Holland Phillips Sep. 11, 2013, 6:39am

NEW ORLEANS – A member of a New Orleans Baptist church has filed a temporary restraining order against two other members in an attempt to stop an unauthorized vote to fill the position of pastor.

Cynthia Muse filed suit against Wilbert Chambliss Sr., Andrew Lea Sr. and Pilgrim Progress Missionary Baptist Church in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on July 10.

Cynthia Muse claims that Chambliss and Lea disbanded the pulpit selection committee in favor of presenting their own candidates. She further alleges that they brought armed security officers to a church meeting and threatened to evict long-term, good-standing members for any disagreement.

The defendant is accused of creating a hostile environment for worshipers with threats of “disciplinary action” for dissenting church members, for disbanding the pulpit selection committee, and for presenting candidates for the position who do not meet the requirements laid out by the church.

A temporary restraining order is sought against Chambliss and Lea to prevent the election of a new pastor and to bar the pair from conducting church business until proper candidates may be found.

Cynthia Muse is represented by attorney Eric Oliver Person of New Orleans.

The case has been assigned to Division Judge J Paula A. Brown.

Case no. is 2013-06448.

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