Authorities investigating use of funds at Flint church - WNEM TV 5

Authorities investigating use of funds at Flint church

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A trusted source in the community is under the microscope of investigators for some not-so-trustworthy practices.

The historic Antioch Baptist Church on Flint's north side is being run by a group of parishioners, but it's those people - and a local government leader - who are accused of misusing church funds.

"I've been there ever since I was, let's say 5. Grew up here. And to see all the individuals come and those that are not, but see there's a love for this church," said Herman Miller, chairman of the Deacon Board.

Once among Flint's mightiest churches tasked with bringing souls to Christ, the historic Antioch Baptist Church is overshadowed in conflict over its finances.

"They're fed up with not knowing where the money is," Miller said.

Miller said after the church's pastor grew ill, other members stepped in to help run the church. Now the board said they are so worried about how church funds are being spent they have filed a complaint with police, pointing fingers at several members including a high ranking city official.

"We shouldn't have to worry about money that comes in. We should have some transparency with it. We should know when our bills are being paid," Miller said.

Michigan State Police confirmed they are investigating a complaint at the church. Police said they will have to obtain additional records to determine if there is any merit to the allegations.

Deacon Robert Williams said going to authorities was the board's last resort.

"The people that are in the office refuse to sit down and talk with us," Williams said.

Williams said the church wants answers so they can get back to focusing on worship.

"The monies that were going there were not going to the place where we thought it was going. So, we feel as the Deacon Board, we had to step up to the bat and try to do something about it because the congregation has requested us to take action," Williams said.

Police said these types of financial complaints take time to investigate and they need to obtain a subpoena or warrant first.

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