Restraining Order Modified

Seattle Times/March 18, 1988
By Julie Emery

A King County judge has modified an order in an attempt to establish a workable power balance between the pastor and the elders of the troubled Community Chapel and Bible Training Center.

Superior Court Judge Jim Bates yesterday restrained each party from actions that would hurt the other side.

Bates' original temporary restraining order, issued last Tuesday, had restored Pastor Donald Lee Barnett to the pulpit after elders ousted him over allegations of sexual misconduct.

The new order becomes effective when two elders, Jack DuBois and E. Scott Hartley, post a $10,000 bond. A third elder, Jack Hicks, has resigned. Bates earlier had directed the pastor to post a $5,000 bond.

With the revised order, the pastor would be prevented from exercising some powers granted him by the church bylaws. But the action is seen primarily as preventing firings of counselors and other staff members without mutual consent of the pastor and elders.

Under the order, each side is prevented from:

  • Removing either party from the position it held March 3.
  • Interfering in worship services conducted by either party.
  • Terminating any employees without concurrence of all parties.
  • Issuing keys to individuals who do not qualify for them under present policies.
  • Spending money not approved by the present management.
  • Hiring employees except through normal hiring procedures.

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