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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Lawsuit against Missouri Baptist camp dismissed comment (0)

May 2, 2013


CAMDENTON, Mo. — Camden County Circuit Court Judge Ralph H. Jaynes has dismissed legal action against Windermere Baptist Conference Center and several financial institutions the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) executive board filed in Camden County on Nov. 1, 2006. The MBC sought the return of about 1,300 acres at the Lake of the Ozarks, including 943 acres Windermere transferred to National City Bank of the Midwest in late 2005 as part of a debt-restructuring plan. The bank sold the property to Windermere Development Co. Inc.

From the Camden County case’s beginning, Windermere attorneys argued that it mirrored legal action the MBC took in Cole County against Windermere, the Missouri Baptist Foundation, Missouri Baptist University, The Baptist Home and Word & Way in 2002. The convention filed the Cole County case against the five in an effort to rescind changes in each entity’s governing documents that allow it to elect its own trustees. In 2008, then-Cole County Judge Richard Callahan ruled Windermere had acted legally — a ruling the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, upheld in 2009.

In its Camden County lawsuit, the convention claimed Windermere trustees defrauded the MBC because the articles of incorporation did not include a provision that the MBC had to approve any changes in Windermere’s governing documents. Consequently, the deed should be rescinded and the property returned to the convention. Windermere attorneys noted that because the process was approved at several levels — including by messenger vote — the MBC had to have been aware the provision had not been included.

Reached by email, MBC attorney Michael Whitehead said convention leaders would consider options, including an appeal to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, in Springfield.

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