Carpenter's Chapel Inc., a church on Dogwood Road in Solway, has filed suit in Knox County Chancery Court against former pastor Hobart Randalls "Randy" Tinch, alleging he robbed church coffers of $347,000 during his 19-year tenure there. Attorney Steve Shope, who is representing the church, said information gleaned from an audit of the church's books will be turned over to authorities for a criminal probe. Tinch, who lives in Oak Ridge, could not be reached for comment.
Shope described Tinch as a "charismatic" figure who used church offerings to support a lavish lifestyle that included pricey cars and expensive trips. The church was unaware of Tinch's alleged thievery until he stepped down as pastor in January 2008, when a resulting audit by a certified public accountant uncovered the misappropriation, Shope said.
Read the full report at the Knoxville News Sentinel Web site.