Former pastors of Celebration Church file new motion in legal battle over eviction

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Former pastors of Celebration Church have filed a motion to transfer their claims regarding the church’s attempt to evict them from the church-owned parsonage from County Court to Circuit Court.

The church served former pastors Stovall and Kerri Weems three eviction notices after the two resigned. Attorneys for the church have been trying to get the couple to move out of their home since May. Celebration Church owns the property on Black Hammock Island in Duval County.

On January 19, court records say, the Weemses filed “an Amended Answer, Affirmative Defenses & Counterclaim containing demands for relief that exceed the jurisdiction of the County Court.”

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The Weemses believe they have a right to live in the home and that it was a part of a compensation and retirement package. They originally bought the home themselves before the church bought it from them.

The couple founded the church in the late 1990′s and helped run the congregation until they resigned last April. Celebration Church has been under the leadership of Pastor Tim Timberlake since 2021.

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In addition to the eviction dispute, the church accuses the former pastors of financial misconduct and spiritual abuse. The Weemses denied those claims and filed defamation lawsuit against the Church. It was sent in after an internal investigation report was released.

A hearing originally scheduled for Monday in the eviction battle was cancelled, according to the current executive pastor of Celebration Church.