Members accuse Orlando pastor of stealing their church


ORLANDO, Fla. - A group of Orlando church members said they were taking legal action against a pastor who they claim stole their church from them.

Central New Testament Church of God was founded 25 years ago by 82-year-old Azelma Notice and her husband.

Notice said the pastor, Bishop James Francis, merged her church with his own church, Monument of Faith, without being granted permission.

Notice said Francis filed documents with the state, signing for both churches, leaving him the rights to the property. She said she wants what is rightfully hers.           

"We need our property back. It's legally ours. We bought this property," said Notice.

"It's jealousy, all kinds of things. These guys who have no idea what leaderships is, wants to lead. They want to take over, do all kind of madness," said Francis.

WFTV is working to find out why the state granted the merger, without a signature from someone affiliated with Central New Testament Church of God.