American Pastor Convicted And Sentenced To 35 Years For Stealing Three Churches Valued At More Than $800,000

American Pastor Convicted And Sentenced To 35 Years For Stealing Three Churches Valued At More Than $800,000

A Texas pastor has been sentenced to 35 years in prison following his conviction for stealing three churches valued at more than $800,000.

Whitney Foster, 56, who served as the pastor at the True Foundation nondenominational church in Dallas, received the sentence after being found guilty of theft of property involving three local churches, announced Dallas County prosecutors.

Foster led a small congregation that did not have a physical meeting place. He was accused of stealing real estate from three local churches by filing fraudulent property deeds, where he listed a fictitious pastor or other church officials as grantors. In the deed documents, he listed his own church as the grantee under his own name. The combined value of the three properties exceeded $800,000, according to prosecutors.

The churches affected by the theft include First Christian Church in Lancaster, Texas, Canada Drive Christian Church, and Church at Ninevah. Prosecutors noted that two of these churches still remain in Foster’s name.

Prosecutors further revealed that Foster’s congregation continued to meet at one of the properties, while legal complications persist over the third property due to the pastor’s actions.

“Stealing real estate is an incredibly serious and damaging crime,” John Creuzot, Dallas County criminal district attorney, said in a statement. “It’s worse than the theft of someone’s vehicle or other possessions. When someone steals property, we must hold them accountable because they are hurting people.” 

The jury reviewed evidence of seven additional fraudulent acts beyond the three for which Foster was convicted. Prosecutors also disclosed that Foster had previously been convicted of identity theft and arson.

According to a report by a Dallas television station, in 2021, the pastor of the Lancaster, Texas, church discovered that the congregation no longer owned their building after it was deeded to another individual for $10.

The property, valued at $700,000 at the time, was transferred to someone else by an individual claiming to be the church chairman, who transferred ownership to a non-church member for a nominal fee. At that time, Foster informed the television station that he believed the church building was vacant.

“You can acquire a property for $10 with nonprofits,” Foster told the local news station. “The church is community property. … It wasn’t Whitney buying it. Our church was getting it. I was fixing to open up a church there.”

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