A church in Oklahoma has voted to give its pastor a second chance after the pastor embezzled almost $1 million from church funds. Reverend William Jones of Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church was charged with wire fraud and filing a false tax return; still the majority of the congregation says Jones should stay in the pulpit.
According to the Christian Post, Jones took money from the Greater Cornerstone Community Center, a project that the church supported, “to fund his lavish lifestyle.” Jones also failed to report $400,000 in salary in 2011.
Jones pleaded not guilty to the charges and is not currently in custody.
Jones plans to take a four-month sabbatical before returning to preach at Great Cornerstone Baptist. If he is convicted of the charges, Jones could face 20 years in prison for each count of fraud and an additional three years for the falsely reported taxes.
FBI agent James Finch alluded that Jones will see the punishment for the alleged crimes in the afterlife. "I truly believe the spiritual pain caused by Rev. Jones will result in a much more consequential form of spiritual justice from a judge not of this Earth," he said.
Publication date: September 26, 2014