New allegations for local pastor

| February 19, 2010

SARALAND, Ala. (WALA) – There are new allegations against Samuel Gates, a long time pastor at Wilson Avenue Baptist Church. FOX10 has learned from the Mobile District Attorney's Office that Gates allegedly stole three checks from the church. Gates charges include tax evasion, perjury, and theft of property.

Samuel Gates, the pastor at Wilson Avenue Baptist Church, is accused of stealing from his church and that's not all. There are 13 indictments against Gates that were handed up by a Mobile County Grand Jury.

Included among the charges were three theft indictments involving church money. The indictments list three checks from 2007. One was worth nearly $5,000, the other two were worth $4,500 a piece. The indictment says Gates "obtained control over the checks with intent to deprive the church".

The church's Co-Pastor George Williams, said he had no idea the charges involved church money. In response to the new allegations against Gates, Williams said the church had no comment. He said the church is standing behind its leader.

"About two weeks ago I called a meeting with the deacons and board of trustees, and we sat down and talked about what we knew. We took a vote of confidence for him, and it was amazing the support he has," said Williams.

In addition to the theft charges, Gates, who just celebrated his 50 anniversary at the church, was also indicted on tax evasion and perjury charges.

The tax evasion indictments go all the way back to 2003. The indictments alleged Gates owed more money to the state than he actually paid. Prosecutors also contend that Gates lied about how much money he and his wife made, so he's also facing five perjury charges. For example, in 2005 the indictment alleges Gates made nearly $30,000 more than he claimed on his tax returns.

FOX10 News contacted Gates, and he said that he could not talk about the charges.

Tags: , ,

Category: Church Security

Comments are closed.