News Scripps Media

SPENCER, Ind. — An Owen County pastor is ready to forgive after one of his members stole $200,000 from church coffers.

Danaye Taylor will likely avoid jail time thanks to the church leader’s emotional plea to a judge.

Taylor was convicted of stealing more than $200,000 from the Owen Valley Christian Fellowship church in Spencer, Indiana.

Pastor Bill Grandi spoke with the judge at her sentencing and cited a church principal: Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

“It was tough. I mean I’d be lying to say it wasn’t,” Grandi said Friday.

Taylor was previously the treasurer at the church. She allegedly stole the money over the course of several years. The church only realized the money was missing as they prepared to begin renovations on their building.

Since the discovery, other church members stepped up to help.

“We had very little after this came out and within a year and a half, there was enough money to renovate the church building and pay cash for it. The people rallied together and God blessed us,” Grandi said.

The judge did not send Taylor to jail, but rather put her on probation and ordered her to pay the money back.

Grandi said the forgiveness has been an opportunity for the congregation to practice what they preach. He even said she was welcome to church on Sunday.

“I think for the most part, the leadership and those who knew her would embrace her,” Grandi said.

Unsure if he had any parts in the missing money, but other than that good deed?