Pastor on the take

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Revmitchell, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    Someone asked me this question, what are your thoughts:



    "I know of a church pastor (along with one other board member) who secretly applied for a $100+ loan and to the knowledge of the church body have not used any of the funds to make repairs on the church building. The congregation is filled with low income single parent families, widows and other elderly on fixed income who are now burdened with repaying the $100+ loan along with a loan the congregation agreed to get to make necessary repairs to the church building. What should the members do? confront the pastor in an open meeting, get an attorney and file charges, vote the pastor out or a combination? There are no church by-laws or other official documents. The church as been in existance since the mid to late 1940s and this is the second pastor of the small rural community."
     
  2. Salty

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    Two or three men should sit down with the pastor and get his side of the story.
     
  3. SBCPreacher

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    Oops. I misunderstood. (Nothing new.)
     
  4. Pastor Larry

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    First, why would someone take out $100 loan? That doesn't make sense.

    Second, why are there no by-laws? How does someone take out a loan for a company or organization with no documentation?
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    This is the way the question was sent to me but I believe that they intended to say 100,000. And you are right it makes no sense that a church took out a loan with no corporation or trustees to sign off.

    Thanks for the confirmation.
     
  6. bobbyd

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    You would probably be surprised by how many churches have no by-laws, and they tend to get away with murder in some senses. A good friend of mine walked into Wednesday services one night and the 13 people who got there early told him, "We called a business meeting and voted to accept your resignation immediately"...and the lack of bylaws allowed for that.

    As for the issue, i think this pastor needs to confronted first and foremost by leaders within the church, and if part of an association move to them for assistance if necessary. If there is some dishonesty he needs to resign and if the dollar amount is high enough charges probably should be considered.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    If folks know about it, the loan was not "secret". It is a public matter and should be dealt with in a public manner.

    If the church has a congregational form of government, the bodymust make such decisions. A loan arranged privately by an individual (including a pastor who lies about church authority) is PRiVATE and he must be held liable, not the church.

    Seems like a lot of info on this story is missing. ????
     
  8. TomVols

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    I've been the lender and the borrower in this situation, if you will. A church doesn't get a loan just because the pastor goes and signs a paper. you have to have enormous documentation. Someone had to be complicit unless the pastor had all access. Still, you have to have more than just his signature. Something doesn't sit right.

    If this DID happen with just the pastor's signature, then the church is at fault for having the atmosphere where this could happen. They gave him too much power and didn't have a Const/By laws to prevent or spell out anything.
     
  9. mark1

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    How could this be what happened? First of all, I don't know a bank that will loan $100 dollars, and if its $100,000 dollars, I don't know a bank that will lend that kind of money to just the Pastor, without the trustees signing the loan.
    Maybe this is what is wrong on Wall Street???
     
  10. Steven2006

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    Many banks would make a loan that size with proper collateral, and reasonable proof that they had the ability to pay the note. If the pastor had the ability and authority to sign over the church property, and it appraised high enough he could have easily have gotten a loan approved.
     
  11. j_barner2000

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    Happened to a church in the next town. It killed the church. The last 2 ladies left just closed the doors and began attending here. They managed to pay off the debt, but I suspect the situation is different. The pastor attached the church property as security to buy himself a house. When he sold the house, he left the church in debt for over 15,000. The community is small and the church may never recover.

    They could not do anything legally because he was president and cfo of the corporation. The prosecuter refused to pursue the case.
     
  12. mark1

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    I guess it would depend on the bylaws of the church. I live in small community where we are all known and as I said, I don't know of a bank that would do it.
     
  13. TomVols

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    It's nowhere near that simple. Church loans are the hardest in the world to do, esp Baptist churches. They can fold in a day. Therefore, you have nothing left to secure the note nor anyone to go after to make pay the note. You have to have tons of documentation for these kinds of loans. Financials for 10 years are not uncommon. 5 years is typical. Individual pledges are often required as types of co-signers. It takes months to underwrite church loans, and that's just for construction or real estate type loans, let alone capital-type funding (for lack of a better term). I find it hard to believe, as a pastor and banker, borrower and lender, that this loan was secured so easily.
     
  14. TomVols

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    Exactly. 50 years ago, maybe the deacons could go down and get a loan at the local community bank and have it before week's end. Those days have been gone for a long time.
     
  15. jshurley04

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    Pot Stirring

    The whole deal smells of some one trying to stir the pot in a church somewhere. It sounds far too scetchey on details and the financial climate is such that if you do not have a constitution and by-laws these days then you most likely will not be getting any kind of loans. Besides to loan money most banks want to see tons of records and meet with the officers of the church along with having them sign.

    When we changed our name I had to provide business minutes with officer signitures to verify to the bank what we wanted to do. I would ask a ton more questions about the person asking you this. They may be looking for a way to stir the pot with your unknowing blessing.
     
  16. dh1948

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    Unless things have changed in the last 8 years, those days still exist in my town at our hometown bank. I live in a town of about 15K residents, of which 5K are college students. Eight years ago we borrowed nearly 750K for construction. Took three days for the bank board to give us an answer. Income and expense records for the previous two years were needed.

    No mortgage required, no personal guarantors needed; absolutely nothing secured the loan except the good reputation of the church. Just an advantage of living in a small down.
     
  17. Brother Randall

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    Why would a Baptist church loan be any more risky over other denominations?

    BR
     
  18. Dr. Bob

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    If a methodist church got a loan, then even if the church split/dissolved there is a DENOMINATIONAL HIERARCHY that has deep pockets and can be held for the debt.

    Baptists and many of the charismatic fly-by-night churches are here one day and gone tomorrow. NO denomination, no guarantee, no deep pockets to cover a loan.

    Banks should make sure that ANY loan has land/buildings VALUABLE ENOUGH to be sold and the money pay the loan off. If they don't, they should be liable for doing bad business practice and take it as a loss.

    I was on a credit union board and a non-denom church wanted $300k for land and building, with only $25k down. We told them we would loan them the money in increments - so much to purchase the land, so much more when foundations laid, etc etc

    Even though we had the best rate in town, they went with another institution who would give them ALL the money up front. And you guessed it. Two years later all that institution got back was foreclosed land that had minimal value. The pastor and whoever had spent all the rest and moved on . . . to your town!! ;)
     
  19. JPPT1974

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    To be honest, I wouldn't want to touch that kind of money.
    It is tempting I think! Would rather give it to someone that
    Would be honest and truthful.
    Really, you shouldn't be handling that kind of money.
    But if you do, take someone with you.
    So that you could be held accountable for it.
    That way, you won't be tempted at all.
    Just my two cents worth!
     

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