Michael Winans Jr. was able to con Detroit’s Black churches out of thousands of dollars and he was charged with wire fraud in connections with a Ponzi scheme.
Ephren Taylor was also able to con Black churches out of money using the same Ponzi scheme, garnering him more than $11 Million dollars.(See definition of Ponzi at bottom of this post).
According to The Hampton Roads Voice writer Tonyana Weatherbee, “…megachurches in particular now provide guidance in virtually every person’s lives…there may be ministeries ranging from physical fitness to public relations…and, of course, ministries for financial management”
The writer goes on to say that it is a shame con artists are preying on black churchgoing people.
I will take it a step further and say…They deserve to get preyed upon. These churches were not very discerning. Hopefully, these events will now be eye openers for church goers who do nothing but go to church.
What I said may seem very mean and offensive but it is not compared to how God may feel about most of these huge/mega buildings with wealthy people on the inside.
How is it that we can give to the already given and not to the poor? Winans is a huge household name and I’m sure the other guy was famous too- but they had one thing in common. Money!
So here’s the equation: Rich=We’ll make you richer. Poor= You need to stay poor.
I can’t speak for all churches, but I have been to a few churches that basically told me: “If you are not a member, or do not pay tithes, we cannot help you” One of them literally slammed the huge, glass church door in my face as soon as I asked if I can speak to someone for help.
These were black churches.
So why do Black churches give to the rich?
Is it because of the person’s name?
Money and fame?
The person is on the Deacon Board, Sunday School board, sits in the front pew?
Or could it be trust? Is it because someone who is rich may have more money managing skills than someone poor and we think those who are poor deserve their lot in life?
I’m not sure. But let’s see what the Word has to say about money and church:
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith”(1Timothy 6:10 KJV)
“No man can serve two masters: for either will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon”(Matthew 6:24 “some manuscripts say God and Money”)
“A prudent man forseeth the evil and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished”(Proverbs 22:3)
And let’s not forget Jesus turning over the money table where the church was selling doves(Matthew 21:12 KJV).
I could go on and on about how the church should be more focused on things of the Kingdom of Righteousness and material wealth last but they know this just like I do. Now, without coming off like a hypocrite, I do understand the needs for money. I use money, not the other way around.
There’s a well built church on every corner where I live but there are still poor folks wandering around who need a ride to that first interview or some money to pay that light bill, or maybe some food for them and their children just to make it to next week. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in helping others. The excuse is that the poor don’t come to church, but you are the Church- the body of Christ and the only bible they may ever read.
What has your church done with its wealth today?
*A Ponzi scheme is “fradulent investment that pays returns to its investors from their own money or money paid by other investors instead of profits earned”