Church administrator charged with theft - Word&Way

Church administrator charged with theft

RALEIGH, N.C. (ABP) – A former administrator at a prominent North Carolina moderate Baptist church was arrested recently and charged with embezzling more than $136,000 in church funds over a five-year period.

Robert Lahr, 49, is accused of taking $136,324.58 from his employer, Hayes Barton Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C., between 2006 and 2011. Lahr, who is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, stopped working at Hayes Barton in April, when church leaders uncovered a misuse of funds and turned the matter over to police.

Lahr was jailed on a $150,000 bond and charged with obtaining property by false pretense in excess of $100,000. Police say he used a church credit card for personal purchases, manipulated payroll and made unauthorized transfers from church accounts.

Founded in 1926, Hayes Barton is active in missions projects of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. The church website includes resource links to both the national and state CBF organizations and to the Southern Baptist Convention.


Bob Allen is managing editor of Associated Baptist Press.