Swindler or leader?

The Gazette of Colorado Springs, CO features a story on Don Armstrong, former rector of Grace Episcopal Church:

He is also revered for his Christian counsel and visiting the sick and bereaved at all hours.

Yet Armstrong is also a polarizing figure who gave fiery sermons against his own Episcopal denomination and is sometimes gruff with staff members.


“He has charm, but he also has a very rough side,” said Lilly, who remembers high staff turnover under Armstrong.

Armstrong also had sweeping control over the vestry, Lilly said. At vestry meetings, Armstrong would solicit for rector benefits, such as having the church pay the full mortgage on his house and the lease on his car, Lilly said. At one point Armstrong, wife Jessie, and their two children, Melissa and Zachary, were using four church vehicles for personal use.

“Maybe we should have spoken up,” Lilly said. “Hindsight is wonderful. But when someone you trust tells you something reasonable, you believe it.”

Read the story.

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