Emanuel AME Church Being Investigated Over Alleged Mishandling of Millions in Donations Intended for Massacre Victims

Christmas decorations and a small tree frame the Mother Emanuel AME Church after the federal trial of Dylann Roof who was found guilty of 33 counts including hate crimes in Charleston, South Carolina, December 15, 2016. | (Photo: Reuters/Randall Hill)

The finances of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where nine members were gunned down by an avowed white racist during a Bible study in June 2015, are being investigated by state authorities over the alleged mishandling of millions in donations following the tragedy.

Tommy Crosby, a spokesman with the state Law Enforcement Division, confirmed the investigation with The Post and Courier on Oct. 31.

Althea Latham, the church’s former secretary whose employment ended at the church two months after the massacre, said she spoke to agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division last week as well. She alleges that her employment ended when she questioned the management of donations coming in and suggested the church get an external financial expert to ensure appropriate accounting. Church officials argued, however, that her contract simply was not renewed.

The church’s current pastor, the Rev. Eric S.C. Manning, told the publication that he could not confirm the investigation because the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division did not reach out to him.

“I have no earthly idea what’s going on,” Manning told the Post and Courier. “That’s news to me.”

Longtime Emanuel member Liz Alston, who is a former church trustee and Emanuel’s historian, told the publication that she also spoke with agents from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

She noted that family members have not yet received proper financial accounting from church leaders even though flocks of visitors still leave money in the collection plate every Sunday.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair