Judge sets deadline in Second Baptist case

Staff Writer

A hearing on a motion for contempt against three deacons of Second Baptist Church was held on Monday, a second contempt hearing brought up during the lawsuit of the Board of Trustees of Second Baptist Church of Starkville versus Terry Miller, Donald Crowther, TCM Companies and Joseph Stone, Jr.

During the hearing, Circuit Court Judge Jim Kitchens set a Sept. 22 deadline to all requested information to be turned over to the board of trustees.

Monday's hearing was for the contempt of Second Baptist deacons Don McGowan, John Moore and Hobart Witherspoon. Moore and Witherspoon were present during the hearing and were called to the stand to testify, where they were asked about bank records and other information requested to be handed over by the board of trustees.

Stone and Miller's attorney, William Starks, said around 90 percent of the information requested by the trustees has been provided, and the only documents missing to his knowledge are a few bank statements. Starks is not representing the three deacons, as they are not official parties in the lawsuit, and the deacons did not have representation present for the hearing.

Dorsey Carson represented the board of trustees in the hearing.

"They have to turn over all of the locks to the church from them previously having the locks changed," Carson said. "He gave them until next Friday to do it and said if not done by next Friday they would be held in contempt."

The hearing for contempt that took place in July against Stone and Miller was held in abeyance, meaning so long as they comply to Kitchens' orders, they will not be held in contempt.

Kitchens also ordered for Stone to provide the username and password for his email account so a third party company could review his emails. Types of information being requested by the board of trustees includes check books, receipts and moneys held, account balance statements and both paid and unpaid invoices.