Friendship pastor still in pulpit despite vote to oust

HATTIEBURG, MS (WDAM) - Despite being voted out by some members of his church just yesterday, embattled Hattiesburg pastor Gerry James was back preaching the gospel this morning for Friendship Baptist Church.

Service was held at the C.E. Roy Community Center which is where the members meet since a fire destroyed their church back in 2007.

Yesterday, during a church meeting... James was ousted by a unanimous vote of 42 members of the congregation which make up about half of the churches members. Even after the vote, reverend James told news 7  services would go on as normal, saying the group trying to vote him out had no authority to call a meeting and even failed to vote him out last September.

James was voted out because many members of the congregation were dissatisfied with his personal conduct which included recent arrests for DUI, marijuana possession and threatening a police officer.

He was also accused of mismanaging church finances in the wake of the fire that destroyed the church.

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