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"My Former Website Hosting Company Is Holding Me To Ransom

Dear Webmaster please I want you to advise me on how to solve this issue withour website host.

About 7 years ago my church decided to own a website and I was asked to take up though I don't know anything about web development and hosting and the likes. Though I learned it.

Then one of my Boss brothers helped us to get the website done and running online and my boss later renbused him and that is how we have been doing it up to date.

The website subscription was due for renewal this last September but due to logistics we were unable to get it done before it was suspended. I contacted the guy and he said that it was because we have not paid.
However, later discovered that he was just a reseller, he doesn't have a hosting company. He has been give us outrageous bills and Boss has been complaining too.

Then I did research and discovered another hosting company that was cheaper and direct. When I informed my Boss he said we should move on and did signed up for 3 years with the new hosting company.
So when we tried launch our website with the new company it was not going and so have to contact them. It was then they told us that the website was being hosted by.... hosting company and that it's been suspended.
They advised me to contact the former hosting company to point the domain to the new hosting company.
I then contacted this guys and asking him to release the domain name to us but was infuriated claiming he is not going to release it unless we pay him for this year. He claimed that he had renewed it on our behalf. I told him that no one will believe him. How come paid for it and it was still suspended? Did he renew it and went ahead to ask the hosting company to suspend it?
HOW can we pay for something we didn't use?

Please advise me on how to go about this issue. Should I change the domain name and abandon the domain for him?
I don't want us both to go our different ways in disagreement.
What's the best way out?



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