Posts in this section were archived prior to February 2010. For more recent posts, go to the HOME PAGE.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006                                                                                       View Comments

Pastor accused of scamming $300,000

LITTLETON - A local woman says a pastor now preaching in Tulsa, Oklahoma bilked her father of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

According to Sandy Chrisman, Reverend Johnny Chambers encouraged her dad to give him and his worship center in Arizona his entire life savings, more than $300,000.

Chrisman's dad died in 1997 and she has been looking for the money and for answers ever since.

"It's really master manipulation," said Chrisman, "give and it shall be given to you."

She said her father, Robert Stickel, met Chambers at a revival in Arizona in 1997.

In six months, he gave the Chambers and the Chambers' Worship Center all the money he had.

"I mean come on, $314,000 gone, the guy goes around the country and does this," she said.

Chrisman says her dad gave the money, hoping Chambers could heal her brother of brain cancer.

"They would say. 'If you will give all your money Bob, I know I've never met you before, I know God will heal your son,'" said Chrisman. "It was really an act of love. My dad would do anything for his son. I believe that's exactly what happened."

Not long after Stickel died, his family sued. In 2002, a U.S. District Court in Arizona ordered Chambers to repay the money, plus interest to the estate.

To this day, the Chrismans say they have not seen a dime.

"He's been hiding his assets he's been hiding where he is. He's hidden everything," said Chrisman.

The Chrismans say they finally found Chambers at a revival in Tulsa this month. He was served with a subpoena ordering him and his ex-wife Natalie to show up and produce documentation of all their assets Tuesday.

"A pastor should be held to a higher level of accountability behind the pulpit," said Jeff Chrisman, Sandy's husband. "Preying on people's fears, hopes and dreams to further his financial gain. It's not religion, that's a scam."

After nine years of trying to find their father's money, the family hopes the legal system will finally help them find peace.

If Chambers does not show for the meeting and does not produce the required documents, a warrant could be issued for his arrest.

Chambers did not return calls for comment from 9NEWS.