A woman from Wisconsin pleaded guilty to theft last week for stealing around $30,000 from a local church. She will serve four days in a corrections facility.
As reported by The Christian Post, 62-year-old Mary Moton of Milwaukee pleaded guilty last week to stealing money from her former employer Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, where she attended for 11 years and worked as the financial secretary.
She also faced an additional count of forgery, but that count was dismissed.
According to authorities, Moton stole more than $30,000 from the church. A judge sentenced her to four days in the House of Correction, with four days credit for time already served. She was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $11,735 in restitution to the church.
Between April and July 2022, Moton forged 12 checks to herself from the church’s bank account, with the payments ranging from $700 to a maximum of $7,000. In August of that same year, the bank informed the church that some of her checks were bouncing. Authorities later discovered Moton’s actions.
While she admitted to stealing money from the church, Moton also said she lost the funds after investing them in Bitcoin.
Moton is just one example of former congregants and church leaders stealing money from their churches in recent years.
As Christian Headlines reported in April, an executive pastor in New Hampshire pleaded guilty to stealing $130,000 from his church to pay off his gambling debts.
Meanwhile, a former church secretary from Alabama was sentenced to 18 months in prison after she stole more than $89,000 from her church and used the money for personal expenses, including spending it away at casinos.
According to a 2017 study by Lifeway Research, about 1 in 10 Protestant churches reported at least one person stealing money, particularly in congregations with 250 or more members.
“Churches run on trust — but they also know people are imperfect and can be tempted,” Lifeway Executive Director Scott McConnell said in a statement at the time. “That’s why safeguarding a church’s finances is an important part of ministry.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Andrey Popov
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.