Imprisoned minister Lyons looking for a new pastorate

Posted: Friday, June 28, 2002

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- The Rev. Henry Lyons will serve another 19 months in prison for racketeering and theft, but he's already looking for a new calling.

The former president of the National Baptist Convention U.S.A. Inc. -- the largest black organization in the United States -- Lyons expressed interest in an opening at Tampa's Victory Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church. But the congregation said it wouldn't consider him because the application deadline had passed.

Lyons was convicted of swindling $4 million from companies doing business with his denomination to fund a lavish lifestyle that included a mistress, jewelry and a waterfront home.

Supporters are confident that Lyons will find a church willing to take him.

''Doors are going to be opened for him,'' said Marva Dennard, a member of Bethel Metropolitan Baptist Church in St. Petersburg, Lyons' previous congregation. ''We all do well if we learn from the mistakes we've made, and I'm sure he has.''



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