“Some members of a church outside of Crossett say they won’t return to the congregation because of recent changes made by the Pastor.
“He was a good pastor, he was a good preacher, then things changed,” said Rice.
Rice said about 20 members of the church recently received a letter stating they’ve been placed “on a one-year probation period.”
The letter cites bylaws for local assemblies:
“The pastor and official board shall be authorized to revise the membership roll of the Assembly annually, and to remove from the list of active members all names of those who may have become deceased during the year, together with the names of those who may have withdrawn from the fellowship, or who may have fallen into sin and whose lives may have become inconsistent with the standard and teaching of the assembly.”
On Monday, Rice saw a private property, no trespassing sign in the parking lot of the church. Rice sought explanation and got into a heated argument about it.
“They called the police to me because I was on my own church property where I’ve been 60 years, they asked me to leave and not come back until all of this is resolved and said I won’t,” said Rice.
Rice said she sent a petition with about 100 signatures to the Assembly of God District office in Little Rock.
Channel 7 News reached out to Pastor Martin by phone, at his home, at the church, and at the activities building behind the church and he could not be reached on Tuesday evening. His secretary called and said to no longer try and contact the pastor.
Some members of the church who didn’t want to go on camera or give an interview said they supported Pastor Martin and had no problem with him.
A prayer gathering took place in Crossett on Tuesday night following the incidents at Cloverdale Assembly of God.”