Friction, feuding and fighting at the Fountain.
The Fountain of Life Assemblies of God Church in Florence is being sued by its longtime pastor for millions of dollars.
Ron Graban is the son of former Fountain of Life Pastor, Minister Paul Graban, who's now 91 and lives in Texas.
“Well from the beginning they said that we would take care of you until you died. ‘Ok, have they followed through on that?’ No they have not. Their attitude has been fighting it legally every step of the way,” Ron stated.
According to Ron and to a civil complaint filed in Burlington County Court, Paul took Fountain of Life from a small church 50 years ago and built it into the 2,200-seat megachurch it is today.
That is, Ron says, until his Dad was shown the door earlier this year.
“There was a change of philosophy and they basically said pastor, we don’t like the way you’re running it, we don’t like what you’ve done, and we want to take over now and we want to spend the money the way we want to spend it,” Ron explained.
According to the lawsuit, the church agrees with Pastor Graban’s role in the church but denies key elements.
Paragraph 25 states that Graban and the church’s elders agreed that the Pastor all along was entitled to 20% of the non-dedicated funds of the church.
The plaintiff says the church has assets amounting to $60 million and 20% of that would be about $12 million
The church denies both the agreement and the value.
“As new guys came in, their like kids with an inheritance, they want to spend it and have a good time with it,” Ron said.
However, Ron added that it’s not about the money, his father built the church to what it is now, and it’s not fair that they showed him the door and don’t even have any gratitude for him.
“It’s absolutely the principle, they’ve made promises that they have not kept, so now he is saying ok, if you want to act that way then we are going to enact the contract and that’s where he is right now,” Ron stated.
On the other hand, the church's attorney had no comment.