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Former Associate Pastor Arraigned for Stealing From Life Church In Ava

A former associate pastor at Life Church, in Ava, was arraigned last Friday for stealing from the church.

Christopher M. Gasek, 34, formerly of Ava, now living in the Waynesville area, is charged with forgery, a Class C felony; and Class C felony stealing.

According to the complaint filed with the court, Gasek wrote checks on the church and signed another’s name; and also used a Walmart credit card issued to Life Church without the church’s permission. A PayPal account was also opened to withdraw funds from the Life Church checking account.

According to court affidavits, Gasek and his wife, Kristina, admitted to the unauthorized transactions after they were shown surveillance photographs from Walmart.

Gasek has not been associated with Life Church in Ava since Dec. 24, 2011. The charges stem from transactions made after that time.

Associate Circuit Judge Craig Carter set Gasek’s bond at $30,000.