MIDWEST CITY (KFOR) — A Midwest City woman said she cannot access her husband’s life insurance policy after his death. Angelia Wright said she purchased the policy through The Church of God in Christ in 2018. According to its website, the Church of God in Christ, Inc. (COGIC) is the largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States. Churches in the metro area are under the Great SE Jurisdiction Church of God in Christ, which offered the policy.
Wright bought one $50,000 plan for herself and one $50,000 plan for her husband, Tommy, paying $70 per month.
After her husband’s death in February, Wright called the insurance provider, Lincoln Financial, to access the policy so she could pay for his funeral. She claimed the company asked her if she could provide tax information since she was an employee of the church.
“I said we don’t work for The Church of God in Christ,” said Wright.
According to Wright, the church claimed she and her husband were employees to get a group rate on the policy. She said when she told the church’s financial advisor about the problem, he told her to come to his office to sign paperwork and he would handle it.
“I didn’t even look at the letter,” said Wright, who had been a member of the church for more than 40 years.
Her daughter Felicia said the financial advisor, Dedrick Adell, had the piece of paper ready for her to sign when she showed up. It wasn’t until she took a closer look at the paper later that it was written as if she penned it.
“It states that my father was an employee for a Church of God in Christ,” said Felicia. “He has never worked for The Church of God in Christ.”
KFOR News 4 spoke to Adell and asked if he falsified documents to show Wright and her husband worked for the church.
“No ma’am,” said Adell in a phone call.
We asked if the family had ever worked for the church.
“They actually did work for them because they actually volunteer all the time, working through the church,” said Adell.
KFOR responded by saying that a volunteer is not a paid employee. Adell said he was working to fix the problem but the Wright family said the insurance company already closed the policy because of too many “red flags.”
KFOR also reached out to Church of God in Christ Bishop Malcolm Coby, but our call was not returned. Wright attends Jones Chapel who said they are victims too. It’s the denomination, not the church she attends, that offered the policy. She said she wanted to get the word out to protect her fellow congregation who could also be affected.
“We have no closure. My dad is still at the crematory,” said Felicia. “We’re trying to make sure that we bury him properly, and to find out that they falsification or falsified documents to do this is very disheartening.”
Wright said she was reaching out to lawyers to handle the issue that’s affected their entire family.
Tommy Wright still has not been buried and the family has no way of paying for the funeral. They said that was what the life insurance policy was for. They recently started a GoFundMe account to help pay for his funeral. You can access the account here.