by Chet Hardin
Yesterday, we began receiving emails and phone calls from Chicago. Former congregants of New Life Baptist Church, the storefront church started by Rev. Willie J. Sutton, Jr., had come across our article detailing Sutton's current battles with his Colorado Springs congregation at historic St. John's Baptist Church.
For three years, a significant clatch of church leaders, including longtime church trustees and members of this independent Baptist congregation, have been trying to fire Sutton. These members will tell you that the 47-year-old is nothing but a con man, a religious grifter from Chicago who won their confidence through charisma and lies, only to set upon this historic church to bleed the coffers dry. Twice these members have gathered and voted to terminate his employment.
Sutton has simply refused to leave. He has his supporters, among them church deacons that he has appointed, and his critics say that these men are protecting Sutton against the wishes of the congregation.
As one of Sutton's former congregants at New Life puts it, reading our article was like re-reading their own diary. The situation at St. John's mirrors, they say, their experiences with Sutton. New Life Baptist Church no longer exists.
If you are a former member of any of Sutton's Chicago-based ministries, Edward Hopkins, the attorney representing members of St. John's, would like to hear from you:
If you have information or evidence you are willing to share on the record or anonymously about Mr. Willie J. Sutton, Jr.'s or Mrs. Denise R. Sutton's similar deeds while they were members of New Life Baptist Church or members of Believers in Trinity Baptist Church please contact HopkinsWay PLLC. The law firm's phone number is (719) 792-4485. The fax number is (719) 792-4486. The email is firstname.lastname@example.org.