Renton Pastor owes millions in bankruptcy

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by By / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on January 16, 2009 at 12:44 AM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 23 at 12:26 PM

Video: Renton Pastor owes millions in bankruptcy

RENTON, Wash. - Bankruptcy documents reveal a Renton pastor owes millions of dollars to people and churches across the country.

Pastor Tony Morris of the New Covenant Christian Center filed for bankruptcy last week. In documents we've now seen, Pastor Morris admits he owes more than $2 million to people both in and out of his congregation. Almost $300,00 of that amount comes from churches across the country.

In his bankruptcy filing, Pastor Morris listed his debts. Included on the list is former Nordstrom executive Jack McMillan, who is owed $240,000, as well as former NFL pro bowler Bennie Thompson at $180,000.

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Verdayne Johnson of Seattle is not a big name. He's a contractor. He gave the pastor $100,000 in 2005. Johnson and his business partner, a member of Morris' church, thought the money was going to save the building.

"He knew what to say. He dressed nice and the fact that he was using his church. If he hadn't said his church was in a bind, we're going to lose it, I wouldn't have loaned him any money," said Johnson.

The list of Pastor Morris' debts to people spans the country -- Seattle, California, Maryland and more.

There are also other churches owed. Pastor Morris owes Mount Calvary in Seattle $80,000. He owes another $200,000 to churches in Texas, Georgia and Illinois.

Johnson is not sure if he'll get any of his money back from Morris, but he just can't understand what kind of pastor would do this to another church.

"That's why I don't address him that way (as pastor). He doesn't deserve to be called that," said Johnson.

Morris claims his take home pay is $6,200 a month. The monthly payment on his million dollar home is $6,100. We've also been told that federal investigators are now involved in the case.

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