Pastor cleared of forgery

| 11/12/2019 | 30 Comments
Cayman News Service
Pastor Christopher Murray

(CNS): Christopher Murray, a pastor at Bethel Refuge Apostolic Church in Prospect, who was charged with forging the signatures of founding members on documents relating to the church’s formation and registering it as a charity, was acquitted by a jury on Monday of one count of forgery, and one count of uttering a false document. Murray had not denied writing his colleague’s signatures but had claimed he had been given authorisation to do so.

Murray, who is also a counsellor at John Gray High School, was found not guilty on both counts after a two-week trial, in which the jury heard that a rift developed between the pastor and his founding colleagues over church policies and the funds. Those two church members claimed that Murray forged documents about them and their role in the church and never gave him permission to sign any documents on their behalf.

But other witnesses from the congregation said the two men had seen they were named as directors on the documents and had never complained about their signatures.

When the investigation first opened into the issues at the church, following reports from the founding members, the police had also investigated allegations of theft. Murray had originally been charged with other dishonesty allegations alongside forgery, but as a result of issues relating to that inquiry, which have not been revealed, the charges came too late and were statute barred.

When the verdict was delivered Tuesday, several members of the congregation who were in court to support Murray began praying loudly and throwing themselves to the floor while court was in session, forcing the marshall to restore order. The church members, however, obliged and took their celebrations into Burger King parking lot.


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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (30)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “When the verdict was delivered Tuesday, several members of the congregation who were in court to support Murray began praying loudly and throwing themselves to the floor while court was in session, forcing the marshall to restore order. The church members, however, obliged and took their celebrations into Burger King parking lot.” OMG these people are a riot!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bless up Pastor Murray!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Apocalyptic church sounds like a real blast to me.

  4. Anonymous says:

    If you are considered to be a “man of God” in Cayman you can do anything. It was like this in the old days in Ireland when the Catholic Church ruled with an iron grip. Their priests and nuns got off with terrible offenses. In Cayman we have an incredible number of fundamentalist churches, some very very small but always able to build or rent a small building and get local, usually Jamaican worshippers. These churches attach bizarre quasi biblical names to them: I mean, seriously, Bethel Refuge Apostolic Church; can one of the congregation explain to us what the title means? And can you say how you pay your pastor and whether all congregation members have to tithe?

  5. Anonymous says:

    The last paragraph….

    Whew chile the ghetto!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Interesting contrast to the 2008 verdict on ex-pat Richard Hanna, who was accused of holding onto charitable funds even after he surrendered the money to RCIPS,

  7. Anonymous says:

    ‘And took their celebrations into Burger King parking lot.’

    LOL, you couldn’t make that up if you tried could you?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Cause Jesus he knows me
    And he knows I’m right
    Oh yes he knows me and he knows I’m right
    I’ve been talking to Jesus all my life
    And he’s been telling me everything is alright, alright.

    Genesis, 1991

  9. Anonymous says:

    You know, the first time I went to the bank with my mom, I was squirming holding her hand, and bored trying to stay still in the line, and I went over to the customer counter and wrote an imaginary withdrawal slip for a gazillion dollars and gave it to my mom. It was funny, but I knew, at like 5 or 7, it wasn’t going to work, and nobody tried to pass it off as real.

    How then do adults, trusted as ethical leaders, taking cash from people, and having a NPO status, plead *successfully* that they had hypothetical permission to sign some other adult’s name? Who witnessed the signatures? Do these NPO docs not need to be Notarized?

    Man, only in the Cayman Islands…carry on I guess.

  10. Anonymous says:

    All NPO’s should be made to publish annual accounting signed off by every member of the NPO board for that year. These accounts should be published via a website run by the Government unit responsible for granting & monitoring NPO status.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nope. None of your business what we do with our money. Don’t ask for your donations don’t want you up in our business.

      • Anonymous says:

        So who do you get your donations from? Persons who attend any church are members of the public first. The government answers to the public so we can demand to understand what the organisations granted NPO status is doing.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hospital patients are members of the public first. The government answers to the public so we can demand to understand what hospital patients records have on them. Simply following the logic above that scarily has 12 likes.

  11. Anonymous says:

    A two week trial that was another obvious loser for the Crown—tell me again how 10 more courtrooms is going to improve efficiency.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Praise the lord!

  13. Anonymous says:

    At the end of the day, God knows the truth about all of us.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Last paragraph…..you couldn’t make it up!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I am having a problem with this. Did the pastor actually tried to signed the documents with a signature resembling the directors or did he just write in their names? These are certainly two different issues all together. It is legal to script or type in a name then finalize it by getting the signatures of the said directors.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve done one or two and signatures are required. Not a lawyer but I did sleep at the Holiday Inn last night.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to the church’s Disciples
    We’ll have a sermon and a wonderful recital
    But before we go on there’s something I must mention
    An important message I must bring to your attention
    I was in meditation and prayer last night
    I was awakened by a shining bright light
    Overhead a glorious spirit
    He gave me a message and you all need to hear it

    Send me your money
    That’s what he said, he said to
    Send me your money

    Now if you can only send a dollar or two
    There ain’t a hell of a lot I can promise to you
    But if you want to see heaven’s door
    Make out a check for five mil dollars or more

    Here comes another con hiding behind a collar
    His only god is the almighty dollar
    He ain’t no prophet, he ain’t healer
    He’s just a two bit goddamn money stealer

    Now how much you give is your own choice
    But to me it’s the difference between a Porsche and a Rolls Royce
    I want you to make it hurt when you dig into your pocket
    Cause it makes me feel so good to watch my profits rocket

    Amen

  17. Anonymous says:

    What about all the unfounded and unproven theories he and the others spew to their sheep each week? Isn’t that forgery in itself?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Time for lust, time for lie
    Time to kiss your life goodbye
    Send me money, send me green
    Heaven you will meet
    Make a contribution and you’ll get a better seat
    Bow to leper messiah

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