Elkhart reverend asked to terminate his position

NOW: Elkhart reverend asked to terminate his position

ELKHART COUNTY, Ind. - An Elkhart reverend is speaking out after receiving a letter instructing him to hand over the keys to his own church.

Reverend McNeal Stewart III says it’s the Board of Deacons who want him out.

“I was so hurt I was in tears," said Rev. Stewart.

Hours after receiving the letter, Rev. Stewart is still hanging on to its words.

“Saying that I have been terminated from employment," said Rev. Stewart.

Reverend Stewart has led Canaan Baptist Church in Elkhart for the last 8 years.

“Opportunity for us to serve community we have young people that need hope, that need encouragement and this is a beacon light of hope, " said Rev. Stewart.

According to Reverend Stewart, a disagreement between the church congregation and the Board of Deacons on who should be responsible for the financials of the church led to the letter, Rev. Stewart received Friday.

“Living hell, heartbroken, simply because people don’t want to abide by wishes of congregation its been horrible to endure," said Rev. Stewart.

Just an hour after ABC 57 interviewed Rev. Stewart, he told our reporter at least four deacons arrived to the church, demanding Rev. Stewart hand over the keys to the church.

He says police escorted them out of the building but that doesn’t mean the issue has been resolved.

“I have to stay in church until Sunday so that locksmith don’t come and lock me out of my church," said Rev. Stewart.

ABC 57 reached out to two of those deacons.

One of them responded that he had no comment. Another did not answer his phone.

Reverend Stewart says a court date is scheduled for August 22nd, for a resolution of this issue.

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