Lawsuit Filed Against Ontario Pastor, Church

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An Ontario man has filed a $1 million civil lawsuit against his church and its pastor.

Bradley Thompson is suing Maranatha Christian Reformed Church in Belleville, Ontario, and Rev. John Visser, who has been the church’s pastor for more than 20 years.

In a statement of claim filed in September in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Belleville, Thompson asserts that the pastor abused his position of influence in a counseling relationship to further his own business interests and those of his family by obtaining loans and investments from the plaintiff. None of the claims have been proven.

The lawsuit also names as defendants individual members of Maranatha’s church council; Classis Quinte (the regional group of churches to which Maranatha belongs); the two individuals who functioned as official visitors on behalf of Classis Quinte; the two neighboring classes, Toronto and Eastern Canada; and the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

The Banner will include updates as the case proceeds.

About the Author

Gayla Postma retired as news editor for The Banner in 2020.

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