The last time I checked, gambling and stealing are both considered to be sins, right? Allegedly, that didn’t stop Houston pastor, Charles Gilford, and his wife, Adriane Gilford, from taking over $400,000 from their former congregation, Bethel Institutional Missionary Baptist Church, and using it to gamble. Pastor Gilford and his wife were indicted by a grand jury and charged with aggregate theft and misapplication of fiduciary property before being placed in a Harris County Jail.
Pastor Charles and Adriane were held on $800,000 bail, however, they were released from the Harris County Jail on bond earlier this week. According to prosecutors, the Gilfords used at least $430,000 in church funds to gamble at the Coushatta Casino near Lake Charles in Louisiana, between 2004 and 2007. They were pastor and first lady at Bethel Institutional Missionary Baptist Church in Houston at the time.
Although they left Bethel Institutional Missionary Baptist Church five years ago, prosecutors were able to convince the grand jury to indict the pair after going through numerous financial records from the church. The charges placed against the Gilfords carry a maximum punishment of life in prison.
Family and close friends say they have trouble believing the couple would steal from their congregation. According to reports, Adriane Gilford was also arrested by Pearland police in 2010 on a felony charge of writing bad checks in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.