Last Time: Several months passed following the December 2010 call meeting without much conflict. The minor situations that flared between either the congregation members or the church leaders were quickly diffused and settled. By the summer, things were looking more positive and friendly than it had been in years. Then something unexpected happened. The Chairman of the Deacon Board Dewey “Doughy” Holly was involved in a car accident and charged with driving while intoxicated.
Giving Holly and his family some time to process the situation and recover, the church awaited patiently for Dcn. Holly to return and apologize for his behavior. Though Dcn. Holly returned to church nearly two months after the accident, the explanation and apology a majority of the congregation was anticipating never came. The congregation hoped to rectify the situation at the church’s October Business Meeting.
October 8, 2011
Following Sister Bertha Cooke’s reading of the minutes from the July Business Meeting, the Financial Committee gave its quarterly report. Trustee Sinclair Millard spoke about the church being in dire straits financially. With that knowledge, the Finance Committee planned to make some huge budget cuts starting next year. One of those cuts included getting rid of the Love Offering for visiting preachers. At the request of Pastor Cyrus Payton to emphasize the Love Offerings’ impact, Tr. Millard explained that since visiting preachers don’t need expense coverage as much as they used to, there’s no need for the extra $250 offering.
Echoing Pastor Payton’s sentiments was Sister Valentine Moore asking, “How much does $250 really hurt the church?”
Tr. Millard replied with a question of his own, “Did you see the money?” while pointing at the report everyone was given at the meeting’s start.
Sis. Moore couldn’t understand how the Finance Committee felt the church could grow “spiritually” if everything got cut and the budget shrank with each Business Meeting.
Sis. Cooke blamed the lack of money on the members spending the church’s money on food rather than using it to help grow the church’s bank account.
“I say we is too eatin’ people,” said Sis. Cooke – who could be considered closer to obese than in shape.
Sis. Cooke continued her tirade about the church members only giving, “…five, ten, fifteen dollars, and expect the church to have money. Y’all need to examine y’allselves.”
Sister Gloria Henderson stood up to question how Sis. Cooke and everyone else can blame the people about giving money when they don’t know the situation those same people are in. Sis. Henderson questioned Sis. Cooke’s faith when it comes to money when Sis. Cooke has gone out of her way to remind people that the Lord will take care of the church and its finances.
Sis. Cooke hastily defended herself and her faith by saying, “My faith is in God! I give my money knowin’ God gon’ give it back to me! I don’t what you thinkin’, but I know what God will do for me!”