Windermere hearing delayed again - Word&Way

Windermere hearing delayed again

Jefferson City — A hearing on a request for a preliminary injunction against Windermere Baptist Conference Center has been delayed two more weeks. Cole County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Brown granted a continuance in the Missouri Baptist Convention's request for injunction on Feb. 15, the day the hearing had been set.

With information still being gathered and with Windermere attorneys' approval, MBC lawyer Charles Hatfield appeared before Judge Brown to request the delay. The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Feb. 28 at the Cole County Courthouse in Jefferson City. That case will be argued in conjunction with at least one motion in the MBC's continuing legal battle with five entities, including Windermere.

At a Dec. 19 hearing, Judge Brown granted an MBC request for a temporary restraining order to prohibit Windermere's trustees and corporate officers from selling or encumbering the center's real estate until the court determines who controls Windermere and its assets.

Windermere officials had transferred title to 1,000 acres in a special warranty deed as part of a debt-restructuring plan. According to Windermere officials, the acreage has not been developed and is not suitable for development. That plan also includes a bond sale.

The MBC has been locked in a legal battle since it filed legal action against Windermere, Word&Way, The Baptist Home, Missouri Baptist University and the Missouri Baptist Foundation on Aug. 13, 2002.

In 2000, The Home changed its charter to allow board members to elect the entity's trustees themselves. The other four agencies followed suit in 2001. Before the charters were changed, messengers to each MBC annual meeting elected the institutions' trustees. (02-21-06)