Church Says Pastor Stole Over $300,000 From Coffers

Original Article

By Sarah Fowler

JACKSON, Miss. — A Baptist pastor is accused of stealing more than $300,000 over more than two years.

In an emailed statement, officials with Broadmoor Baptist Church said former executive pastor Riley Brown took $332,000 from the Madison church coffers over a “primarily” 27-month period. The statement was issued in response to questions by The Clarion-Ledger. 

Brown could not be reached for comment.

Brown, whose LinkedIn profile reads he’s “seeking a new start,” describes himself as a “strong business development professional.” He claims a master’s degree in divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Brown is no longer employed with the church. Church officials are reporting the matter to the Internal Revenue Service and the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

The church will not press criminal charges but will cooperate with prosecutors, according to the emailed statement. Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest was not immediately available.

“As a body of Christ, we sought to find a proper balance between accountability and grace; and given our changes in personnel and significant new safeguards and internal controls we have added, and will continue to add, we are confident we can responsibly steward the resources entrusted to us,” the statement reads. “While we choose not to press criminal charges against this individual, we will fully cooperate with prosecutors if it is independently pursued.”

 

The “transactions” were discovered after an internal policy review in September, according to the statement.

“These transactions were undertaken by one individual, Riley Brown, circumventing our existing internal policies and procedures,” the statement read.