We’ve heard about shady pastors but damn!
This is one of those stories that might just have you looking at the collection plate a lil’ funny this Sunday. According to a report in PEOPLE, a 55-year-old Georgia pastor named Curtis Bankston and his 56-year-old wife Sophia Simm-Bankston were arrested for operating an unlicensed, unsanctioned, unsupervised “personal care facility” out of their home. More specifically, the locked basement of their home. Authorities say the couple was using a church moniker, One Step of Faith 2nd Chance, to disguise the evil nature of their allegedly sick endeavor that included the imprisonment of 8 people.
On January 13, the Griffin Fire Department showed up at the house after receiving a call stating that a “patient” had a seizure. When they saw that the basement door had been secured with a double deadbolt lock, they called the police.
“Preliminary information indicated that as many as eight individuals resided in the basement of this residence and that they were ‘locked in’ at certain times by the ‘caretakers,'” reads the statement. “The ‘caretakers’ have been leasing this property for approximately fourteen months, using the basement as a personal care home for the individuals, which essentially imprisoned them against their will.”
“Everybody inside this home was here on their own free will, they were free to come and go as they please,” Wimbish said. “No one was kept, held hostage. … You’re not talking about somebody profiting off of the backs of the poor, you’re talking about somebody who’s actually doing what God commanded us to do — go out into the byways and the highways, spread his message, and feed individuals and clothe individuals. He’s doing what his God has called him to do.”