to be resolved in a godly and Christian manner…churches are not supposed to engage in this arena.”
The Ledger said Coggins was hired in February as executive pastor of Without Walls Central, a sister church to Without Walls International, once called the second largest church in the country. Coggins declined to give the size of his new congregation. Attorneys for the plaintiff and representatives from WWIC and WWC declined to comment when called on Monday.
What do you think? What implications are there if churches can sue one another for “stealing” members? Share your thoughts and comments below.