Bank sues Celebration Church founders for $716,000 in business debts, credit card bills

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Celebration Church founder and pastor Stovall Weems speaks to the congregation for the duration of a 2008 assistance that celebrated the 10th anniversary of the church.

The founders of Jacksonville’s Celebration Church are staying sued by a financial institution that states they owe about $716,000 on loans opened by enterprises they operate that are not spending their debts.

Stovall Weems and his spouse, Kerri, had been named as co-defendants when Initially-Citizens Financial institution & Believe in submitted accommodate Saturday towards Honey Lake Farms Inc., Northstream Management Group LLC and Weems Group LLC.

The lawsuit integrated, as an show, an settlement Stovall Weems signed in September guaranteeing reimbursement of a $500,000 mortgage to Honey Lake Farms.

It also showcased a February 2021 warranty by Kerri Weems that the bank argued obligated her to repay money owed on a pair of $50,000 credit history card accounts for Weems Team that ended up established up final August.

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The 71-web page lawsuit also explained debts ended up owed on a $20,000 credit history line to Northstream, for which point out information list the few as handling members, as well as a $125,000 credit rating card account opened in July by Honey Lake Farms, a nonprofit that was spun off years in the past from the church.

The church was not named as a occasion in the lawsuit.

Celebration Church promises Weems was ‘unjustly enriching himself’ at its cost

Weems was listed as the nonprofit’s president when it filed an annual report to the point out in April, even although he had been suspended from his senior pastoral purpose with the church in January, sued the church, and subsequently resigned. Attorneys for the church have since claimed that Weems was “committing fraud, [and] unjustly enriching himself” at its expense.

A invoice collector functioning for the financial institution attained out final month seeking about $711,000, but the go well with stated the accounts stayed in default.

Resignation: Celebration Church founder Stovall Weems quits vows to ‘continue our ministry elsewhere’

The accommodate argues the Weemses are each individual in breach of deal for not offering on their particular person guarantees of reimbursement and that the providers were being unjustly enriched and owed the bank funds and interest.

A spokesperson for Stovall Weems stated Tuesday the pastor wouldn’t remark on the lawsuit.

Gatherings in the lawsuit seem to be to overlap with steps described in a report that lawyers for the church well prepared last month described as a “fraudulent mischaracterization” of Honey Lake Farms’ funds by Stovall Weems, who experienced led the megachurch since 1998.

The bank’s $500,000 financial loan to Honey Lake Farms transpired just months just after the time that the church report asserted Stovall Weems experienced used for a bank loan on behalf of the nonprofit and wrongly explained a $1.4 million debt to the church as staying a financial debt the church owed to Honey Lake Farms.

The church report claimed the bank officer dealing with the personal loan “questioned the legitimacy of this entry” and “informed Celebration that the manipulation of economic statements in relationship with a loan software was very serious and inappropriate.”

The report mentioned the pastor directed church accounting personnel to write off the personal debt.

The Weemses and the church continue to be locked in a different lawsuit about Stovall Weems remaining suspended. A hearing is scheduled future week on the church’s movement to dismiss the situation. 

This article originally appeared on Florida Moments-Union: Financial institution sues Jacksonville church founders for $716,000 in debts, expenditures

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