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Members of an east Houston Baptist church filed a lawsuit this week to remove their minister, a man they accused of abusing alcohol, threatening parishioners with fists and a firearm, making lewd remarks to females and embarrassing the congregation by being arrested for waving a pistol while speeding down a freeway.

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The plaintiffs, 70 members of Mount Olive Baptist Church, 3515 Yellowstone, also accused the Rev. Theodore Baines Sr., 49, of Rosenberg, of making unauthorized electronic withdrawals from a church account. A hearing for a temporary restraining order in the case has been set for June 6 in Judge Jaclanel McFarland’s 133rd state district court. A telephone call to Baines’ church office on Thursday was answered by a woman who identified herself as the church secretary. She declined to refer the call to the minister, saying that the plaintiffs weren’t church members.

One of the plaintiffs, Elton Valary, who said he has been a member for about four years, said that “everyone who signed is a member.” “If I’m not a member,” he said, “I’ve been putting my money in the wrong envelope.”
Baines was selected to lead the largely African-American congregation in October 2009. However, the lawsuit contends, the minister never was formally installed. read more here

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