JEFFERSON CITY — Cole County Circuit Court Judge Paul Wilson set two hearings to try to move a step closer to ending a nearly eight-year-long legal battle between the Missouri Baptist Convention and five formerly affiliated entities.
The Baptist Home, the Missouri Baptist Foundation, Missouri Baptist University, Windermere Baptist Conference Center and Word&Way each changed their corporate documents to self-elect trustees — the Home in 2000 and the others in 2001. The MBC filed legal action against the five on Aug. 13, 2002, in an effort to force them to rescind the change.
Only the lawsuit against Windermere has been settled in Cole County. Former Circuit Court Judge Richard Callahan ruled in Windermere’s favor on March 4, 2009. The MBC lost its appeal of the Windermere case and the state’s Supreme Court refused to review it.
An appeal is still pending in the state’s Court of Appeals for the Southern District on a second case the convention filed against Windermere in Camden County in 2006.
In a status hearing at the Cole County Courthouse on April 12, Judge Wilson set April 27 as the date for attorneys on both sides to argue over the order in which pending motions should be heard. The hearing will begin at 2:30 p.m.
Starting at 10 a.m. on May 11, lawyers will argue those motions in the order the judge determines.