I do not normally write about the smaller crimes of our nation's Christian pastors. There are so many minor crimes reported that my blog would be bloated with mundane stories of common betrayal. I read every one though, culling the best.
Acen Phillips, pastor of New Birth Temple of Praise Community Baptist Church, was charged with seven counts of theft and five counts of forgery. Phillips is alleged to have defrauded AIG Life Insurance Co. of $575,000 by altering beneficiary claims when members of his church passed away.
Prosecutors allege that beneficiary documents were altered to the "substantial monetary benefit" to ACU, to New Birth church or to Mount Gilead Baptist Youth Job Mart. Prosecutors claim Phillips had access to the organizations' accounts and is the CEO of ACU.
According to an affidavit from an attorney general investigator, Phillips gave a eulogy at the funeral of the Rev. Kenneth Davis, who died in an auto accident in Oklahoma, and mentioned ACU and its benefits during the speech. The next day, Davis' widow said she had signed a document that said she would receive 80 percent of the payout but the form submitted to AIG said she would only get 40 percent with 40 percent going to New Birth church and 20 percent to ACU.
The violation of trust here is staggering. Phillips is alleged to have profited from the death of others through stealing money from widows and grief stricken parents. I am sure he acted in the name of Jeebus.