Former Millington pastor forced out by scandal

Published: Aug. 29, 2006 at 1:36 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 29, 2006 at 1:54 AM CDT
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First Baptist Church in West Palm Beach Florida has nearly 10-thousand members in its congregation.  It's a flock led by charismatic pastor Steve Flockhart, until a scandal forced him out this past weekend.

"I'm very surprised actually, he's always been an upstanding guy," says Erika Ruch.

Ruch attended Flockhart's church in Millington.  It's a church which morphed into Crosspointe Baptist, located in a huge building on Highway 51.

"We greatly enjoyed him at the church," says Ruch.

She says she's greatly disappointed to know that Flockhart was asked to leave his new job just weeks after taking it.  Turns out, church leaders say he lied on his resume.

"It's definitely disappointing," says Ruch.

But it's not the first time Flockhart left a pulpit in disgrace.  Action News 5 found a lawsuit filed six years by a church in Georgia.  It was a church Flockhart pastored before moving to Millington.  The lawsuit accuses Flockhart of mis-appropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars.  We wanted to know if Crosspointe Baptist was concerned about its former pastor.  They knew we were coming, but an associate pastor left by the time we arrived.

"The bottom line is--he's not here and there's no one else who can talk to you," a staff member told us.

One member told us Flockhart might be looking to come back.

"I don't know how I'd feel about Brother Steve coming back," says Erika Ruch.

But she says she is willing to forgive.

Action News 5 attempted to contact Reverend Flockhart as well as First Baptist down in West Palm Beach.  Our calls were not returned.  We did speak to a Memphis attorney who represented Flockhart in that lawsuit.

He declined comment.