Former church worker apologizes for taking money

By WLOX Staff

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - A former First Baptist Church of Long Beach employee who's charged with embezzlement says her decision was based on a life or death situation.

Michelle Calliham is charged with embezzling a large sum of money from the church over a period of eight months. The 36-year old mother of three says she needed the money after she was denied cancer medical treatment coverage from her health insurance company. Calliham freely admitted that she took the money, and she was wrong to do so.

The church issued a public statement about the case, saying, "It is our fervent desire that our participation in the ongoing investigation will reflect our savior and his love at all times."

The Morrison Law Firm, who is representing Calliham, said Friday that, "There is no one more deserving of prayer and Christ's love than this single mother of three, abandoned by the very insurance company paid to protect her life, and now ostracized by a community based in God's forgiveness. Noting Mrs. Calliham's condition, a clear conscience and forgiveness may be more important than treatment."

Calliham was booked at the Harrison County jail, and is now out on bond.

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