YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A former deacon at an Austintown church will be allowed to complete a theft diversion program after he pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of grand theft.

Gregory Pflug, 51, entered his plea in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to a fourth-degree felony charge of grand theft.

Under the terms of the program, Pflug must make restitution to Tabernacle Evangelical Church, where he was accused of stealing over $39,000 from the Deacon Fund.

Church officials said the money was taken between 2018 and 2023. Pflug was indicted by a grand jury this summer after Austintown police investigated the case.

The money in the fund was used to help people in need, church officials have said.