Members of Clinton Hill’s own Refuge Church of Christ have a financial nightmare on their hands.
The NY Post reported that Brooklyn District Attorney Chalres Hynes is now investigating the church’s former Reverend, Gary Bernard Coach. Trying to find out if the minister swindled funds from the congregation.
While working at the church, Coach allegedly racked up $500,000 in unpaid bills for repairs and new programs. But churchgoers say Coach didn’t have authorization to do so.
The congregation and board of trustees say they never approved the new mortgages. And had no idea about Coach’s dealings with the bank.
“I’m not angry. I’m hurt that a man of the cloth would put this church in a place where we stand to lose everything,” E. J. Simms, former chairwoman of the church’s trustee board, told the NY Post.
However, circumventing church authority and betraying the congregations trust are not the only criminal accusations alleged against the former preacher. Members of the congregation say they have not witnessed any of the repairs or new programs. The church still has a leaky roof and no heating system.
The 100-member congregation is now $463,000 in debt, and left with little time to payback the money to the bank.
The Post reports that Coach is no stranger to bankruptcy. He filed for bankruptcy shortly before the church loans started being taken out.