A meeting of church members at the New Covenant Baptist Church on East Beard Avenue on Syracuseâ??s South Side ended with police swarming the sanctuary.
Syracuse Police say there has been an ongoing dispute between members, and now lawyers are involved. Officials say a judge even ordered today's assembly.
We were told, while there, that the police were called by pastor Colette Matthews, for fear of the dozens of people that showed up to vote on her ousting.
Initially, church members were told they could only vote on the matter if they were members in good standing, to which church member Angela Adams said â??As far as I can gather, being a member in good standing means you tithe. As long as they get your money, youâ??re in good standing.â??
Syracuse Police say things got out of hand when some members tried to stop others from entering the church. Officials say police responded to the church three times on Sunday. Two calls were for yelling and shouting. A third call was for a man with a gun, which was an unfounded claim.
Eventually, Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler came to the church and ordered the assembly to clear out.