LEE — New Beginnings Church in Lee was once a member of the national organization, Christian Missionary Alliance.
“They entered into an agreement that if the affiliation ever ended at the unilateral decision of the church in Lee that the property there would become the property of the Christian Missionary Alliance,” explained litigation partner, Berney Kubetz, from Eaton Peabody.
Last year, church members voted to disaffiliate from them.
As a result, CMA officials filed and won a lawsuit to take it back.
Kubetz, who represents the CMA, said they offered to sell the congregation the building at half price.
“We didn’t have half the value to pay them,” Roger Ek, a deacon at New Beginnings, said. “We don’t owe them one red cent.”
Ek said CMA invested very little back into the church and that six percent of their tithes went back to the CMA.
“They gave scholarships to the pastors they adopted and accepted, but that wasn’t us,” Ek said. “That was theirs and they claim that because they educated some of the young folks that we owe them.”
However, Kubetz tells us more than $100,000 went back into the congregation.
“That assistance came in the form of providing pastors, supporting the pastors on a financial basis, and providing other financial benefits,” Kubetz explained.
Right now, the future of the property is undetermined.
Ek says the CMA immediately locked it once the ruling was made.
“We’re organized and we still exist. That’s not the church. We’re the church,” Ek said. “That’s just where we happen to meet.”
Ek says in the meantime, members of the congregation have been visiting other churches in the area.
However, they do hope to find a place to call home soon.