CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A “pastor” in North Carolina has been arrested and charged in connection with nine armed robberies in the Charlotte area.
John Thomas Lindsey, 47, who leads True Love Church of Refuge, was taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with nine counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, nine counts of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
He is accused of robbing four Circle K stores, two Sam’s Mart locations, two 7-Eleven stores and a Family Dollar outlet. WSOC-TV reports that the motive for the robberies was to obtain money to buy drugs.
Lindsey has two prior drug convictions from the 1990’s.
“We, the leadership and membership of True Love Church of Refuge, are deeply saddened and disappointed that our leader and brother, John Thomas Lindsey, is facing charges associated with criminal activity. Though we denounce any involvement he may have had, we love him and will continue to pray for him,” his congregation said in a statement this week.
“The ministry will continue to stand strong despite the latest allegations and will continue to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom,” it said.
Police were led to Lindsey after first arresting Fernando Carillo-Hernandez, 24, who was taken into custody on Tuesday for committing three of the robberies. Officials had released photographs from surveillance footage in asking for help in identifying the suspects. Carillo-Hernandez is not believed to be affiliated with True Love Church of Refuge.
As previously reported, in Houston, Texas, some members of Salem Missionary Baptist Church are calling for the resignation of their “pastor,” who recently admitted to making sex tapes after a woman who claimed to be his former girlfriend released video footage of his relations with other women.
Hosea Stubblefield, 32, says he had deleted the videos from his computer and believes that the footage was recovered without his knowledge. He acknowledges that he made five to ten tapes over a period of ten years, but contends that his last one was two years ago.
“They were deleted on the computer and the files were recovered and kept against my knowledge for seven months to basically use against me,” he asserted to Fox 26.
The woman, who only identifies herself as “B. Coll,” says that she broke it off with Stubblefield after learning that he had made videos with other women. Stubblefield has refused to resign from his position and has rather kicked out the family that obtained the sex tapes.
“If it was two years ago, it shows he was committing adultery, because he was married and he just got divorced [from] his wife,” Deacon Craig Davis said.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 reads, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God.”