Pastor and Wife Charged with Stealing $1.2 Million from Congregation
Veronica NeffingerReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2016 Oct 25
Terry Wayne Millender, pastor of Victorious Life Church in Alexandria, Virginia has been arrested, along with his wife, Brenda Millender, and charged with fraud.
According to ChristianToday.com, the Millenders have been accused of using $1.2 million dollars for personal profit, rather than to help the poor as they claimed.
The Millenders ran a company called Micro-Enterprise Management Group which they allegedly started to raise money for the poor who live in developing countries by providing loans for businesses. The Millenders sought investors for their company, some of whom attended Victorious Life.
Instead of using the funds to help the poor, however, the Millenders used the money to trade in risky foreign markets. They also purchased a $1.8 million home, and when they couldn’t pay their investors back, they blamed the 2008 financial crisis.
One member of Victorious Life shared what he felt upon learning that the Millenders were accused of fraud:
"It didn't really come as a shock – it was more of a sigh of relief...I asked him like, 'Hey, that's a nice car.' He said, 'Yeah, $100,000 car. If you save up your money, God's going to bless you.' Come to find out now, it was actually part of our money."
The Millenders face charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering--charges that could result in up to 20 years in prison.
Publication date: October 25, 2016