In my opinion, when you read stories like this in your local newspaper, it can really turn you off towards religion. Especially, the those who are indifferent towards religion or for those who choose not go to church to worship God. Or how about the atheists? Things like this just give the atheists more fodder to point out on how corrupt religion can be for your mind according to them. There's nothing worse than a small town dishonest preacher where he takes advantage of their congregation and of the elderly members who are barely surviving on their social security checks. They trusted this guy who was there pastor, treasurer and secretary of the church. Wow, that's a lot trust! And the church didn't have a bank account! What's up with that?
I hope an Allen County, Ky., court, especially the judge, county attorney or a jury throws the book at this guy in order to make an example out of him. Just maybe, it might deter other small town dishonest preachers to come clean and to become honest so that they will not continue to give religion a bad name in this state or country.
Longtime pastor faces theft charge
Minix accused of taking $300,000 from congregation in Allen County
DEBORAH HIGHLAND, The Daily News, firstname.lastname@example.org/783-3243
Published: November 10, 2011
A Scottsville pastor is accused of embezzling $300,000 from New Gospel Outreach Church.
Billy Owen Minix, 42, 59 Cherokee Drive in Scottsville, was charged Tuesday with theft by unlawful taking over $10,000, according to Allen Circuit Court records.
“I have no comment,” Minix said when reached by telephone at his home Wednesday.
The church had been saving money for a new building, Scottsville Police Department Detective Brad Emery said.
The congregation has seen its membership drop from about 70 members to 35 since news of the theft rocked the congregation in September, interim Pastor Roy Yoakem said.
“I guess we were more heartbroken than anything,” Yoakem said. “Our church consists mainly of elderly people. The average age of the congregation is about 60 years. And they just couldn’t believe that he would do something like this.”
“A pastor’s position is a position of trust. We told him we forgave him biblically because that’s what the Bible teaches, but the law has to take its part, too,” Yoakem said.
Minix made a self-incriminating statement in front of the congregation in September, Yoakem said.
“His words were, ‘I just let it slip through my fingers,’ ” Yoakem said.
After that statement, the church saw its congregation dwindle. The congregation currently gathers at 108 S. Court St. in an old storefront.
Minix was the pastor, treasurer and secretary of the church, Emery said. Minix does not have a prior criminal record.
Emery opened an investigation into Minix in August after receiving a complaint, he said. Emery alleges that over a 12-year period, Minix stole $300,000.
The church didn’t have a bank account, Emery said. Emery accuses Minix of collecting money intended for the church, depositing it into an account he controlled and then spending the money.
“I do have some more investigation to do on it,” Emery said.
The church now has officially incorporated, Yoakem said, something the congregation thought had already happened. Remaining congregants elected a treasurer and secretary in addition to Yoakem’s election as interim pastor, a job that Yoakem is not paid to do.
Minix was arrested and posted a $25,000 surety bond to secure his release from the Allen County Jail.
Copyright 2011 News Publishing LLC (Bowling Green, KY)