EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSPastor Resigning After Lending Police Use Of Church Bus
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Dan Matics
Web Producer: Heath Harrison
Reported: Sep. 11, 2013 10:04 PM EDT
Updated: Sep. 11, 2013 11:40 PM EDT
Hamlin , Lincoln County , West Virginia
Chris Wilkinson wears many different hats - he's Hamlin's mayor, a pastor and then puts on a badge as the town’s police chief.
"You never know when you have to strap it on and take care of business," he said.
But some members of his congregation at Morning Star Church feel as if he overstepped his bounds, when he loaned the church bus to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department to make a drug bust.
"I just assumed it would be OK to do,” he said. “Maybe I should have checked with them."
Wilkinson said officers were able to hide in the bus and make a surprise bust, He said the bus has even been used to transport people arrested, nicknaming it the 'Hoodlum Hauler.'
On Wednesday evening, it was even parked in his front yard, where he said it was filled with clothing to donate to needy children.
People in the church said they asked him to resign, because 'police use' wasn't covered in the van's insurance policy.
Officials at the church who asked the pastor to resign would not go on camera. They said they were fearful he would abuse his position as police chief to retaliate.
Wilkinson said he plans to submit his resignation.
The pastor and police chief said he has no regrets in the fight over separation of church and state.
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