MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — A well-known Tennessee pastor who appeared on singing competitions “American Idol” and “The Voice” was arrested and charged with identity theft.
Pastor Steven Flockhart of 901 Church in Shelby County was charged with identity theft and theft of merchandise $2,500-$10,000 on Thursday.
Flockhart is known for his brief success on “American Idol” and NBC’s “The Voice” in 2012.
Reports say that in 2019, Flockhart and another member of the church agreed to open a joint credit card specifically for the church. The victim stated that Flockhart called him and requested his personal information, which he reluctantly gave.
In September, the victim said that he noticed his credit score had dropped a significant amount. When searching for an answer as to why, he noticed that a credit card through PayPal had been opened under his name.
Reports show the credit card has approximately $6,410 in unpaid charges.
The victim reportedly confronted Flockhart about the charges. That is when Flockhart admitted to opening the card under the victim’s name without permission, the victim says.
The phone number connected to the account was confirmed by the loan holder Synchrony Financial, and by the victim, to be Flockhart’s.
According to an affidavit, Flockhart has also had previous incidents similar to this in Georgia.
Court documents say Flockhart forged documents and impersonated the account holder of a credit card at a separate church in Georgia, which resulted in a lawsuit in 2020.
“He said that it had all been taken care of and that he had made some past mistakes, which is fine, no one is perfect,” said a former member of 901 Church.
However, some church members were not convinced and issued demands to the overseers or elders of 901 Church. They also are requesting Flockhart be removed as lead pastor and that changes be made in the church’s bylaws.
The former member also said that after those demands were presented, he and others had their church memberships revoked.
“I was one of multiple people that co-signed a document that we sent out to the church body detailing the corruption, and after that, we were removed,” he said.
In addition, he said that he and other church members were concerned about Flockhart’s message long before he was arrested for alleged identity theft.
“It was more about the intake of money and not for people’s relationship with Jesus Christ, you know,” said a former member of 901 Church.
The pastor oversees two locations in the Memphis suburbs of Millington and Bartlett, according to the 901 Church’s website.
901 Church released a statement on Flockhart’s arrest, saying in part, “While we do not find the allegations factual, we believe that vindication is from God and firm in His sovereignty and truth.”
901 Church said service will still be held on Sunday and says its mission remains the same.
“We exist so that people would be reached and lives would be changed,” the church said. “Please pray for our pastor and his family, for the hearts of those who seek to attack him and the church, and our community.”
Flockhart is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.