Pastor pleads in church embezzlement case

6:39 PM, Jan 23, 2013   |    comments
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Rev. Arthur Pearson Sr.

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The former pastor of a Grand Rapids church is pleading no contest to a charge he stole money from his congregation.

Rev. Arthur Pearson, 39, entered a no contest plea Wednesday to a charge of "embezzlement of more than $50,000 but less than $100,000."  Sentencing is scheduled for April 4.

The investigation into Pearson's handling of funds at Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church began in November 2011.  He is accused of using church money on personal expenses like dinners, doctor visits and shopping.

Previous Coverage: Pastor ordered to stand trial for embezzlement

Last March, a District Court judge ordered Pearson to stand trial for embezzlement.  Pearson's trial was to begin in Circuit Court next week, but he agreed to enter a plea this week.

Pilgrim Rest fired Pearson as its pastor in June.

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