Backlash in local community after pastor's arrest
JACKSON COUNTY, Il—There is backlash in a local community after a senior pastor is accused of stealing from his own church members. Thirty-two-year-old Joshua Swain is facing charges after police said he stole more than one hundred thousand dollars from his church in Carbondale, Illinois.
Prosecutors also said Swain stole the money from The View church, formerly First Baptist Church, and also used the name of a congregation member to take more than $10,000 from a bank. On July 26th, Swain was arrested and charged with theft and aggravated identity theft.
Although his Twitter name says he is still the senior pastor at The View, Local 6 has learned he is no longer with the church.
Polly Daggett described Swain's arrest as an awful shock. "I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him... Nothing can take away what he's done, nothing. I hope they make him pay restitution," said Daggett.
Daggett said she worries about the future of the The View. "If he's got sticky fingers, he'll do it again and a church is a pretty vulnerable thing," said Daggett.
She said she is left with more questions than answers. "I'd do everything I could to get him convicted so he wouldn't do it again at least for awhile. There's got to be some kind of restitution, what did he do with the hundred thousand dollars," said Daggett.
Denny Gholson does not go to The View church, but said he believes in a more biblical punishment. Gholson said, "An eye for an eye you know. You can forgive him I guess, but that's what you're supposed to do, forgive."
Faith seems to comes first at The View. For now, church members are not letting the pastor's alleged actions overrule religion. The View has removed former Senior Pastor Joshua Swain from it's website. Swain is scheduled to make his initial appearance in Jackson County Court this Tuesday afternoon.