Ex-Without Walls pastor Randy White faces DUI charge in Tampa
TAMPA - Randy White, the former pastor of Without Walls International Church, was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence Saturday night. White, 53, who cultivated a bad-boy image while he and ex-wife Paula White built Without Walls into a multimillion-dollar ministry, was arrested about 11:30 p.m. Saturday at the Ashley Drive exit ramp of southbound Interstate 275, according to Hillsborough County Jail records. Released after posting $500 bail Sunday morning, White could not be reached for comment. White's blood-alcohol level registered at 0.09, according to jail records. In Florida, a person is presumed intoxicated with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08.At its peak, people flocked to Without Walls' 4,000-seat sanctuary on North Grady Avenue, making the church one of the fastest-growing Christian ministries in the country and allowing the Whites to enjoy a lavish lifestyle, expensive cars and homes. But criticism of the Whites' "prosperity gospel" mounted, and a congressional inquiry spent three years reviewing the spending habits of Without Walls and five other televangelist ministries. Randy White struggled to keep the church growing after he and Paula announced they were divorcing in 2007 and she left to focus on what was then a flourishing career as a televangelist, life coach and author. In July 2009, White stepped away from the church and welcomed back his ex-wife as its senior pastor, saying he needed a change after experiencing stress-related health problems. Paula White became the face of Without Walls, and while Randy White retains the title of "bishop," it's unclear what, if any, role he plays in the church. The church's most recent annual report to the Florida Secretary of State's office, filed in April, lists him as the registered agent for Without Walls and as one of its directors. White still owns the Bayshore Boulevard home he bought with his ex-wife, county property records show. But he is living in a penthouse suite at 345 Bayshore Blvd., according to his arrest report. Paula White addressed her ex-husband's arrest at church Sunday morning: "This ministry is a ministry of restoration. This ministry does not compromise the principles of God, but we are the perfect church for people who are not," she said, according to a transcript posted on the church's website. "That doesn't mean I am an enabler. That doesn't mean I condone. That doesn't mean I agree with things. It means that I will help you walk through life. And I want you to walk with me through life. And I think that's what the church is all about."
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