Pastor charged with taking state grant for nonexistent program

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has accused the pastor and associate pastor at Nashville’s Mt. Hopewell Baptist Church, Clinton Lewis and Andre Trice, of collecting state grant money for an addiction treatment program that did not exist, reports The Tennessean.

The two men have been under investigation by TBI special agents for the last year.

According to the TBI, Lewis and Trice fraudulently received more than $60,000 in grant money from the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services for an addiction recovery program they operated as part of the Mt. Hopewell Community Development Corp. The investigation revealed the clients on the list submitted to the state did not actually receive any program services from at least 2011 to 2015.

In some cases, those clients turned out to be deceased or incarcerated, and those listed as counselors in the program didn’t know the program was still operating, according to TBI.

“Although Pastor Lewis is stunned by the Grand Jury’s decision to indict him on these charges, he is comforted in the fact that he will have an opportunity to clear his name of any and all illegal conduct,” Lewis’ attorney, Jamaal Boykin, said. According to Boykin, Lewis still has the strong and full support of his congregation.