Can a church be sued for releasing information regarding the debts of a previous minister?
That was the issue before a Tennessee state appeals court. The minister had been employed by a local Tennessee church in 1981 and 1982.
While there, he learned that his wife was contemplating divorcing him. He left the church and followed his wife to Pennsylvania, leaving behind many unpaid debts. The local church learned of the debts and reported them to the state office of the denomination.
A denominational officer repeatedly contacted the former minister and requested that the debts be paid. These efforts were unsuccessful. In 1985, the minister returned to Tennessee, began attending another church, and requested a transfer of his membership from the previous church to the church he presently was attending.
An officer of the previous church provided the new church with a listing of the minister's ...