St. Louis, MO – The alleged pastor who left a waitress a receipt without tip that read “I give God 10 percent, why do you get 18?” has been identified, and surprise, she’s very sorry and ashamed for her lapse in judgement.
The Applebee’s waitress involved in the story, a girl named Chelsea, posted the receipt to Reddit’s Atheist forum as a joke. The Consumerist, the publication that originally picked up the story, interviewed her and discovered that she had been fired after the pastor called in to complain after the post went viral.
Despite Chelsea’s efforts to keep the receipt and the pastor anonymous, internet users went on a witch hunt to find him or her. We attempted in a previous post to reach out to the then-anonymous pastor for an interview, but The Smoking Gun beat us to it. She is a 37-year-old St. Louis woman named Alois Bell who told them that “My heart is really broken,” adding, “I’ve brought embarrassment to my church and ministry.”
Bell dined at Applebee’s on January 25 after an evening service at the Truth in the World Deliverance Ministries church. Five adults and five children joined her for dinner at Applebee’s, which she said is a traditional place her church members go after church.
Bell called her receipt comment a “lapse in judgment that has been blown out of proportion,” and said that she left a $6 tip on the table in addition to the added gratuity.
A friend called her yesterday to inform her that her receipt was “all over Yahoo. You went viral!” She then called the Applebee’s to complain. She talked to the manager of the Applebee’s in a follow-up, and found out that Chelsea had been fired.
Bell is a mother of three, and heads up a 15-member church that rents out storefront space. She has a separate full-time job, but didn’t say anything more about her employment. She does indeed tithe 10 percent of her income to the church.
Bell says in her biography that she “gave her life to Christ in 1997 while she was pregnant and homeless with her youngest son.” She recalled an afternoon when she was living in a Catholic homeless shelter when “the Lord touched her heart and she invited him in.”
If Alois Bell is reading this, we’d still love to talk to you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (mind the spelling) or reach out to me on Facebook if you’re more comfortable.
UPDATE: Because I know you love updates. We reached out to Applebee’s for comment, and spokesman said this!
“Our Guests’ personal information – including their meal check – is private, and neither Applebee’s nor its franchisees have a right to share this information publicly. We value our Guests’ trust above all else. Our franchisee has apologized to the Guest and has taken disciplinary action with the Team Member for violating their Guest’s right to privacy. This individual is no longer employed by the franchisee.”
Sure, it’s not much, but that’s Applebee’s side of the story.