The Lawsuit is over for Church of the Redeemer in Northern Florida

Dear Redeemer Family,

I have some good news to share on the legal front.

After we pushed the issue by calling for a hearing, the Diocese of Florida finally agreed to drop the rest of their lawsuit. The remaining suit sought legal
fees from individual vestry members and myself even after we had vacated the property.

As of November 14, the court has signed off on that agreement. The judge had earlier made it clear that she knew of no precedent which justified a suit against
vestry members who were attempting to be faithful servants of the parish.

So the sad season of litigation is finally behind us. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness to uphold us all through it. Remember too to pray for Bishop Howard
and the diocese. If we fail to forgive, then we are the losers before the Judge who matters most.

I want to thank Joey Nichols, Lyle Ramsay, Mary Reilly, Bill Schroeder, Doralee Simko and Jan Thorwart for their willingness to stand on behalf of Redeemer regardless of the potential personal cost. Special thanks to Kyle Gavin who so ably represented us. And thank you all in the Redeemer family who so faithfully supported us.

Now we can focus on ministry opportunities for the sake of the Kingdom of God! Praise to You, Lord Christ!

In the love of Jesus,


The Rev. Neil G. Lebhar


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Florida

14 comments on “The Lawsuit is over for Church of the Redeemer in Northern Florida

  1. Harvey says:

    The first inning of the game is over. Church of the Redeemer won. Next batter up!!

  2. robroy says:

    I am glad that I am not a revisionist. I couldn’t sleep at night. Events of late have proven their side to be so ugly, so unseemly, so un-Christian. The testimony of KJS where she admitted under oath that she lied to the rest of the primates. This Florida case where Bp Howard rejected the ABC’s own attempt at arbitration. Disgusting.

  3. robroy says:

    In contrast, Rev. Lehber response is so very gracious given the trials that he and his vestry has been forced to suffer by Bp Howard. That, my friends, is Christian charity.

  4. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    I remember this – and +Howard’s brush-off of the ABC’s plea.

    May this parish prosper and be supported.

  5. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    I hope the church does not get turned into a night-club.

  6. Irenaeus says:

    Bp. Howard had “sought legal fees from individual vestry members and [Fr. Lebhar] even after we had vacated the property”

    —Shame, shame on Bp. Howard for ever making such demands.

    Had Diocese of Florida Episcopalians thought him capable of such a thing, he would never have been elected bishop.

  7. Stephen Noll says:

    Congratulations, Neil, and Redeemer folks and shalom lachem! Anyone know what is the precedential value of this decision, vis a vis other dioceses and congregations that are being threatened?

  8. VaAnglican says:

    Bishop Howard has, and will continue to, reap what he has sowed. The diocese is in free fall, he is stuck with nearly empty buildings and shells of parishes he is forced to maintain with diocesan funds, and he can’t after making the arguments he made sell those buildings. Moreover, the best buyers for the buildings he refused to sell to, and so he truly has painted himself into a corner. Meanwhile more and more leave his churches, while the parishes that left are by all accounts thriving. What harmed him the most was undoubtedly the picture that ran all over of parishioner of one parish (Redeemer, I think) marching in procession, singing joyfully, as they were forced from their building by the bishop. That broadcast to everyone what a nasty piece of work the Florida bishop was, and how faithful the parishioners of that parish were. He will never recover from that.

  9. Irenaeus says:

    VaAnglican [#9]: Can you point me toward the photograph you mention?
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    Stephen Noll [#8]: The fact that the diocese dropped one of its claims has (as best I can tell) has no significance as legal precedent.

  10. robroy says:

    The diocese’s tanking stats are [url=]here[/url].

  11. robroy says:

    The picture is [url= ]here[/url]. The story is [url= ]here[/url]. The church was/is All Souls Anglican.

  12. Pageantmaster Ù† says:


  13. Rob Eaton+ says:

    Congratulations on this release. May the Lord bless your proclamation of the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit.


  14. Martin Reynolds says:

    Very sad.