NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A college student is accusing a local bishop of stiffing him out of money.
Trae Coles, who lives in Richmond, said he got a call from his aunt in early May. She told him about an inquiry from Bishop Kendrick Turner in Norfolk, who needed a sound crew for a church revival event. Coles jumped at the chance to make some extra money and signed a contract with Temple of Praise Outreach and its founder, Bishop Turner.
Coles worked the week-long event and captured his work on some cell phone video of Turner preaching. Now, Coles said he’s out $3,000.
“We offered him the service for six days straight, and he just refuses to pay us,” Coles said. “This is ridiculous.”
10 On Your Side went to Turner’s apartment with Coles. He was there, but didn’t answer the door. Then he called us a couple minutes later.
“If they want money, tell them to get me the sound that I paid for,” Turner said. “I did not get anything.”
Turner said he was not satisfied with Coles’ service. He claims Coles had to borrow a friend’s equipment to do the job.
“Every bit of equipment was my equipment,” Coles said. “It wasn’t anybody else’s equipment.”
“I know I’m right,” Tuner said.
WAVY.com is familiar with Turner, and he’s been accused of not paying people for services before. 10 On Your Side did a report last May about security guards he owed money to. When we checked court records, we found dozens of people who have taken Turner to court for the same thing.
“I told you, [the cases] have been satisfied,” Turner said.
Online courts records don’t show if the money has been paid. As for Coles, he, too, is headed to court.
“When he said, ‘take me to court,’ that’s when I felt like this is not a man of God, because this is not prosperity,” Coles said.
Coles and a friend, who contract their equipment and services to provide sound for events, have set up an online fund for anyone who wants help them out financially — click here to donate.