“Bent Over Backwards.”Law suit.

Pastor testifies he was told woman suing church appeared coached

Midday update
Kevin Grasha
Lansing State Journal

CHARLOTTE – A pastor being sued by a former member of his church testified this morning that he was angry that she filed the lawsuit.

“I was being sued by somebody who I didn’t know was my enemy,” David Russell Williams said this morning in testimony in Eaton County Circuit Court.

Judith Dadd, 52, of Lansing is suing Mount Hope Church, based in Delta Township, and Williams. She says she went to the altar during a July 18, 2002 rally for church leaders and was “slain in the Spirit” according to testimony. She fell backward and struck her head on the floor. Dadd claims she still suffers from the effects of the fall, including depression, memory loss and difficulty concentrating.

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Williams was questioned by Dadd’s attorney about why he made statements accusing Dadd of committing insurance fraud. Williams said other church officials, including one who used to work for an insurance company, told him it appeared that Dadd was being coached by somebody.

Williams said the church “bent over backwards” to help her fill out insurance paperwork, but she refused all of their efforts. Asked why he told more than 200 church leaders at a July 2005 rally why he believed Dadd had renounced her faith and that her lawsuit seemed to be a “premeditated design,” Williams said, “she was accusing the Holy Spirit of slaying her and causing her injury, and accusing members of the church of not showing care or concern.”

Williams was the last witness called to the stand by Dadd’s attorneys. Defense attorneys will begin calling additional witnesses this afternoon.

Contact Kevin Grasha at 267-1347 or kgrasha@lsj.com.

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