Former Ardmore pastor convicted of forgery
ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) -- After the jury read aloud the guilty verdicts, Pastor Willie Tiller was taken to jail. That’s where he’ll stay until he’s sentenced for writing himself ten checks from the First Baptist Church's daycare account, totaling to twelve thousand dollars.
"I really appreciate the efforts of the jury. They were very attentive, paid very close attention and I think their verdicts were supported by the evidence,” says Carter County District Attorney Craig Ladd.
"As I told the church, there are no winners, no matter what transpired," says First Baptist Church Pastor Doctor Wayne A. Lawson.
Lawson was the pastor at the Ardmore church, but Tiller took over his job in 2005.
Tiller was the pastor for the next ten years there before moving on to his current job as pastor at Tabernacle Baptist in Oklahoma City.
"The church did call me back after the ten year absence, as a pastor helping him go through the healing process I just came here to support the church and to support Willie Tiller," says Lawson.
Lawson says it's a blessing the church could financially support the daycare program after the embezzling. After a year, the program is able to fund itself again.
Now they just hope to move on.
"I hope that today's verdicts bring some closure to the first Baptist church east side here in Ardmore," says Ladd.
"Our hearts are broken. We love Willie Tiller. We don't like what he did but we still love him as a child of God," says Lawson.
Tiller's restitution and sentencing hearing is scheduled for December. The jury recommended one year in prison for each count, which could be a total of ten years in prison.