Another large donation to Opportunity International, suits against pastors end.
April 17, 2007
An Oklahoma court cleared former Southern Baptist pastor Lonnie Latham of misdemeanor charges for offering to engage in sex with a male undercover officer. Latham's lawyer cited the Supreme Court's 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision and argued that the charges were based on an unconstitutional law prohibiting lewd acts. The judge did not address the law's constitutionality in announcing her verdict. After his arrest in January 2006, Latham resigned from his positions as senior pastor of Tulsa Baptist Church and as a member of both the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention and the board of directors of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.
Opportunity International received a substantial gift and loan from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and grants from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Opportunity plans to use the $5.4 million grant and $10 million loan from the Gates Foundation to start up microfinance banks to serve the poor in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The USAID money, totaling more than $1.35 million, will fund microfinance services in Malawi and Mozambique.
Two members and former employees of Earl Paulk's Georgia church have dropped their lawsuit against him and Chapel Hill Harvester Church. Bobby and Mona Brewer sued Paulk for allegedly coercing Mona Brewer into a 14-year affair and abusing his role as a spiritual leader. The Brewers' lawyer cited difficulty in getting witnesses to testify and delays in the case as reasons for dropping the suit.
A California court's three-judge panel has dismissed Christian Research Institute president Hank Hanegraaff's defamation suit against former employee William ...