Sunday, October 23, 2011
Lawsuit in Baptistland
The Tennessean >> Former Nashville councilman hits Baptists with lawsuit
Three years ago a former Nashville, Tennessee Metro Council member, Ron Nollner, was hired by the SBC's International Mission Board to oversee the construction of a New Dehli office building. He and his wife, Beverly, who was hired "to provide support, aid and comfort to her husband," sold their house and car and gave up his construction career and her job in the U.S. to work for the IMB and live in India for at least the next three years for a paltry $1200 a month.
When Nollner complained to IMB administration about unsafe building practices and the builder and architect bribing local officials to obtain construction approval along the way, the IMB responded by informing Nollner his position was "no longer necessary." In other words, they fired him.
On October 20, 2011 Nollner filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against the SBC in the Davidson County (TN) Circuit Court alleging "retaliatory discharge, breach of contract and detrimental reliance." In the lawsuit Nollner describes IMB officials' reactions to his concerns as "unbothered, if not complicit."
In a related case the Supreme Court is slated to consider the idea of "ministerial exception." The outcome could affect not only this case but many other cases, some legitimate, others frivolous.
Could a ruling by the Supreme Court in this case open the door to victims of sexual abuse by SBC ministers suing churches and the SBC for failing to protect them against serial abusers? Stay tuned.
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