Barney Aycock III, 49, was charged with theft by taking and three counts of financial transaction card fraud, said Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent in charge Mike Ayers.
Aycock was booked into the Lincoln County jail on Friday, but was released shortly after on a $100,000 bond.
Double Branches Baptist Church in Lincolnton reported the missing money to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 30, according to a police report.
The discovery resulted from an internal investigation by church officials into failures to pay a bank note on a church-owned vehicle, the report said.
Officials told police that money was discovered missing from the church’s cemetery fund, its Georgia Baptist Convention fund and other accounts.
They also reported that “a great deal of money” had been used for personal gain and that unauthorized credit cards had been acquired in the church’s name.