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July 17, 2019

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Pastor Raymond Vliet faced a judge Wednesday for a second time after being arrested last week by the Elder Abuse Task Force of Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell.


​​​​​​Posted on July 17, 2019

BY MIKE KILLBREATH

CCN Executive Editor

Mt. Morris Twp. pastor faces judge as Sheriff Pickell holds press conference to warn residents to 'watch over elderly'

   FLINT (CCN) — A preliminary exam was adjourned Wednesday until July 31 for a local pastor accused of cheating two church members in their 90's with dementia. Assistant Prosecutor David Mayes of the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office told Genesee County 67th District Court Judge Mark McCabe that the delay because a witness was out of town.

   Judge McCabe allowed all four TV stations in Genesee County to film Wednesday's proceedings against Pastor Raymond Vliet of Old Beth-El General Baptist Church in Mt. Morris Township. Judge McCabe also continued bail for Pastor Vliet who posted a $55,000 bond to get out of the Genesee County Jail last week.

   "Using God to prey on an elderly person, he's headed to Hell as far as I'm concerned," said Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell who held a press conference at his office during the same time that Pastor Vliet faced the judge on Wednesday at Central District Court in Downtown Flint. He credited an Elga Credit Union loan officer with being a hero for alerting his Elder Abuse Task Force after becoming suspicious, according to the Sheriff, after Pastor Vleit attempted to get loans to buy a new boat and purchase a new Jeep to pull it.

   "The loan officer rejected the loan, but he went to another bank and got it," Sheriff Pickell said. "He couldn't get a loan in his own name because his credit was poor, so he had power of attorney over this elderly couple in his church and he was trying to get the loans in their name. We discovered that after the woman had died, Vliet moved into their house. He also cashed in a life insurance policy and used it for vacations and trips to the casino. The loan officer noticed in his folder of papers that he had other power of attorney documents and that made the loan officer suspicious."

   Defense attorney Fred Meiers said he hasn't yet had an opportunity to review all the evidence against Pastor Vliet and didn't want to make any comments.

    Meiers told The Morning Gazette Radio Show last week that it was unclear from the police report what church his client is affiliated with after being told a Linked In page by Pastor Vliet says he currently serves as pastor at Time of Grace Community Fellowship on Davison Road in Flint. A web site for the Flint church does not list Pastor Vliet as being affiliated with their church in any way and a message at the church has not yet been returned. A Facebook Page for Old Beth-El General Baptist Church in Mt. Morris Township also does not list Pastor Vliet and has only three "likes" registered on it, but a sign in front of the church, however, does have Vliet listed as its pastor. No phone number could be obtained for Old Beth-El General Baptist Church.

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RELATED STORY:

Mt. Morris Twp. pastor arrested by Sheriff Robert Pickell's Elder Abuse Task Force for allegedly embezzling money from elderly church couple with dementia