A former staff member at Sonrise Church of Clovis appears to have stolen money from the popular church at Ashlan and Locan avenues, according to information provided by senior pastor J. Otis Ledbetter.
“It’s just a personnel issue now,” Ledbetter said in an interview Tuesday. “There’s been no arrest.”
Ledbetter said the congregation was notified Sunday, and he issued a public statement after further questions arose. Ledbetter’s statement said it was “with great sadness that I must confirm that it appears that a former church staff member may have misappropriated funds belonging to Sonrise Church of Clovis and its congregation.”
This is a great congregation, and we don’t want that tainted by the actions of somebody.
J. Otis Ledbetter, senior pastor at Sonrise Church of Clovis
According to the news release, “accounting abnormalities” were discovered last week. At that time, the church contacted local, state and federal authorities. An investigation is underway.
The church is not saying how much money was involved.
Ledbetter said the church will provide new details as they emerge.
“We’re not trying to hide anything,” he said. “If an arrest happens, we will totally cooperate with it.”
He said honesty and transparency with the community are important to the church.
Said Ledbetter: “This is a great congregation, and we don’t want that tainted by the actions of somebody.”