Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Baptist pastor faces more charges

Pastor John Albert Jackson was arrested in May for stealing $10k from the Goodwill First Baptist Church in Winston-Salem. Additional charges were filed alleging he stole more than just money. He faces two counts of obtaining property by false pretense and two count of felony conspiracy, Jackson’s son, the church secretary, was also charged with conspiracy. The additional charges stem from trivial amounts of $348 and $437. I think it was the misrepresentation that’s got prosecutors upset – that and the pastor’s preference for Cadillacs. He owns several and tried to have the church pay his insurance bill.

…a 2006 Cadillac SRX, a 2008 Cadillac Escalade, a 2004 Cadillac Deville, a 2006 Cadillac DTS and a 2009 Cadillac CTS.

Pastor Jackson has a record.

Department of Corrections records showed Jackson had embezzlement charges in Wake County in 1991, 1995 and 1996.

I love this line.

Church administrators said they never checked his record because they were going on the good faith rule.

You hire a pastor without checking his record and put his son in a position with access to the checkbook – when they steal you act surprised. I’m flabbergasted. Minimum safeguards would have prevented everything.

Rule # 1: Trust but verify.

Rule # 2: Never make it a family business.

Rule # 3: Use a good independent auditor

Rule # 4: Insist on financial transparency

Rule # 5: Always do a background check

Rule # 6: Keep the spiritual and business sides of the church separate.

Rule # 7: Try to remember that church is also a business.

I can go on and on.

What motivates me is simple. If Christians were living up to their calling, the $10K Pastor Jackson allegedly spent on auto insurance for his Cadillac collection could have been used to feed a small army of homeless people. Instead, the state will waste tens of thousands of dollars on his prosecution and incarceration. What a waste of resources.