Former New Ellenton church secretary arrested on theft charge

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AIKEN – The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a former church secretary who authorities say used church credit cards to buy clothes, jewelry and vacations worth more than $75,000.

Michelle S. Mitchum, 41, of Blackville, is charged with grand larceny–more than $5,000, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

Ms. Mitchum surrendered Monday to investigators at the sheriff's office.

Between January 2006 and September 2008, the woman, who was employed at Grace Covenant Church of God in New Ellenton, established two credit card accounts in the church’s name, the sheriff's office said. The accounts were used to pay household bills and to buy clothing, jewelry and vacations, according to authorities.

Ms. Mitchum is being held at the Aiken County Detention Center.

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jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 10/28/08 - 11:01 am
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My God I get convicted if I

My God I get convicted if I don't pay my tithes and she's stealing.

shamrock
585
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shamrock 10/28/08 - 11:30 am
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.. and be sure your sin will

.. and be sure your sin will find you out. (Num. 32:23)
... For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. (Luke 12:2)
... The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3)
If only she had attended Bible study ...

realistineducation
0
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realistineducation 10/28/08 - 11:37 am
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just goes to show you that

just goes to show you that church people are evil and ungodly

142
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Dan White 10/28/08 - 11:58 am
0
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Where are the checks and

Where are the checks and balances in this church? Don't they give a finanicial report to the church members and to who and what the checks are issued for? This is why churches need to give reports of bills paid. I can't imagine how checks and credit card statesments showing a jewelry store or a vacation place passed through the system without notice by somebody! Where were the trustees? Is the pastor in on this too? Shouldn't two people be signing the church's checks to pay theses bills? Shame on this woman and shame on this church! God's buisness is the most important business of all. Churches should and must practice good buisness practices and disclosure with God's money given by faithful members!!!

Frank
3
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Frank 10/28/08 - 11:59 am
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haha at realist. that's a

haha at realist. that's a good one

142
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Dan White 10/28/08 - 12:02 pm
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realistineducation - some

realistineducation - some people in the church are evil and ungodly - not all. The greatest threat to the church is not from the outside but the inside.

mutt
2
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mutt 10/28/08 - 12:23 pm
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realistineducation you sure

realistineducation you sure did paint a lot of people with one broad brush stroke there. Do I detect a touch of bitterness toward churches and the people in them? What priest molested you? There are a lot of good and trusting people in churches which makes them an easy target for thieves, liars, molesters, and all sorts of bad people. Before you paint me with that same bitter brush, let me state for the record, I do not attend any church, and likely never will again. I've had a few bad experiences myself, but my faith remains very strong. I spite of the bad experiences, I know that there are lots of good people in churches, they may be misguided for the most part, but that doesn't make them bad, just wrong. Remember that even the strongest believer is still subject to the same human frailties as anyone else. The fact that you use those frailties to paint them all as evil says much more about you, rather than them. I think it's called an inferiority complex!

142
Points
Dan White 10/28/08 - 12:26 pm
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mutt - have you ever had a

mutt - have you ever had a few bad experiences at work, at home, or at a restaurant or store? Yet, you still work, you still stay at home, you still go out, and you still shop. Sorry, that excuse of having a few bad experiences causing you to quit trying to find a good church just doesn't hold water.

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 10/28/08 - 12:31 pm
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With ministers building homes

With ministers building homes worth millions of dollars I don't understand why churches are tax exempt.........I believe in God and church but it has gone from being a loving caring place where the ministers care about the congregation to a money racket......my niece who was a single divorced mother of 2 young girls was told by her pastor tht she had to give her percentage in tithes to be blessed and I told her that no loving God wanted her to take food from her kids mouth in order to give the church a certain percentage, you give what you can afford to give......this lady shoudl be ashamed but the church holds responsibility also for allowing it to take two years to catch what she was doing.

jack
10
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jack 10/28/08 - 12:31 pm
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realistineducation, church

realistineducation, church folks aren't near as evil and unGodly as you leftists-even this one.

mutt
2
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mutt 10/28/08 - 12:33 pm
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greenjacket I am far more

greenjacket I am far more interested in what God thinks of me than what you think. Don't let the fact that I don't need a man to teach me get your undies all knotted up. I am where I am because it is where I am intended to be. No excuse is necessary. God will change my circumstance if and when He feels like it. I'm quite satisfied thank you very much. I will trust the Lord for my salvation, and not the yoke of Pharisees, or the money changers that operate in the modern day temple system that most call churches.

