Better safe than sorry

Better safe than sorry

Controversial preacher apologizes for lack of oversight following audit of church funds  

By André Coleman 10/09/2013

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A prominent local pastor publicly apologized as lay leaders of the church he serves began implementing safeguards to prevent some of the financial improprieties that occurred last year under the reverend’s management, prompting an internal audit.

Among other things, the audit of First African Methodist Episcopal Church conducted in March revealed $33,000 in inappropriate credit card spending, the unauthorized purchase of five cell phones with bills totaling $4,000, and thousands of dollars in unauthorized payroll expenses in 2012.

Other questionable church fund expenditures made or approved that year by the Rev. Allen Williams included $16,369 for computer tablets, Kindle Readers and laptop computers, $3,527 for oil company credit cards, and $1,409 that went toward auto services provided by Rusnak Motors in Arcadia.

When it came to keeping track of salaries, an unspecified amount was paid to a man identified only by his first name, who also received $22,316 in overtime pay. Another office worker who was supposed to earn $750 a week was really paid $900 a week, plus an unexplained reimbursement totaling $19,309.

Financial record keeping was so shoddy that the church’s audit committee “was not able to conduct an analysis or audit review of the central checking and all other bank accounts,” states the audit.

As a result, church stewards have established a committee to ensure there is no more unauthorized spending. In addition, the church will no longer pay for the cell phones purchased by Williams, and cable television services have been removed from church-owned properties that are not occupied.

According to a response to the audit by church stewards, church funds will now only pay for Williams’ personal cell phone, and payroll and other expenditures will be reviewed by the new three-person committee before being approved.
“I am sorry these things happened on my watch and I have asked us to do several things,” Williams said. “I am asking for your forgiveness. I am asking for your support going forward in the upcoming conference year 2013-14, and I would like for us to spend more time in prayer.”

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Comments

Fire him. Pretty simple.

posted by Paul G on 10/10/13 @ 01:46 p.m.
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