MARSHALL, TX (KSLA) - An internal power struggle at an East Texas church quickly turned into a law enforcement issue during Sunday services.
It all unfolded Sunday at the Greater Greenhill Baptist Church in the 300 block of Scottsville Road in Marshall, Texas.
By the time the ordeal was over, the church's new pastor was taken away in handcuffs.
Cell phone video provided by a member outside the church shows Reverend Kenneth Chaptmon being arrested by Marshall police for criminal trespassing.
"This is really an issue between the church and congregation and Mr. Chaptmon. We were presented documentation by the church officials, the pastor and the deacon, as well as an attorney and they stated they don't want this gentleman on the property and issued him a criminal trespass warning," said Marshall Chief Jesus "Eddie" Campa.
Several members of the congregation were waiting all day outside the jail for their reverend to be released and we were there when Chaptmon made bond, more than 3 hours after he was initially arrested.
"I had talked to the lawyers and all of the lawyers said that they could not put a criminal charge on me for coming to church because I hadn't done anything criminal," said Chaptmon.
Chaptmon and some church members supporting him say he was unfairly targeted by the former pastor and a former deacon. The group claims the two falsified the documents that were given to police when the criminal trespassing warning was administered on June 5.
"This is going to be a whole civil matter between the church and Mr. Chaptmon and the congregation. We were just doing what our procedure is and following the law," explained Chief Campa.
Chaptmon says that he will provide church documents to prove his side of the story and told KSLA News 12 he does plan on going back to the church next weekend. He also says he plan to file a lawsuit against the people who filed the criminal complaint and the Marshall Police Department.
We tried speaking with the former deacon but he wouldn't answer the door.