Former Macedonia pastor arrested
Published 9:19 pm Saturday, December 4, 2010
The former pastor of a Hobson church has been arrested on charges of trespassing on the church property.
Melvin Lyttle, who was recently voted out as pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church, had a warrant served on him Saturday morning after an incident on Tuesday, city spokeswoman Debbie George said.
A division in the church has been ongoing since at least March and has resulted in several arrests, visits from police and a Circuit Court case that only ended last month.
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George said police were called to the church Tuesday in reference to someone who was trespassing. Police responded and took Lyttle into custody based on a previous warrant, also for trespassing, George said.
However, police found the warrant had incorrect information on it, including the wrong date of birth and a missing Social Security number. Because of that, they had to release Lyttle, George said.
The warrant, however, was returned to the magistrate’s office and corrected, George said. Lyttle was re-arrested Saturday.
Police also were called to the church on Nov. 20 on a report of a padlock being cut from a chain that was securing the entrance.
The incidents that led to the court case began on March 7, when a deacon and several trustees informed Lyttle prior to the Sunday morning service that he had been terminated as pastor of the church. Lyttle left that day, but a meeting was held March 20 where members voted to retain him as pastor. He asked the court to ratify the vote in a meeting that was held May 16. However, Lyttle held a meeting July 25 to terminate newly-elected trustees. He was voted out again recently.
Circuit Court Judge Rodham T. Delk Jr. declined to intervene further in the case. In a final order issued Nov. 1, Delk said the court was being asked to supervise the continuing operation of the church, an action that would undermine the doctrine of separation of church and state.