Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Grand Rapids pastor charged with embezzlement to keep preaching

6:59 AM, January 24, 2012

A West Michigan pastor who authorities say embezzled from his church plans to preach there on Sunday.

The Rev. Arthur Pearson Sr. of Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church in Grand Rapids was charged in December with embezzlement. A separate civil lawsuit claims he misappropriated up to $237,000 since 2008.

The Grand Rapids Press reports Pearson's lawyer Jerry Ashford says he expects Pearson to preach following a judge's decision Monday.

Kent County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Leiber said he had no authority to decide whether Pearson should be on church property. Leiber kept in place conditions of a Dec. 30 preliminary injunction including no access to church finances.

Bernard Schaefer, an attorney for church trustees, says it will be up to church members, trustees and Pearson to work out details.


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