142
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Dan White 10/28/08 - 12:36 pm
0
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mutt - just because I think

mutt - just because I think you should seek a good church does not mean that I don't think highly of you even though I don't know you. Maybe one day, the Lord will change your circumstance and lead you to give church one more try. If not, so be it.

142
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Dan White 10/28/08 - 12:42 pm
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5:00smwhr - churches are tax

5:00smwhr - churches are tax exempt from property tax and from income tax like any non-profit organization. Pastors are not exempt and if they own a home, they must pay property taxes, income tax, and all of their social security tax since the IRS considers a pastor self-employed. If you work for a company, the company pays 1/2 of your social security tax. Pastors have to pay 100%. However, ministers on staff are treated like employees of a company and the church has to pay 1/2 of their SSI. That was awful what your niece's pastor told her about paying her tithes. It's sad that some if not many pastors are all about themselves and brag about their salaries, buildings they built, new people they have brought into their church, and the big budget they have. They better enjoy it now for I fear that it will be rough on them come judgment day. No wonder people are turned off by church! What is this pastor teaching? That you can buy blessings from God by paying your tithe? You might can buy a politician but you can't buy God. His blessings are not for sale.

mutt
2
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mutt 10/28/08 - 12:47 pm
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Amen..............who

Amen..............who knows....He will use me as He sees fit. The word church, by the way, comes from the Greek "Ecclesia", which means called out, separated for a purpose from the world. It doesn't mean a building or an organization ordained by men. The "church" is the body of Christ, of which I am a member. Don't need to call myself by any name other than Christian.

142
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Dan White 10/28/08 - 12:58 pm
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mutt - that's very good. You

mutt - that's very good. You know your Greek, too! It also has the meaning of calling out to a gathering or assembly. I too have had it with religious bureaucrats and denominations and started a new, non-aligned church. We meet in a rented building and in homes because as you aptly and accurately stated, the church is not a building. Abilene is in a 6 1/2 million dollar building program for a "state of the art" education and chiildren's building. Lots of the Lord's money given by faithful members go up in buildings and maintaining and staffing them. More power to them, but that kind of stuff isn't for me any more because as you said, "The church is the body of Christ." The church existed and grew like wildfire without a building in its first 300 years of existence. The first building was built around 300AD and it seems now that church means building instead of the body or called out ones.

mutt
2
Points
mutt 10/28/08 - 01:04 pm
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Agreed Greenjacket, good for

Agreed Greenjacket, good for you! Yes I know Greek, I have translated entire books of the Bible. I taught Bible for several years. I was called to learn Greek and learn the Word, I had no choice in the matter. It was like an insatiable hunger that consumed me for over 5 years. Perhaps I will visit your church someday. It sounds like you too have answered a calling.

142
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Dan White 10/28/08 - 01:16 pm
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I've been in the ministry

I've been in the ministry since I was 19 for 38 years now - most of the time teaching school and pastoring. Was SBC. Wife left me for my deacon chairman and best friend. Came back home to N. Augusta and served small SBC part time because you know how they feel about divorced and remarried preachers and deacons - unforgiving. Left and went to UMC for five years and that's what did me in with all of the bureaucracy, rules, regulations and lack of grace and love. Have a small loving church now. Really enjoying serving the Lord now with these dear people. No more power brokers, budgets to meet, bureaucrats to please - only the Lord - love Him and love each other. http://northcolumbiachurch.org/

mutt
2
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mutt 10/28/08 - 01:21 pm
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0
Thanks........ I've

Thanks........ I've bookmarked that, and will check it out. I have to get going. I will say God Bless, even though it sounds like He already is, and abundantly as well.

formeraugres
0
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formeraugres 10/28/08 - 01:25 pm
0
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mutt - you are correct -

mutt - you are correct - there are too many people that look to the preacher and building for guidance instead of reading the Bible to see what Jesus say about matters. Most preachers and members do the opposite of what the Bible say anyway.

