Chris Hodges Denies ‘Engineering’ Takeover of Celebration Church: Church of the Highlands founder Chris Hodges has denied claims that he is engineering takeover of Celebration Church, leveled against him by the megachurch founders Stovall and Kerri Weems.
Following the claims in a lawsuit by Celebration Church founders, that Hodges, together with several other high-profile members of the Association of Related Churches (ARC), engineered a takeover of Celebration Church for financial gain and damaged the couple’s reputation, Hodges who also is a co-founder of ARC denied the accusations in a Thursday statement, according to Christ Post report. He asserts that the accusation is “false and misleading.”
“I am saddened by the false and misleading allegations made by Stovall Weems in his lawsuit against the Association of Related Churches and its leadership,” wrote Hodges.
“ARC is a non-profit with the singular mission to help new churches as they get off the ground and develop. Hundreds of ARC churches are loving and serving people in their communities because of the support and resources they have received. Any claims mischaracterizing the actions or mission of ARC will be proven untrue,” he added, Christian Post quoted.
Among the defendants named On the July 12 federal lawsuit filed in Jacksonville, Florida includes ARC, one of North America’s largest church-planting organizations, Hodges, Church of the Highlands Associate Pastor Dino Rizzo, and John Seibeling of The Life Church.
The complaint alleged that “This case arises out of a continuing unlawful conspiracy masterminded by the Defendants to protect and expand their church growth business interests and endeavors and the substantial income they generate by destroying plaintiffs and eliminating them as perceived threats and competitors, which included engineering a takeover at Celebration Church of Jacksonville, Inc.”
The complaint also contends that the alleged takeover of the church allowed “defendants to effectively gain control over its operations and substantial assets, coverup numerous criminal and tortious acts committed in the process, and frame the Weemses for financial crimes they never committed.”