UPDATE: WATCH: Concord, North Carolina Pastor Thomas ‘Tommy’ Steele of New Life Baptist Church Found Guilty of Embezzling More than $123,000 from Elderly Woman; He Has Been Sentenced to 6 Years, 1 Month to 9 Years, 3 Months in Prison

UPDATE NOTE: The tragedy of this story is that the victim of this crime is the widow of a longtime pastor friend of pastor Tommy Steele of New Life Baptist Church in Concord, North Carolina, Mrs. Lily A. Monk, the widow of pastor Mike Monk of the Immanuel Independent Baptist Church in Pamilico County, North Carolina near New Bern, North Carolina. who died March 28, 2015. There are some who know both of these pastors well who believe that there must have been a major misunderstanding because this is totally out of character for pastor Tommy Steele, who has dedicated his life to winning souls for Christ for over 40 years. No doubt, whatever happened, the devil has scored a devastating blow to two wonderful families and churches that God has used to see literally hundreds of souls saved down through the years. It appears this case should have been settled out of court without this pastor being sentenced to up to 9 years in prison at the age of 63 and this dear widow of a pastor receiving total restitution from pastor Tommy Steele and his church with interest. For two pastor’s families and two churches to end up in a situation like this is beyond a tragedy. Pray for everybody involved in this matter.

PAMLICO COUNTY, NC (WITN) – A pastor was found guilty of embezzling more than $100,000 from an elderly woman here in Eastern Carolina.

Thomas Steele, 63, a pastor at New Life Baptist Church in Concord, was convicted Friday on embezzlement charges and four counts of exploitation of an elderly adult.

District Attorney Scott Thomas says Steele took more than $120,000 from an elderly woman from Grantsboro in the month’s after her husband’s death.

The victim, who is now 85, testified that she did not authorize for Steele to take her money and did not know that he had access to her accounts. Thomas says a family friend noticed the suspicious activity and reported it to law enforcement.

“This case demonstrates the importance of being aware of our older relatives and friends,” said Thomas.

Steele was sentenced to up to 8 years in prison. He was also ordered to pay restitution of more than $123,000 to the victim.



A North Carolina pastor was found guilty of embezzling more than $123,000 from an elderly woman five years ago, according to a district attorney.

Thomas Steele, 63, of Concord was convicted on four counts of exploitation of an elderly adult as well as a charge of embezzlement of more than $100,000, District Attorney Scott Thomas said in a news release on Wednesday.

The 85-year-old victim testified in a Pamlico County court that she didn’t authorize Steele to take her money and did not know until much later that he had used his access to her accounts and a power-of-attorney she had given him to take her life’s savings, according to the news release.

Bank records showed that in 2015, the money was embezzled from the victim in the 13 months following her husband’s death, the news release said. Thomas noted that suspicious activities were noticed by a relative and reported to law enforcement.

Steele, who was convicted last Friday, was sentenced to 73 to 100 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $123,367.

SOURCE: Associated Press


BAYBORO—A Concord pastor has been convicted in Pamlico County of embezzlement of more than $100,000 and four counts of exploitation of an elder adult in Grantsboro.

Thomas Wayne Steele, 63, was pastor of the New Life Baptist Church in Concord, a city just east of Charlotte. According to District Attorney Scott Thomas, Pamlico Sheriff’s investigators found that Steele took more than $120,000 from a widow and family friend who lives in Grantsboro.

Extensive bank records showed that, in 2015, the money was embezzled from the victim in the 13 months following her husband’s death. The victim, now 85, testified that she did not authorize Steele to take her money, and did not know until much later that he had used his access to her accounts, and a power of attorney she had given him, to take her life savings.

“This case demonstrates the importance of being aware of our older relatives and friends,” Thomas said in a news release. “The defendant’s suspicious activities were noticed by a relative of the victim and reported… My office will continue to protect our older citizens from financial exploitation.”

After his conviction in a jury trial, Steele was sentenced to a prison term of 73 to 100 months, and was ordered to pay restitution to the victim of $123,367.09.

Source: New Bern Sun Journal