BRONWOOD, GA (WALB) - The pastor of a Terrell County church says his small congregation is in financial hardship after paying $10,000 for work on the church that was never done.
Advanced Vinyl and Siding owner David Kehren, Jr. is charged with theft by conversion of payments for property improvements, accused of taking the church's check, but not doing the job.
Now, church leaders hope folks will help the historic black church finish the work.
First Bronwood Baptist Church is an old place of worship, Pastor Fredrick Murray says, "It was established in 1905, and it's an historical black church."
And, the old church needs work. The siding is in bad shape.
So, the 51 members, many elderly on fixed incomes, came up with $10,000 dollars for new siding to repair their beloved church.
Murray says, "They took their very last, all that they had, because they love God and they love the church."
But, the work was never done by the man they paid, David Kehren, Jr.
Murray says, "He promised to have the work done by the 21st of February, he never came, never did anything but put up a ramp."
Lee County Sherriff Reggie Rachals says, "The only thing I figure he had done was the handicap ramp and that wasn't even properly done for what I understand and that had to be redone."
Kehren, known best as 'Davie', was arrested Wednesday evening at his Lee County home, charged with theft by conversion. He has bonded out of the Lee County Jail.
Sheriff Rachals says "There's been a lot of things going on with this place of business and the person involved."
For now, this small congregation has contracted with someone else to do the work.
But, all that's done is the front of the church and a bit of the side. The church congregation simply doesn't have the $6,000 needed to finish the work.
Pastor Murray says, "We just want Mr. Kehren to return the money so we can move forward and make our members happy and make God's House the way it should be."
Murray also says, "My first love is God. And because you are a godly person, that means you don't let folks do you in any kind of way. I forgive Mr. Kehren, but at the same instance, I must hold him accountable for his actions."
This is a small, historical church in rural Terrell County. Pastor Murray and the staff all have other full-time jobs.
If you would like to help the church congregation finish the repairs, you are welcome to contact the church secretary, LaTasha Peters on her cell phone at 229-854-5844.
You can also send donations made out to First Bronwood Baptist Church at P.O. Box 161, Bronwood, GA 39826. Ms. Peters can be reached via email at email@example.com.