Employee, Pastor Accused Of Swindling...

Employee, Pastor Accused Of Swindling Church Funds

There are 74 comments on the WLTX Columbia story from Feb 4, 2008, titled Employee, Pastor Accused Of Swindling Church Funds. In it, WLTX Columbia reports that:

The pastor of St. John's United Methodist Church and another employee have been charged with swindling the church.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WLTX Columbia.

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Tither

Summerville, SC

#7 Feb 4, 2008
Well how did that happen. Annual auditing of the books is a most often neglected chore. My church has not done it in recent memory for fear of offending the treasurer. Now how about that one for an example of faith and trust. And of course giving has not been too great either. I wonder why... But now it's time to forgive these sinners and get on with life.
Olive Oyl

Columbia, SC

#8 Feb 4, 2008
Wow! I can't believe the woman who was arrested used $120,000 of the church's money to pay off personal debts (in three years). I can't even imagine spending that much money in three years unless she used the money to buy a home...

This is a shame...Shows a "sign of the times".
randy

Cheraw, SC

#9 Feb 4, 2008
This is so sad!!!! Perhaps other churches have gone or dealing with the same issue but their hands are tired. What should be done if the administrators want to sweep it under the rug? Sin is sin. However, stealing from GOD is wrong. Restitution should be made completely. Also the person who has sinned should be shown love but dealt with by trained law enforcement rather than church adminstrators. The money belongs to God.
Lonewolf

Batesburg, SC

#10 Feb 4, 2008
Besides abusing youngsters or the elderly,this is about as low as you can get.The church members gave their hard earned money,in good faith,to have it squandered by a pack of thieves.
IGOR

United States

#11 Feb 4, 2008
Olive Oyl wrote:
Wow! I can't believe the woman who was arrested used $120,000 of the church's money to pay off personal debts (in three years). I can't even imagine spending that much money in three years unless she used the money to buy a home...
This is a shame...Shows a "sign of the times".
She used the majority of it to send a daughter to college, which of course is no justification.
Poof Go Away

Columbia, SC

#13 Feb 4, 2008
We must make our churches more accountable financially. The records should be made public (as with all non-profit organizations), and the treasury board, deacon, or whoever board need to be held to a higher standard. Church is big business, and its parishoners deserve some responsibility and accountability when it comes to its tithes and offerings.

Now, let the church say amen!
gcl

Okatie, SC

#16 Feb 4, 2008
For all it's worth, let me say that O'Quinn is not scum. She comes from a very normal, middle-class, run of the mill family. Knowing her personally I was in complete shock when I heard about this. She fell on hard times and made some really bad decisions. We ALL make bad decisions, some worse than others. She did come forward and admitted everything and is ready to accept the consequences.

I know that some of you will still want to lock her up and throw away the key but I pray that she will have the minimum punishment and that she can someday forgive herself.
marion

Columbia, SC

#17 Feb 4, 2008
we dont need nobody that is going
to take from the church
keep here in jail.
Olive Oyl

Columbia, SC

#19 Feb 4, 2008
IGOR wrote:
<quoted text>She used the majority of it to send a daughter to college, which of course is no justification.
Oh, I see...That was not stated in the article.

Thank you for clarifying, although it still doesn't make it right.
Columbia Mother

Columbia, SC

#20 Feb 4, 2008
"Tither's" chucrch hasn't done an audit in years for fear of offending the Treasurer??? That is simply unbelieveable to me. Church finances are not the same as a personal nestegg you're saving in the mayonnaise jar. Our church's budget includes lots of local benevolences, foreign mission work, needs of the property, church staff salary, etc. etc. etc. With sincere apologies for what may seem incredibly rude, Tither's church needs to grow up and stop acting like teenagers who are afraid they won't be popular. A church has business affairs and responsibilities. Churches should conduct their business publicly and provide regular budget reports to the congregation ... There is a saying that "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." If you give one person the power and responsibility of overseeing money, then there will always be a temptation to steal. As in our government, there should always be a check and balance ... My heartfelt prayers will be with St. Johns, its staff and congregation.
old salt dog

