Church controversy involving local Principal

Some tense moments at New Grace Missionary Baptist Church Sunday after a local Birmingham principal showed up. Former Parker High School Principal Cedric Tatum is now the center of controversy there.

Police were called to the church after Tatum showed up, but he ended up leaving. Some deacons told us they voted him out as pastor months ago, but they insist Tatum and his supporters continue to show up on church grounds in an effort to get him reinstated.

Frederick Japal, Chairman of the Deacon Board, says Tatum was removed from leadership after failing to perform duties as a pastor. But, not everyone agrees. Tatum's sister and a trustee both told us church members voted to re-instate Tatum as pastor and want to see him carry out visions for the community which includes working with children and the homeless. Shelia Penn says the congregation should run the church and deacons should respect what the church members have voted on.

Shelia Penn says, "He is a peaceful man. He's a man of God and more than anything he does not want to be a part of confusion. I know he's praying heavily over this situation because he wants to do what's right for the church."

Frederick Japal says, "He wasn't a good pastor. He had made an increase in the church and he wants to be over our finances in church instead of preaching. "After five months, it makes me feel nervous and bad. He's intending to start trouble. We don't want that kind of trouble in church."

Tatum would not speak with us Sunday. As for his role as a school principal, Tatum has been reassigned to Hayes K-8 School,{}a position he applied for.