A Dallas pastor accused of stealing more than $500,000 from his church made his first appearance in court Tuesday.
Rev. Wade C. Davis is the head pastor at Munger Avenue Baptist, one of the oldest churches in Dallas.
Last month, a grand jury indicted him on one count of misappropriating funds greater than $300,000. Church members said he funneled money from church bank accounts, which he then spent on himself.
Davis has posted bond and is still preaching at the church.
He avoided news cameras Tuesday morning, but his attorneys spoke to reporters. They dismissed the case against Davis as a "money grab" by members of the church looking to get paid.
"I think once they look at what really happened, they'll see he didn't do anything wrong," said George Milner, who is representing Davis. "It's very obvious based on what we've been given from the the government that [people in the church] are using the court system to get in the criminal court that which they could not get in civil court."
There is also an ongoing civil case against Davis that seeks to have him removed from the church.
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"He's been at this particular church for almost 20 years and he's absolutely floored [by these accusations]," said Milner. "If you've lived your life in a good, godly way and somebody, for their own personal gain, wants to destroy your reputation, it may be more than you can handle. And that's kind of where we are right now."
Davis is due back in court May 9.