The election of a new senior pastor at Zion South Beach Baptist Church has gotten off to a contentious start.
Three candidates are vying to take the place of Bishop Wenith Davis who died on May 1, 2021.
Yesterday, Reverend Charles Dorsette, who previously served as Davis’ personal assistant, was granted an injunction that prevented the election from taking place, due to concerns about the fairness of the electoral process.
The delay was temporary and eligible voters will decide today whether Dorsette, Pastor Anthony Sampson, or Pastor Tyrone Greene will lead the church.
Chief Justice Sir Brian Moree ordered that Dorsette, and two of his agents, be allowed to observe the election and make challenges as necessary.
As per the court’s order, Dorsette and his agents will be present from the start of the vote casting, during the counting of the ballots, and the announcement of the election results.
The chief justice directed the presiding officer to maintain a proper record of all voters, including challenged voters.
Voters whose eligibility to participate at the polls is disputed will vote on a protest ballot.
Sir Brian also ordered that all candidates are to be treated fairly.
The chief justice made the order following an emergency hearing Thursday morning.
Dorsette brought the action against Reverend Dr. Wilton Strachan, the district moderator of the Zion United Baptist Convention, and Dr. Lorraine Bastian-Jones, the chairperson of Zion South Beach Baptist Church.
Romona Farquharson-Seymour represented Dorsette and Obie Ferguson, QC, appeared for Strachan and Bastian-Jones.