– Advertisement –

Baptist Pastor Gets 10 Years For Embezzling Nearly 1 Million From Church

by | Jun 14, 2019

We need your support. As big tech continues its crackdown on conservative blogs, our days on these platforms are numbered. Go Ad-Free plus get Exclusive Member-Only content by subscribing to us on Substack!

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A former minister who admitted to stealing more than $800,000 from Houston’s First Baptist Church is headed to prison for a decade.

Prosecutors say Jerrell G. Altic, 40, embezzled the money over a six-year period that ended in November 2017. Altic’s attorney says Altic has admitted to stealing the money.

As Big Tech continues to censor conservative publications like ours, we must increasingly rely on supporters to continue our work. Much of our work, particularly as it revolves around a biblical worldview on social and cultural issues, isn’t even allowed to be shared on social media anymore. This reduces our traffic and causes us to move more of our work exclusively to Substack. Members who subscribe to us on Substack will gain exclusive access to all of our work, free of ads and other annoying pop-ups, as well as member-only access to our podcast archive and controversial moderated content. Please consider supporting us today by subscribing at:



On Monday, Altic was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The district attorney says Altic used the money to fund overseas trips, get a doctorate from Lancaster Bible School and live outside of his means. While prosecutors declined to detail how the theft took place, they said it was by a series of misrepresentations and forgery.

“He’s cooperating fully with the district attorney’s office,” said James Alston, Altic’s attorney. “He feels horrible for what has happened and the pain that has caused everyone at the church and his family members, and he would want me to tell everyone that he’s sorry.”

Alston went on to say Altic “knew this day was coming.”

In December, First Baptist Church released the following statement, signed by Senior Pastor Gregg Matte and Deacon Chairman Craig Bloodworth:

“In November 2017, we discovered a limited set of suspicious financial activity related to Jerrell Altic. When we approached him about the matter, he immediately tendered his resignation. We reported our initial findings to law enforcement and our insurance provider, in keeping with our legal and fiduciary responsibilities, and began a thorough investigation conducted by staff leadership, relevant church committees and deacons as well as independent forensic accounting and legal experts. This investigation, internally and by law enforcement, brought us to yesterday, December 10, when a Harris County grand jury indicted him for first degree felony theft of more than $800,000 of the church’s finances between 2011 and 2017, while he was employed here.

We have learned through the investigation process that, acting alone, Jerrell engaged in multiple deceptive and difficult-to-detect techniques to carry out this theft. That said, though his fraudulent activities involved missions funds, all of Houston’s First ministry partners received their designated monies, as his actions did not prevent our church from providing resources to local ministries, church plants or other strategic partners. Nevertheless, we have already enacted additional policies to help ensure all donations and expenses are protected and handled properly moving forward. The outside expertise we sought helped us not only to determine the extent of this serious violation of trust, but also provided recommendations on how our financial controls might be improved or strengthened.



Unfortunately, due to the sensitive nature of the legal and investigative procedures triggered by this matter, we have not been able to provide these details until now. While we were unable to inform the church body because of the ongoing investigation, we informed and kept updated the related church committees, including personnel, finance, and missions committees, along with key staff and the deacon body, throughout this process. These past months have been challenging and painful for us as the extent of Jerrell’s actions came to light and as we wrestled with the tension of wanting to inform the congregation, while also carefully following law enforcement’s lead in the investigation, balancing legal constraints with church procedures.

We are encouraged that our church’s insurance coverage paid $500,000, which reimbursed a significant part of the loss, while our church leadership approved using unallocated contingency funds to replace the balance.

As challenging as this discovery has been for everyone involved, we have also been encouraged by the continued generosity and passion for missions work from our congregation-including through generous, unsolicited financial gifts from those who have come to know of his wrongdoing.
We pray for God’s work to continue to be done at Houston’s First, and for Jerrell and his family. Houston’s First remains committed to the advancement of the Gospel in our city, our nation and around the world (Acts 1:8). We understand and take seriously our responsibility to properly steward the resources God gives us through the generosity of our church family.”

Latest

False Teacher of the Day #50: Curry Blake

False Teacher of the Day #50: Curry Blake

Making #50 on our False Teacher of the Day series is Curry Blake. Curry Blake is the founder of a ministry called Divine Healing Technician Training, or DHHT for short. Blake walks in the footsteps of the South African false prophet and fraud, John G. Lake, and is now...

How to Cause Racial Division in the Church: Details and Examples

How to Cause Racial Division in the Church: Details and Examples

There has been much written on racial reconciliation within the Evangelical Church, particularly when it comes to issues of hostility between the left and the right. The amount of work that has been done to try to bring people of color and white people into unity...

Subscribe

Follow Us

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -

You Might Also Like…

False Teacher of the Day #50: Curry Blake

False Teacher of the Day #50: Curry Blake

Making #50 on our False Teacher of the Day series is Curry Blake. Curry Blake is the founder of a ministry called Divine Healing Technician Training, or DHHT for short. Blake walks in the footsteps of the South African false prophet and fraud, John G. Lake, and is now...

False Teacher of the Day #49: Becky Tirabassi

False Teacher of the Day #49: Becky Tirabassi

Becky Tirabassi markets herself as a "certified life coach" and is a circuit speaker on topics such as prayer, leadership, addiction, mentoring, and parenting. According to her bio, she speaks to men, women, and youth on a variety of topics traveling to speak in...