Minister questioned in congregation's missing money - WSMV News 4

Minister questioned in congregation's missing money

Posted: Updated:
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A small congregation is without a church and is missing nearly $10,000 worth of donations. And, once again, an embattled minister is being blamed for false promises and missing cash.

The Rev. Jorge Primero's living room now doubles as a place of worship for his congregation, because the church space he was promised is gone, as are several thousands of dollars in donations.

"The big question for everybody is, 'Where did the money go?'" Primero said.

Many in Middle Tennessee, like Primero, are asking those questions about Pastor Mike Whitsey.

The Channel 4 I-Team has been investigating Whitsey since the summer, when we uncovered that he knew his church was in bankruptcy, never told his congregation and continued to ask for thousands in donations.

When the congregation of Abundant Life Christian Church arrived to worship on Sunday, July 15, they found the doors locked.

Last month, Whitsey was indicted on federal money laundering charges, accused of hiding the proceeds from selling more than $200,000 worth of narcotics.

"It shocked my life and my family. Everyone said, 'Wow, what happened with this?'" Primero said.

Primero said Whitsey agreed in February to let Primero and his 30-member congregation start up a Hispanic ministry inside the Abundant Life Church.

Records show Primero's congregation gave Whitsey and the Abundant Life Church nearly $10,000 in monthly rent, and Primero said Whitsey informed him that the church would be paid off by the end of this year.

"When I found out that the church was closed, I talked with my wife, and she was hurt with all that. My family was hurt. I am, too," Primero said.

Primero then asked Whitsey for answers.

"I said, 'Where did all the money go? We give the money to you,'" Primero said. "He didn't give me an answer. All he told me was, 'The lawyer, the lawyer.'"

It remains unclear what that response from Whitsey meant.

But Primero is not suing. This man of God is praying.

"We're not concerned about the money. Right now, I pray for him. Maybe he will restore his life and restore the church," Primero said.

Primero said he hopes someone will see his story and offer up a place for his congregation to worship, rather than in his own living room.

As for Whitsey, the I-Team contacted him for comment, but he has not returned our call.

Copyright WSMV 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Recent HeadlinesMore>>

  • Murfreesboro groups spread messages of love ahead of planned white supremacy rally

    Murfreesboro groups spread messages of love ahead of planned white supremacy rally

    Saturday, October 21 2017 11:01 PM EDT2017-10-22 03:01:05 GMT

    One week from today, League of the South -- a white supremacy group -- plans a White Lives Matter rally in downtown Murfreesboro. Several counter protests are in the works. Local faith based groups and community organizers say they want to promote a positive message of love and inclusion. 

    More >>

    One week from today, League of the South -- a white supremacy group -- plans a White Lives Matter rally in downtown Murfreesboro. Several counter protests are in the works. Local faith based groups and community organizers say they want to promote a positive message of love and inclusion. 

    More >>
  • Rep. Jim Cooper talks legislation to help DEA fight against opioids

    Rep. Jim Cooper talks legislation to help DEA fight against opioids

    Saturday, October 21 2017 10:50 PM EDT2017-10-22 02:50:24 GMT

    Tennessee lawmaker speaks about his crusade to give law enforcement the power it needs in its fight against drugs. Congressman Jim Cooper is trying to right the wrong of legislation. The DEA claims prevents them from freezing, and red flagging large shipments of opioids.

    More >>

    Tennessee lawmaker speaks about his crusade to give law enforcement the power it needs in its fight against drugs. Congressman Jim Cooper is trying to right the wrong of legislation. The DEA claims prevents them from freezing, and red flagging large shipments of opioids.

    More >>
  • Multiple people wounded during shooting at Edgehill Homes

    Multiple people wounded during shooting at Edgehill Homes

    Saturday, October 21 2017 9:23 PM EDT2017-10-22 01:23:05 GMT
    (WSMV)(WSMV)

    Police responded to a shooting at the Edgehill Homes apartment complex near 12 Ave South around 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Four male teens were non-critically injured after exchanging gunfire with other individuals in a car. It is unknown at this time how many people were in the car, and if any were injured.

    More >>

    Police responded to a shooting at the Edgehill Homes apartment complex near 12 Ave South around 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Four male teens were non-critically injured after exchanging gunfire with other individuals in a car. It is unknown at this time how many people were in the car, and if any were injured.

    More >>
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Police: Son shoots, kills mom’s friend for flirting with imaginary girlfriend

    Police: Son shoots, kills mom’s friend for flirting with imaginary girlfriend

    Thursday, October 19 2017 12:49 PM EDT2017-10-19 16:49:32 GMT
    (Photo: Pasco County Sheriff's Office)(Photo: Pasco County Sheriff's Office)

    New body cam footage has been released which shows the moments after a Florida man shot and killed his mother’s friend for flirting with his imaginary girlfriend.

    More >>

    New body cam footage has been released which shows the moments after a Florida man shot and killed his mother’s friend for flirting with his imaginary girlfriend.

    More >>
  • Chicago freezer death was a 'sad' accident, police chief says

    Chicago freezer death was a 'sad' accident, police chief says

    Saturday, October 21 2017 8:12 AM EDT2017-10-21 12:12:40 GMT

    Authorities have closed the investigation into the death of a young Chicago woman whose body was found in a hotel's walk-in freezer, saying it was accidental and there was no reason to suspect foul play.

    More >>

    Authorities have closed the investigation into the death of a young Chicago woman whose body was found in a hotel's walk-in freezer, saying it was accidental and there was no reason to suspect foul play.

    More >>
  • Thong jeans are just the latest weird fashion trend

    Thong jeans are just the latest weird fashion trend

    Friday, October 20 2017 11:27 PM EDT2017-10-21 03:27:11 GMT
    A model display creation of "thibaut" by Japanese designer Meiko Ban during the 2018 Spring/Summer Collection at the Tokyo Fashion Week in Tokyo, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)A model display creation of "thibaut" by Japanese designer Meiko Ban during the 2018 Spring/Summer Collection at the Tokyo Fashion Week in Tokyo, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Thong jeans. (Theans? Jongs? Thonjeangs?) Whatever you decided to call them, they’re weird and the internet is going crazy.

    More >>

    Thong jeans. (Theans? Jongs? Thonjeangs?) Whatever you decided to call them, they’re weird and the internet is going crazy.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
WSMV
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, WSMV; Nashville, TN. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.