Pastor dies, months after resignation, financial audit

Associated Press

Traverse City – A pastor in the Traverse City area who suddenly quit his church after financial irregularities has died near his hunting property, police said.

John Clark’s body was found this week in woods in Benzie County, Sheriff Ted Schendel told the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Pastor John Clark

Investigators don’t believe anyone else was involved. A medical examiner will determine the cause and method of death, Schendel said.

Clark was the founding pastor at West Side Community Church in Leelanau County, just west of Traverse City. His resignation was announced to the congregation on Sept. 8 after church elders made the “difficult and painful decision” to inform police about the findings of a financial audit.

Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich said an investigation is ongoing. He said investigators believe the amount is more than $500,000.

“Money investigations take a long time sometimes,” he said.