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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Wade Davis Charged With Ripping Off Church

pastor wade davis

Wade Davis, pastor of Munger Avenue Baptist Church in Dallas Texas was indicted March 22, 2017 on charges of stealing $300,000 from the church. The Dallas News reports:

A pastor of a Baptist church in Old East Dallas has been indicted on a charge of misappropriating over $300,000 of his church’s money.

A grand jury indicted the Rev. Wade C. Davis on a theft charge on March 22, according to court documents.

The 65-year-old pastor of Munger Avenue Baptist Church turned himself in to Dallas police, WFAA-TV (Channel 8) reported. He posted a $10,000 personal recognizance bond Tuesday.

Davis, who was hired as the church’s senior pastor in 1999, is also accused in a lawsuit of misappropriating church funds beginning in 2012 and continuing through February 2016.

When the church’s board began reviewing its bank accounts, it learned that Davis made numerous withdrawals and charges for personal expenses and without any oversight from the church, according to a lawsuit brought in March 2016.

Davis also attempted to sell property owned by the church without any approval from the board, according to the suit.

The investigation found that numerous purchases had been made on the church’s only debit card, which was in Davis’ possession, the suit stated.

In all, Davis is accused of wrongfully withdrawing about $400,000 from the church’s accounts.

“I mean, just to think that the man of God could possibly have done something this heinous to his members,” Richard Greagor, who said he’s speaking on behalf of the church’s deacons and trustees, told KXAS-TV (NBC5).

Greagor said that some members feel there’s a “cloud of suspicion” around the church.

“Two-thirds of the church decided that they no longer want to be here, so for the past year we’ve been worshipping at Black and Clark Funeral Home in Oak Cliff,” Greagor told the station.

As of today, Davis is still listed as the church’s pastor on its website. Some reports say the good pastor misappropriated upwards of $500,000.

Dallas-Fort Worth CBS reports:

High end shopping sprees, personal car payments and unexplained hotel room rentals.

They are among the allegations made against Dallas Pastor Wade Davis, who’s accused of funneling half a million dollars in church money to his own pocket.

Lifelong church member Erica Williams said the locks were changed on the doors to Munger Avenue Baptist Church when members began wondering why the 123-year-old house of worship was running out of money.

“It was broke, the church was just flat broke,” said member Richard Greagor, who examined finances inside the historically black church last year and says what he found was unimaginable.

“There were liquor purchases an in-town hotel stays and shopping spree at Neiman Marcus and Cadillac repairs it was disheartening,” said Greagor.

Greagor and authorities accuse Pastor Davis of funneling as much as $500,000 to a personal account from a church annuity fund he wasn’t supposed to have access to.

….

“I think he has lost his way I think it one point he may been a man of God,” said Erica Williams.

….

But a year before his arrest, Davis, who was hired in 1998, denied the allegations in a letter to the congregation saying, “I am not guilty of committing any crime. I have not broken any laws,” wrote W.C. Davis, Senior Pastor.

Members said the pastor then moved into the church and changed the locks to drive away his critics who have been meeting for months at a funeral home while Davis was still preaching here last Sunday to a handful of loyal supporters.

But he faces a civil lawsuit from those longtime members who want to drive him from the pulpit so they can return.

“My personal goal is that we get back in this church by Easter this year,” said Williams.

….

If convicted he could face between 5 to 99 years in prison.

Christians suing Christians. I vaguely remember the Apostle Paul condemning such behavior in I Corinthians 6:1-8:

Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?  If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Brocken

    https://dallasposttrib.com/munger-avenue-baptist-church-honors-and-celebrates-with-pastor-w-c-davis/ This newspaper that serves the Dallas African-American community covered the dismissal of the charges against pastor Wade ( or W.C.) Davis. Whether Wade Davis was guilty or not, this case displays the fractious nature of Baptist churches as a general rule. A catholic priest who had been in the military as a lawyer before becoming a priest had been stationed in Texas at one time. He was shocked at the huge amount of different Baptist churches in one Texas community and he referred to Baptists As being a bunch of babblers.

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Bruce Gerencser