Testimony sheds light on New Covenant Faith Center

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On January 4, investigators from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office banged on the door of a church parsonage in Independence. A woman who lives in the parsonage testified that she mistook the deputies for the pastor’s daughter, describing her as a “temper tantrum all the time.”

A hearing on Wednesday shed some light on the activities at New Covenant Faith Center, a church that’s come under a very public investigation by Sheriff Mike Sharp‘s office. The sheriff’s office removed cash, computers and firearms in the course of a search of the church, the parsonage and a “retreat.” The church pastor, Lloyd D. Sartain, was taken into custody and released without being charged.

Sartain’s attorney, John Carnes, has made a stink about the manner in which the investigation has been conducted. Last week, Carnes requested an order restraining Sharp and damages. Judge Robert M. Schieber denied the motion on Wednesday after listening to testimony from Sartain’s wife, Penny, and two women who live with the couple in the parsonage near the church, which is on N. Jennings Road.

Lloyd Sartain did not attend Wednesday’s hearing. A group of 20 or more churchgoers — one asked a reporter if he was saved — sat in the courtroom in a show of support for Penny Sartain and the other witnesses: Shirley Sloniker, the church secretary, and Esther Fiers, a 21-year-old woman who attended a school the church operates.

Among the highlights:

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