In March 2011, the Exciting Greater New St. John Primitive Baptist Church closed on a modest white clapboard building on 56th Street in South Oak Cliff. The church, led by the Reverend Vincent Davis, appointed three trustees to handle the financing of the purchase and later put Sandra Diamond Taylor in charge.
Over the course of the next year, Taylor "inappropriately secured several bank loans utilizing the names of several members of the church body without their authorization or signatures," according to a lawsuit filed last week by the church. "She later paid off the church loan by securing a loan from Compass Bank with the unauthorized signatures. In doing so she collected the deeds to the property belonging to the church."
Taylor, having no particular use for the church "is now demanding payment from the church in exchange for the deeds to the church property," the suit claims.
To which Taylor responded -- and I'm paraphrasing here -- Hell yeah I am.
"I'm trying to get my money," she said. "M.O.N.E.Y."
The church, Taylor said, is twisting events to its own advantage. The deed wound up in her name after the church stopped paying its mortgage on April 20. Taylor, not wanting to see her church in foreclosure, paid off the $12,000 or so remaining on the $20,000 note.
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She did so with the intent that the church would pay her the $300 per
month week that had been due the bank, since "who in their right mind gonna buy a church for somebody? I ain't Bill Gates."
Instead of receiving the cash, Taylor was served with the lawsuit claiming she stole the church. The church's number has been disconnected, and there was no answer at its attorney's office.
One thing is certain, though: Taylor isn't going near Exciting Greater New St. John Primitive Baptist anytime soon.
"If you're a true child of God you ain't got no problem with Satan," she told me, somewhat cryptically. "Satan got a problem with you."