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Religion IN BRIEF

Bank Sues Baptist Group Over Loan

September 20, 1997|From Times Wire Services

The National Baptist Convention, USA, has been sued by a Nashville bank for failing to repay a $300,000 loan.

The lawsuit is the latest challenge to face the denomination, whose president, the Rev. Henry J. Lyons, recently survived attempts to oust him after allegations of marital and financial irregularities.

And on Tuesday, the denomination returned $214,500 to the Anti-Defamation League that had not yet been distributed to burned African American churches.

The loan from Union Planters Bank was to help the denomination market Union Planters credit cards to Baptists, the bank said in court papers. But Lyons and another denominational official kept $225,000 of the money as their "commissions" for negotiating the deal, the St. Petersburg Times reported.

In an August interview, Lyons described the $300,000 as a payment, not a loan.

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