Columbia, SC

#21 Feb 4, 2008
malaci 3:8

BWG

“Cogito ergo sum”

Since: May 07

Irmo

#22 Feb 4, 2008
gcl wrote:
For all it's worth, let me say that O'Quinn is not scum. She comes from a very normal, middle-class, run of the mill family. Knowing her personally I was in complete shock when I heard about this. She fell on hard times and made some really bad decisions. We ALL make bad decisions, some worse than others. She did come forward and admitted everything and is ready to accept the consequences.
I know that some of you will still want to lock her up and throw away the key but I pray that she will have the minimum punishment and that she can someday forgive herself.
She got caught and then admitted everything. Both these people are hypocrites and regardless of their "up bringing" turned out to be thieves and the lowest of scum. We don't "all" do something wrong, especially like walking around in a church for years serving in "trusted" positions, while stealing. Let's hope the church learned a lesson and starts audits and demands accountability, after these two get some long jail time.
Time to Pay the Piper

Florence, SC

#23 Feb 4, 2008
Good Lord!!!(how ironic his last name happens to be the very same as the master he's accused of robbing blindly. Off to jail they should go for fleecing the "wool" off the backs of the faithful church flock.
IGOR

United States

#24 Feb 4, 2008
"For all it's worth, let me say that O'Quinn is not scum. She comes from a very normal, middle-class, run of the mill family. Knowing her personally I was in complete shock when I heard about this. She fell on hard times and made some really bad decisions. We ALL make bad decisions, some worse than others. She did come forward and admitted everything and is ready to accept the consequences."

This seems to be the general consensus of the community.
IGOR

United States

#25 Feb 4, 2008
Disgusted wrote:
<quoted text>
And what were the details with the Pastor? I heard something about kennel charges for his dogs.
Did they know what each other were doing?
That is awful.
I've not heard anything about the pastor, as far as where the money went.
george

Wilmer, AL

#26 Feb 4, 2008
A thief by any other name or excuse is still a thief. Both should receive a just punishment.
Hubert

AOL

#27 Feb 4, 2008
What??? A crooked minister? In the USA?
No way......Can't believe it....
LBS

Davis Station, SC

#28 Feb 4, 2008
gcl wrote:
For all it's worth, let me say that O'Quinn is not scum. She comes from a very normal, middle-class, run of the mill family. Knowing her personally I was in complete shock when I heard about this. She fell on hard times and made some really bad decisions. We ALL make bad decisions, some worse than others. She did come forward and admitted everything and is ready to accept the consequences.
I know that some of you will still want to lock her up and throw away the key but I pray that she will have the minimum punishment and that she can someday forgive herself.
Sorry, but as I've said in the past, Ted Bundy was a nice, charming guy, that just doesn't change the fact that he strangled people. Now perhaps Ms. O'Quinn isn't the scum of the earth, but she is a fool and a criminal. The average person does not decide to steal from others in order to pay for things they either did not need or cannot afford. It may have been for the good of someone else, but it's still wrong.

I don't think leniency should be granted in either case. Not only is it theft, but they have broken the hearts of their fellow church members. I'm sure they'll forgive, but she needs pay her debt to society and be sentenced to time and restitution. The pastor's case is even worse. Don't get me started on him. It's very sad, but they knew right from wrong.
Hocus-Cadabra

Darlington, SC

#29 Feb 4, 2008
Another kick in the crotch is the fact that, however much more the good Reverend kyped also, the I.R.S. is going to demand it's pound of flesh. AND it won't be 10%. And gcl, a bad decision would have been buying her books for ONE SEMESTER! But for THREE YEARS! Where was this kid going to school? Hahvahd? Cut me some slack..
LBS

Davis Station, SC

#30 Feb 4, 2008
A church, in order to survive, has to have two aspects: the spiritual, and the business side. No organization runs without planning and management. An audit is a management tool. Feelings should not play a part in the management of any organization. If there's nothing to hide, then help with the audit and be forthcoming and happy to share the information. Someone like a treasurer getting their feelings hurt over an audit should be a dead giveaway that not all is on the "up and up".

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