Former pastor, treasurer charged with embezzlement

ELIZABETHTOWN — Two women were arrested Wednesday and charged in connection with the disappearance of money from Mt. Pisgah Church in Bladen County.

According to Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker, the investigation began in January when church members began questioning the disappearance of money from the church’s bank accounts.

“Our investigation disclosed money was withdrawn from church bank accounts beginning in 2009 and continuing through 2013,” he said. “The investigation showed two people were responsible.”

Then minister Retonya Judtha Freeman, 38, of Raleigh, and the treasurer, Agnes Jeanette McCall, 59, of Bladenboro, have been charged with embezzlement.

McVicker said more than $70,000 was embezzled from the church coffers.

Freeman was charged with seven counts of embezzlement and given a $36,000 secured bond. McCall was charged with five counts of embezzlement and three counts of accessory before the fact to a felony. McCall received a $29,000 secured bond.

Both individuals made bond and were released.

“Cases like this are hard for a congregation who has put their trust in these individuals,” said McVicker. “Too many times these type cases go unreported out of embarrassment or fear of adverse publicity for the church. I am glad this church came forward to report this crime and work with us to find the proof of this act and hopefully find justice.”