A Middle Tennessee church that's weathered nearly 200 years of history is concerned about the immediate future and years to come. It's all because of one of their own, their treasurer.
Members said the treasurer stole more than $160,000 from the funds at Douglass Chapel United Methodist Church in Gallatin.
"It's just pretty upsetting and discouraging that someone would do this when they're looking at you every Sunday morning knowing they're stealing our money," said church member and former treasurer Marsha Davis. "It was being treated as free money to spend, basically. She had the church credit card, and she just went to town."
"It's been devastating to that small of a church and a community," added Sumner County Sheriff Sonny Weatherford.
Davis said current treasurer Crystal Dycus spent two years spending church funds on ATM withdrawals, gas, restaurants, rental cars, bills and tanning bed visits.
"Even her wedding was paid for with the church credit card," said Davis.
"She took around $30,000 in cash from the church over that two-year span and about $130,000 in CDs," said Weatherford.
Davis said she first found out something was wrong when she received a call from the bank in November saying the church accounts were in the negative. She said Dycus told her there was a mistake, but after gathering three months of information from bank statements, Davis called police.
Phone calls and a visit to her home were not answered by Dycus, who has now bonded out from the Sumner County Jail.
Davis said she's stunned someone she knew and trusted has made it suddenly very difficult to pay church expenses.
"God is always one who provides," said Davis. "Hopefully we can pick up and keep going. That's all we can pray for."
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