Christian Warrior News February 11, 2024
Triple Shooting Suspect Holds Pastor/Wife Hostage
In Lexington, North Carolina, a man is sought by police for a series of violent offenses, including a triple shooting and a break-in at the Community Fellowship Moravian Church. The suspect, 39-year-old Zachary Lee Plowman, is accused of breaking into the church, holding the pastor and his wife at knifepoint, and hijacking their car. This incident occurred after Plowman was identified as a person of interest in a separate case where three adults were shot on Saturday night. The victims' conditions remain undisclosed. Plowman faces multiple charges, including attempted murder, breaking and entering a place of worship, and kidnapping. Authorities warn the public not to approach him and to contact Lexington Crimestoppers with any information on his whereabouts.
1) If you know this pastor, have him reach out and we can help him develop a security plan…. I’m sure he is traumatized and would like the help. 2) Remember, I keep telling you that suspects will find refuge in a church, but not stop their criminality. I think it would be good to do a quick review video on what to do if you are taken hostage. In the meantime, make sure you have great locks and an alarm.
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Investigation into Missing Funds at St. Amelia Church in Tonawanda
An investigation has been launched at St. Amelia Church in Tonawanda, New York, following the discovery of approximately $465,000 in missing funds. The issue came to light in September when discrepancies in the church's bank statements prompted an audit by the Buffalo Diocese. The audit implicated Lisa Noble, the church's business manager since March, in the disappearance of the funds. Noble was relieved of her duties shortly after the audit's findings. The case has since been forwarded to the Erie County District Attorney and a grand jury, leading to charges against the former business manager. Pastor Michael LaMarca expressed feelings of betrayal and anger over the breach of trust and highlighted the church's ongoing efforts to recover the lost funds through fraud and insurance claims. Amidst seeking justice, LaMarca also spoke on the importance of forgiveness, reflecting the church's values during this challenging time.
Fraud, as well as violence, comes up each week. Audits, like this one, will catch evildoers. Small churches tend to forget audits. They are imperative. It keeps everyone honest.
Vandalism Halts Services at Luna Lane Church of Christ in Hendersonville
The Luna Lane Church of Christ in Hendersonville, Tennessee, faced a significant setback after vandals heavily damaged several parts of the church last week. Key areas affected include the atrium, nursery, lobby, and restrooms, along with flooding in the fellowship hall and classrooms. This unfortunate event forced the church to cancel its Sunday services. Cleanup efforts are in progress, with hopes to resume services by Wednesday night or the following Sunday at the latest. The Hendersonville police are investigating the incident, and the church community is seeking any information that could lead to the perpetrators. As the church works towards recovery and reopening, it remains a time of trial and unity for the congregation.
Say it with me, “All churches need a burglar and fire alarm as well as a video system that can make out facial features.”
Tulsa Man Arrested for Threatening Church Shooting
In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a man named Ruben Marquez has been arrested following threats to shoot up a church near 11th and Memorial. The arrest came after a witness reported a conversation with Marquez at a gas station on February 3rd, during which Marquez claimed he had an automatic weapon and intended to kill everyone inside the church. This wasn't the first report of such threats from Marquez; similar allegations were made in January, with Marquez blaming the church for the dissolution of his marriage. Upon searching his home, Tulsa Police Department officers discovered a pistol and ammunition. Marquez has been charged with threatening a violent act. This incident underscores the seriousness with which law enforcement treats threats of violence, especially against places of worship.
If someone makes a threat, expect them to carry it out. If this were my church, I’d take immediate steps. 1) Get a restraining order. I know it is just a piece of paper, but it protects your security team when they have to shoot him when he comes to shoot up your church. It leaves a paper trail to cover the team. 2) Get his picture and pass it along to the whole team. They should carry it with them. Get his vehicle description and a photo of his car for the parking lot attendants. 3) Assign someone as an intelligence analyst on the team and have them get all of this info and start a packet to track his social media and whereabouts.
Over $200,000 Stolen from Belmont Baptist Church in Calhoun
In Calhoun, Georgia, a shocking incident unfolded at Belmont Baptist Church where more than $200,000 was embezzled, leaving the Gordon County community in disbelief. Chad and Melanie Temple, a couple from the community, were charged with this grievous act. The theft, described as an unholy crime, occurred between 2019 and 2022, with the Temples using church credit cards for personal expenses. Melanie Temple, an employee of the church, had access to these credit cards, which facilitated their misuse on a wide range of personal purchases, including numerous items for their dog breeding business. This extensive scheme was uncovered following a forensic audit initiated by the church, leading to a detailed investigation by Calhoun Police. The investigation revealed a pattern of incremental theft, culminating in a substantial loss of $212,000. As a result, both Chad and Melanie face over 300 charges, primarily related to credit card fraud, with each illicit purchase leading to a separate charge. While Chad remains in custody, Melanie has been released on bond.
An audit saved the day again. Are you auditing your books? Why not?
Theft Strikes Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Columbia
Columbia's Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral has suffered a significant loss, with up to $60,000 worth of equipment stolen, impacting the beloved annual Greek Festival. Columbia Police Department reports that the theft included refrigerators, deep freezers, fryers, cooling tables, and food warming sets from a storage facility on Gregg Street. These items play a crucial role in the success of the Greek Festival, a major event drawing thousands to Columbia each fall for its vibrant celebration of Greek culture, food, and entertainment. The festival, entering its 35th year, is a highlight for the community, showcasing Greek dances, jewelry, music, and traditional dishes like souvlaki and spanakopita. Despite the setback, church spokesman Nick Callas remains optimistic, stating there's ample time to replace or recover the stolen items before the festival in late September. The police have gathered valuable evidence and are pursuing leads, with all remaining equipment now secured in a safe location. Community members with information are urged to contact Crimestoppers as the investigation continues.
GET. AN. ALARM!
Allegations of Sexual Misconduct Against Punta Gorda Priest
Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Punta Gorda, Florida, is at the center of serious allegations as Reverend Jerome Kaywell has been accused of sexual misconduct involving a minor. The Diocese of Venice in Florida has notified parishioners through a letter, stating the alleged incident took place between 2013 and 2014. An independent commission, including diocese leaders and community members, is currently investigating the matter. Reverend Kaywell, who is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, denies any wrongdoing. The Punta Gorda Police Department has not initiated a criminal investigation, as no crime has been reported within their jurisdiction regarding Father Kaywell. The Diocese has expressed unawareness of any additional complaints against Kaywell. This case brings to light the ongoing issue of accountability and transparency within religious institutions.
I can always count on three things each week in the bulletin: Embezelment, violent crime, and sex crimes. If there is one victim, there are 10. Churches tend to bury their sexual assault cases. That is not acceptable.
"For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.
Vandalism at Saint Columba Roman Catholic Church Designated as Hate Crime
In the early hours of January 27, the Saint Columba Roman Catholic Church in Marine Park, Brooklyn, was targeted by vandals, resulting in the breaking of a stained-glass window and a metal cross. Captured by the church’s security cameras, this act of vandalism has been officially classified as a hate crime by the NYPD. The damage, which will cost over $1,000 to repair, has deeply affected the local faith community, with parishioners expressing their dismay over the disrespect shown towards religious symbols. The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force has taken over the investigation, seeking the public's help in identifying the group of five people responsible for this attack. The church, dating back to 1967, narrowly avoided more extensive damage, which could have impacted the altar, statues, artwork, and even the safety of Father Lambert, who resides on the premises.