Former Harrison, Ark. pastor arrested for stealing $500,000 from church
HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - Officers arrested a former pastor at Harrison Faith Church Saturday.
Brian Keith Herring, 46, is accused of stealing over $500,000 after an audit found missing funds from church accounts.
According to Boone County Sheriff’s Office investigators, multiple members of the church reported missing money six weeks ago. Herring served at Harrison Faith Church starting in 2006 when it was formerly Faith Assembly of God Church. He was voted lead pastor 10 years later. That all came to an end a little more than a month ago.
”Six weeks ago I was contacted by a member of the board,” said Chief Deputy Roy Martin with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office. “He was concerned about some of the finances of the church and that was what then led to our investigation.”
The Assembly of God headquarters in Little Rock did an audit. Then Boone County investigators got involved. Findings showed several hundred thousand dollars missing from church accounts. While an exact value hasn’t been confirmed, it’s believed to be more than $500,000.
”There was all kind of items bought, I believe some trips (he) took maybe, even some vehicles of certain kinds,” Chief Deputy Martin explained.
Public records show Herring’s home near Ridgeway was recently listed for sale and according to police. Herring recently moved to Fayetteville.
”Our investigators contacted him by phone last Friday and advised him he needed to come to the sheriff’s department,” said Chief Deputy Martin. “We did have an arrest warrant for him.”
Herring was a well-known person in the community, having also served on the city council. Council members spoke off-camera, saying they were “disheartened” and “floored” by the findings.
”Some of the times you don’t like doing your job, but it’s something that has to be done,” said Chief Deputy Martin. “I know it’s hard on the community, it’s hard on the people of the church, it’s just hard on everybody.”
Harrison Faith Church Council did not wish to speak on the matter but said they will continue moving forward with different leadership.
Herring posted bond. The investigation is ongoing.
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