142
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Dan White 10/28/08 - 01:35 pm
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formeraugres - they fall into

formeraugres - they fall into the trap of Phariseeism and as Jesus said "Strain out a gnat and swallow a camel." They are more interested in perpetuating the institution than they are about loving and accepting others the same way Jesus loved and accepted the outcasts, misfits, and sinners while He was here on earth. If you're divorced and remarried, you don't fit in many churches as leaders. If you're gay, forget it even though Jesus accepted sinners like that such as the woman at the well who had a live-in boyfriend and was married five different times. We make mistakes, but it is kind of like the Georgia football team this year. They lead the SEC in penalties, yet Coach Richt still lets them play when they goof up. He gives them that "teacher" look and makes them pay for it by running "suicides" on Monday, but they still play. I say that the Lord lets us play with all of our faults which is grace and let the Coach of Heaven judge and punish Jesus said "Judge not lest ye be judged." It's God's job, not mine. I am to accept the ones he accepts although acceptance doesn't mean approval. Coach Richt accepts his players goofs although he doesn't approrve them. If he took every player out of the game who caused a penalty, he wouldn't have many if any left to play.

NewsNut
0
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NewsNut 10/28/08 - 01:40 pm
0
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GOD will deal with her sins,

GOD will deal with her sins, we will pray for her. My sons failed me time after time when they were growing up. They broke my heart many times. But! I still loved them. You who have cast the first stone, we will pray for you too.

formeraugres
0
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formeraugres 10/28/08 - 01:45 pm
0
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Thanks - most churchgoers.

Thanks - most churchgoers. It seems that most people that attend services do not know what the Lord says. They are out to satisfy man. They let the Preacher or Bible study teacher tell them what to read - most time its a few versus that are taken out of content.

142
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Dan White 10/28/08 - 01:49 pm
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formeraugres - Yep - it's

formeraugres - Yep - it's like what they have to say is more important than what God has to say in his Word. Some pastors only read three or four verses and that's it.

142
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Dan White 10/28/08 - 01:51 pm
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NewsNut - good point. I am

NewsNut - good point. I am sure they have paid for their sins but that doesn't stop you or God from loving them. That is a great message for the churches. This woman will pay for her sins but the church should love her through this especailly if she sincerely apologizes and changes her ways.

formeraugres
0
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formeraugres 10/28/08 - 01:55 pm
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I attended Revival services

I attended Revival services this past summer and was shocked to see some of the preaching. At my Church, the Preacher took a few Versus out of the Scripts and made a sermon. What is even troubling is one of the preachers read his text straight from his paper. Its a wonder people are so spiritually empty.

corgimom
38381
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corgimom 10/28/08 - 02:10 pm
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As an accountant, I can tell

As an accountant, I can tell you that this isn't just a momentary temptation or lapse of judgment. When this happens, it's planned, and planned well. She has done something like this before and just didn't get prosecuted. People like this will forge checks, divert the statements to a post office box, set up phony vendors- it can be difficult to detect. And two years is about right. They get caught because they keep it going too long- it usually gets detected between 2 and 3 years, because something, somewhere, will pop up. I just wonder how she got caught.

142
Points
Dan White 10/28/08 - 02:24 pm
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corgimom - Isn't there a way

corgimom - Isn't there a way to prevent this from happening. Do you think that she had too much freedom and control over the credit cards? Wouldn't (or shouldn't) the church know if she took out credit in the church's name? That's interesting to see this from an accountant's perspective. I guess you can infer that she did this on a previous job if she had had the same responsiblities.

disssman
6
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disssman 10/28/08 - 02:27 pm
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0
My goodness this was all a

My goodness this was all a gross misunderstanding. This lady was obviously anticipating a run for V.P. and was just getting ready for the podium. I am sure she will give all the items back for resell to a charity, the church will sell them for a big profit and all will be better in LALA land once more. This church should as a minimum loose its tax-exempt status because they have been paying "household bills" for two years and didn't know it. What other tax exempt personal property was bought?

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 10/28/08 - 02:59 pm
0
0
I think that people see that

I think that people see that pastors today are not what they used to be, Jim Baker, Jim Jones only to name a couple who have ruined church for alot of people. You can sit in church and listen to a minister but any minister who guilts the congregation into giving money is just wrong. I was in a new church once when I was out of time and the first thing they did was say a prayer and pass the collection plate, then at the end of the sermon they passed the plate again. It is things such as this that have turned people against the church. I am always leary of these huge churches with $100,000.00 + buses sitting in their lots and landscaping companies doing their lawns, congregation all dressed to impress, what does all this really have to do with God? Give me a small country church anyday....all these big tv evangelists and big churches don't impress me..

JohnQPublic
5
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JohnQPublic 10/28/08 - 04:05 pm
0
0
realis..just because she

realis..just because she worked for a church does not mean that she had a realtionship with God. Some folks infiltrate churches just so they could use people. They wouldn't know God if they bumped into Him.

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