BELLEFONTAINE NEIGHBORS, Mo. — A north St. Louis County pastor is responding to multiple complaints from an alderman.
Influence Church Pastor Darnell West said Ward 2 Alderman James Carroll has issues with the church that have nothing to do with the church. West also said he isn’t surprised by Carroll’s latest claims.
“Every week it’s turned out to be something new,” West said.
West addressed the many claims made by Carroll, including a Facebook live led by West that Carroll felt was threatening.
“I think he felt exposed probably for the bigot that he is, and there’s a difference between being exposed and threatened,” West said.
Carroll claims the church is behind on taxes.
“The city recommends that we do two things. That we pay under protest because we are a not-for-profit, or we wait for them to have the hearing. The hearing is this Wednesday.”
Another complaint is the helicopter operated by a church member with a license on an as-needed basis. Tremendous growth has led to services on four campuses throughout the region.
“I would rather, like I did for years, drive cars, but when we hit so many campuses it was just impossible,” West said.
He speculates could be other factors leading to Carroll’s claims.
“I believe that it’s motivated by the power struggle that’s going on within the city of Bellefontaine, and I definitely think it’s racially motivated,” West said.
Carroll said he filed a restraining order and sent this statement.
“It’s unfortunate the pastor wants to play the victim role and result to threats and harassment with the city’s ordinances, which was brought to his attention last year. The bottom line is that everyone needs to follow the rules,” he said.
West said the two have never met or spoken.
“I mean our church owns more land than probably 99% of the people in the ward, but I’ve never met him or had a conversation. Not one time,” West said.