'This is a pit stop': Kirbyjon Caldwell delivers Easter message amid fraud and money laundering allegations

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Kirbyjon Caldwell delivers Easter Sunday message. (KTRK)

The pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church fulfilled his promise of preaching his Easter Sunday sermon.

He spoke of resurrection power, and sang alongside the choir.

Then, Kirbyjon Caldwell spoke of the trial he's facing -- both personal and literal.

The pastor of the megachurch that grew into a 16,000 member congregation was indicted Thursday on charges that he sold historical Chinese bonds to investors, aided by a co-defendant. The federal indictment argues that the bonds are worthless.

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From the pulpit, Caldwell went off-sermon and proclaimed he has proof that the bonds, in which he said he invested as well, have value.

He also said he made good on losses.

"Everyone who's asked for their money back has received their money back," Caldwell told the congregation.

The sanctuary was full to the overflow.

"From my mouth to your ears, I am not guilty," he said.

The congregation applauded.

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The longtime pastor was visibly emotional when he asked for prayers for his wife and children.

"On the road to glory you have painful pit stops and this is a pit stop," he conceded. "The one thing that disturbs me most is (the statement) that I took advantage of people. I've spent 38 years helping people."

Houston attorney Dan Cogdell is representing Caldwell in the case.

"Lawyers often say it's an honor to represent a client, but this truly is. I was told to stand tall when representing Kirbyjon Caldwell. I said, 'stand tall?' I'm standing on the shoulders of a giant."

There was thunderous applause in response.

The congregation remains supportive of the pastor who's seen some of them through the trials of life.

"I'm praying that God will show him the way out of this mess," said one man. "And I'm glad he showed up here today."

Caldwell is expected to surrender this week in response to the federal charges in Louisiana, where the indictment originated.
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