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Church Controversy in Gadsden

Controversy at Gadsden Church

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

CROCKETT COUNTY, Tenn. - Members of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Gadsden said there is a controversy over when the senior pastor of their church should step down.

Church members contacted WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News saying their senior pastor, Isaac Brooks Junior, has yet to address the congregation or step down as leader. Federal court papers showed that Brooks is supposed to turn himself in on Tuesday, April, 2 to serve a 4 year, 7 month prison sentence.

"Some things have been going on with the senior pastor here that's putting a cloud over Antioch Missionary Baptist Church and it is time for us as a congregation to come together and start rationing out the situation so we can move on," said Church Member Terry Glenn.

Brooks pleaded guilty last May to two counts of a 29-count indictment for failing to pay more than $3.6 million dollars in federal income taxes. The taxes involved both personal and business taxes for two companies he owned.

Records show that Brooks operated "Temp Owned Temporary Services" from 2002 until 2009. He started "Full Line Maintenance" in 2003.

In addition to his prison time, Brooks must repay $3.6 Million dollars to the IRS.

Some members were unaware Brooks was leaving Tuesday, while others said they were disappointed that he has not talked openly with the congregation about his guilty plea.

"He should have come out and explained to the congregation what the situation is and the date in which he is going to be vacating his position so we can start getting someone or work with in the house," said Glenn.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News tried speaking with Pastor Brooks in person and by phone. He refused to comment about his case, but said just because he pleaded guilty doesn't mean he is guilty.

He said he is currently trying to prove his innocence and that the transition of leadership at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church will take patience and unity.

Members also said, Pastor Brooks does have support within his congregation, and there is faith that the transition will be a smooth one, as long as the people are patient in working together.