SAN DIEGO - Negotiations are under way to settle a civil lawsuit involving a Poway church and a disgruntled member of the congregation.
About a few dozen people attend Crosspointe Baptist Church. Founded in 1958 as the Pomerado Road Baptist Church, it is now about $400,000 in debt and the church property is in escrow.
A lawsuit by a member of the congregation, Kennedy Isaacs, claims senior pastor Todd Shield is to blame. The suit is seeking that the sale either be halted or the proceeds placed into a locked account.
Attorney Seth Bobroff told 10News, "We're trying to get the congregation back."
Shields refused an interview on the advice of his attorney but sent a note to 10News, which read in part, "…the pastors and the Board of Deacons do deny many of the allegations being suggested by an upset minority of our church's membership."
There is no indication of a criminal investigation, simply the civil suit.
Bobroff claims the congregation has been wrongly stripped of certain members, including head deacon John Casias.
"Over the last five years, he has systematically gotten rid of people who want to be members of the church by alienating them," said Bobroff. "People want to come back to the church, people want to be part of the church and he is causing problems.”
Bobroff said if the church is sold, space for services might be rented, perhaps at a local high school.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Judith Hayes will hear from attorneys again on Tuesday.