Gatlinburg pastor arraigned on felony theft charge

Gatlinburg pastor arraigned on felony theft charge

Posted:
Pastor Ronald Lukat was arraigned Tuesday on one count of theft of property between $1000 and $10,000. Pastor Ronald Lukat was arraigned Tuesday on one count of theft of property between $1000 and $10,000.
Ronald Lukat (source: Sevier County Sheriff's Office) Ronald Lukat (source: Sevier County Sheriff's Office)

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

SEVIERVILLE (WATE) - A Gatlinburg pastor accused of stealing thousands of dollars from his own church made his first appearance Tuesday in a Sevier County court.

Pastor Ronald Lukat is charged with felony theft. He is accused of using a church credit card for personal use.

Lukat was the pastor of Gatlinburg Presbyterian Church.

He was arraigned on one count of theft of property between $1000 and $10,000.

Church spokesperson Peggy Noblitt says Lukat spent about $3600 on items like a hearing aid and tires for his car.

Since the discovery of the theft, the church has obtained a new pastor and paid off the debt on the credit card.

Noblitt says because of Lukat's alleged theft, the church also had to close a daycare.

The church owed more than $40,000 in unpaid taxes.

Noblitt says church members are still in shock after learning of the theft.

"He was a wonderful pastor. We really loved him. This came like lightning out of the blue," said Noblitt.

Lukat will be back in court for a status update on June 25.

His next court date is set for August 27.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.