KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Beatrice Allen was a mother and a grandmother, hard working and fiercely religious. When she died last September at the age of 90, her family struggled to accept that she would no longer be part of their lives.
They never anticipated that they would also be in a struggle with the man whom, for more than a decade, they trusted with her life: Pastor Jon Wright.
“Truthfully, I don’t hate the pastor, and I don’t want any ill to come to him. But I don’t want him ever to have the chance to treat anyone’s family this way,” said Cedric Hoyle, Allen’s grandson.
For nearly 40 years, Wright has been the pastor of Metro Church of Kansas City where Allen was a longtime member. She trusted Wright so completely that in 2003, after suffering four strokes, she gave him power of attorney.
He took over all her finances and paid her bills.
“She felt he had more means,” said Rosalind James, Allen’s daughter and only child. “He had a car to pick up prescriptions.”
Hoyle said he also understood why his grandmother trusted the pastor, adding “that was not a problem for me.”
It wasn’t until Allen’s death that her grandson and daughter saw another side of the pastor, a man whose church they had once attended.
Shortly after her mother’s death, James called the pastor to ask about her mother’s bank account. The pastor said it was none of her business. That’s when she first learned her mother had a will leaving everything to Wright.
Hoyle said he asked the pastor, “Who drew this up because my grandmother can’t talk or write or read. So who drew this up?” He said her attorney had.
“And I said, ‘Who is her attorney?’ because I’ve never heard of him. He refused to speak any more about it,” Holye said.
They said the pastor wouldn’t even let them see a copy of the will — even though by law the holder of a will must file it with the Missouri Probate Court. The pastor also wouldn’t tell them how much the estate was worth.
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