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Legal Issues in Ministry: Yorba Linda Calvary Baptist Church Scandal

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By piercegrayson
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Legal Issues in Ministry Pierce Grayson Monday, June 21, 2010 Yorba Linda Calvary Baptist Church Scandal Accountability is something that we all need to experience in our lives. It’s great for people struggling with addictions and in need of prayer and support. It's also a safeguard against other kinds of temptations that the Yorba Linda Calvary Baptist Church in Yorba Linda, California experienced the late 1990s. The senior pastor Richard Cunningham and his son, who later became the senior pastor, Philip Cunningham, were charged with theft, fraud and forgery when they took over 3.1 million dollars from the church's, and the church's private school's, bank accounts for their own personal expenses including luxury homes and cars. The church secretary Mandy DiAddezio testified that, "Philip Cunningham at times paid his personal credit card using school funds, booking them as travel expenses, and would book payments for his dry-cleaning bill as janitorial expenses. But he also put his own money into the school account when it was low, she said". Philip also paid his children's college tuition with the funds from the church's school's bank account while saying that the church board had approved it. The problem with this is that, according to a former board member at the church, the board only met 2-3 times a year and they were never given proper financial statements or documents to look over. It was always hand-written on a piece of paper just minutes before the meeting. It seems that there steps taken to use the church and school funds for personal gain and then steps were also taken to make sure that there was no oversight or accountability of the church or school funds. In regards to ministry, my experience with accountability has always been kind of a prickly subject. I say prickly because I come from small…...

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