Mid-South church gets hit with huge utility bill

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - If you think your utility bill is high, chances are it does not come close to the bill New Bethel Temple Church got in its mailbox.

Pastor Aaron Litzsey has seen his share of trials and tribulations. But he never imagined his church would be hit with a quarter of a million dollar financial burden.

"I always expected because our church was growing that the expenses and expenditures of the church were going to go up.  However, I didn't expect them to grow overnight," Litzsey said.

$215,641. That was the amount on this MLGW utility bill the church received for the month of November. Pastor Litzsey said the church has never had to pay more than $2,800 for utilities, so he knew there was obviously an error.

Chris Stanley with MLGW said a glitch in the system is to blame. While it's a rare occurence, Stanley said the power company's billing process has an accuracy rate of 99.9 percent.

"Even bills that aren't in the accurate range are kicked out when we review them as being high.  That's where this bill got.  It was actually under review as being high.  Somehow it just went out to the customer. It shouldn't have gone to the customer," Stanley said.

MLGW has since corrected the problem.  The church will be sent a new bill for a little more than $1,700.

For questions about charges on your bill you can call MLGW at 901-544-MLGW.

Click here to e-mail Jamel Major.