Church Leader Investigated

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A long-time leader of Colorado's largest Episcopal church is under investigation.

Father Donald Armstrong is on paid administrative leave for a period of 90 days...effective as of December 28th.

For nearly 20 years, Grace and St. Stephen's Episcopal church has been Reverend Don Armstrong's responsibility. The congregation, his to lead.

"There's just really a sense of sadness. They love Father Armstrong," said the Rev. Dr. Michael O’Donnell.

"It is an opportunity for Father Don to meet with his lawyers and prepare an adequate defense," said O’Donnell.

An adequate defense to allegations of what the diocese describes as misapplication of funds. Its investigation began in March of last year, the specifics of which, diocese officials are keeping close to the vest.

"The Diocese is exercising extreme confidentiality during the investigation," O’Donnell said.

Another church leader, who declined an on camera interview, reports the claims come from only one person, and confirms the diocese has not released any written reports of it's findings thus far.

In the meantime, Armstrong is barred from any direct contact with the church or it's members who don't know when, or if, he'll ever return.

"People are very supportive, sending notes and cards, really hoping that he'll be home soon. That's their prayer," O’Donnell said.

If all gets cleared up, Armstrong will continue on. If not, the church vestry will appoint an interim rector and start a nation wide search for replacement.

No calls were returned from the Diocese.