Former pastor gets eight months prison time - Word&Way

Former pastor gets eight months prison time

ST. LOUIS — A former Missouri Baptist pastor will spend eight months in prison after conviction and sentencing on charges of defrauding church members.

Danny O'Guin, former pastor of Parker Road Baptist Church in Florissant, was convicted on one count of mail fraud, a felony, for using false pretenses to convince elderly church members to loan him money to repair residences he said he owned out of state.

After borrowing funds, O'Guin would ask members not to mention the loans to anyone. When someone who loaned money questioned why he had not yet repaid it, O'Guin borrowed from others.

According to court documents, O'Guin agreed to a plea bargain in November with sentencing on Feb. 4. Three additional mail fraud charges were dropped. He agreed to voluntarily turn himself into a facility, but the document did not list the prison in which he will be incarcerated.

He also will be required to pay restitution of an amount to be determined 21 days from sentencing.

O'Guin served the suburban St. Louis church as pastor from 2006 to February 2009 when he resigned after allegations against him prompted conflict within the congregation.

Before taking the post at Parker Road, he was pastor of Tower Grove Baptist Church, St. Louis, for 10 years. He was elected as a North American Mission Board trustee in 1999 and in 2003. He also chaired the credentials committee for the Missouri Baptist Convention in 2008.

According to media reports following his indictment last year, O'Guin's actions netted thousands of dollars between June 2006 and March 2009 from members who said they felt obliged to lend him money because he was in a position of religious authority.

The maximum penalty for mail fraud is 20 years in prison and/or fines of up to $250,000.