Nashville-area pastor indicted by feds in drug money laundering scheme

Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 3:47pm

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Michael Whitsey, a Nashville-area pastor, in connection with a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute narcotics.

Whitsey, who refers to himself as an Apostle, is the pastor of Abundant Life Christian Center, which claims to have more than 500 members in four locations in Columbia, Nashville, Tullahoma and Murfreesboro.

The indictment, filed in federal court in Nashville, covers nine transactions from May 2008 to December 2008 when Whitsey allegedly deposited $375,000 into banks. The money was “derived from a specified unlawful activity, that is, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute narcotics,” according to the indictment.

The vacant property listed to be forfeited in the federal indictment borders land owned by Abundant Life Christian Center in Murfreesboro. The church planned to build a worship facility in the area, according to the ALCC website.

WSMV-Channel 4 reported in May that Whitsey encouraged followers of the church to give money, without revealing that the church had filed for bankruptcy.

According to the ALCC website, Whitsey started the church in 2000 with a location in Antioch.

A message left for Whitsey wasn't returned early Thursday afternoon.

8 Comments on this post:

By: NewYorker1 on 9/20/12 at 3:43

Why am I not surprised?

By: govskeptic on 9/21/12 at 8:08

There should be enhanced sentencing when the Clergy rips
off the followers in any religion because of the implied trust
that they are allowed to receive within the law.

By: frodo on 9/21/12 at 8:11

I agree, govskeptic. People in powerful position should be held to a high standard and should pay all the more for offenses against the flock and their office. The same should be true for public office holders. But we know how that sometimes goes. (I'll name no Attorney General by name here.)

New Yorker, you are not surprised. What are you trying to say? Why are you not surprised?

By: BornHere on 9/21/12 at 8:54

Taken from his facebook page.

There is an interesting video topic:

I hope this story is wrong but if not, God will put a major smack down on someone for running a scam i his name. Dangerous ground to walk on. This is why your faith, hope, and daily relationship must be with Jesus Christ, a living God and not someone that represents Christ. God has to be real to you, not your pastor. People fail but God will always be good. Never let stories like this turn you away from God. Just let this be a reminders to you that your eyes must stay on your risen savior. God Bless and have a great day.

By: Ask01 on 9/22/12 at 5:17

I cannot speak for New Yorker, but as a Nashville resident, I concur with his comment as I am also not really surprised.

The reason is constantly hearing of community authority figures, be they legal or moral, involved in activities they supposedly stand against.

Law enforcement stealing, driving drunk, using excess force, coercing citizens subject to their authority; alcohol counsellors being arrested for abusing alcohol and perhaps other controlled substances; elected officials violating the laws they enact upon the rest of us; religious figures engaging unsavory conduct; all of these situations have occured in recent times, and I for one wonder how many times law enforcement protect their own, elected officials, sports figures and others who perhaps they are beholding to.

So, like New Yorker, I am not surprised, having become somewhat cynical about the role of authority figures, and absolutely reject any notion of moral superiority or any other quality except that of enjoying power over others.

By: Gilbert2 on 9/24/12 at 8:33

People still just dont have a heart no more. Stop talking about the man of God and pray for him. Dont act like u have did nothing wrong and God for gave u. If he did do something he will have to anwser for it not u. But I know he did knowing wrong at .

By: rickmuz on 9/24/12 at 9:20

This is why members of Jesus' fan club scare me when they seek public office!

Yeah, I know, you will denounce him like Judas did Christ, but he is still a member of the club.

By: TITAN1 on 9/25/12 at 8:59

Members of Jesus' fan club? Do you think you are being funny?