Church forced to close daycare, funds misused by former pastor

Church forced to close daycare, funds misused by former pastor (Image 1)
Church forced to close daycare, funds misused by former pastor (Image 1)

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) – The Gatlinburg Presbyterian Church has closed its daycare center and a church spokesman said the former pastor is being investigated over financial allegations.

Thursday is the last day of operation for the daycare, which opened in 1995. The Mountain Press reported church spokesman Bill Ball said the church was forced to close the center because its funds were misused.

The Rev. Ronald Lukat resigned from the church about a week after financial irregularities were discovered in December. The newspaper said telephone messages it left for Lukat were not returned.

Judd Shaw, the general presbyter for the Presbytery of East Tennessee, said Lukat has resigned from the Gatlinburg church and was the target of an investigation. Shaw said he was unaware of Lukat asking to be placed at any other church.

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