(Religion News Service) — A former Houston megachurch pastor who once was an adviser to presidents has been sentenced to six years in federal prison for his part in a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme.
“They trusted me with their money, and I abused that trust,” Kirbyjon Caldwell, former pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church, an 18,000-member congregation, said at his sentencing, according to the Houston Chronicle. “I misled them, I profited at their expense, and for that, I am very sorry.”
Caldwell became pastor of Windsor Village in the 1980s when it was a small congregation with two dozen families, according to the United Methodist News Service. The church would later become the largest United Methodist church in the country.
In 2018, he and Louisiana financial adviser Gregory Alan Smith were indicted by federal officials after selling $3.5 million in bonds issued by the Republic of China before the Communist takeover in 1949, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Louisiana. The bonds have no value.