Tampa Church Sends Financial Notice to Member: She Has to Pay to Pray

A letter from the aptly-named Greater Mount Moriah Primitive Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida is exposing the leadership as more interested in money than members.

Earlier this month, Candace Petterson received this notice reminding her to pay up or else:

You are currently delinquent in your financial support.

When a member graduates from High School, they are required to contribute as an adult unless they [are in] college. Once an individual graduates from college, or enter graduate school they are required to contribute [as an] adult. If you are still in college, not graduate school; please provide a copy of your last semester grades… administration to retain your youth status.

To be a member in good standing and have the right to vote, adults are to contribute the:

1. Minimum $50.00 per month.
2. The assessments for Mount Moriah Day currently $150.00
3. The assessment for the Church anniversary $250.00

Youth members are to contribute the:

1. Minimum $5.00 per month.
2. The assessments for Mount Moriah Day currently $15.00
3. The assessment for the Church anniversary $15.00

If you were placed on hardship, this has been extended for ninety days. You should make every effort to contribute the amount fully required.

Yours in Christ.

You know, even at churches known for their displays of wealth, members are encouraged (but not required) to give. If you’re unable to pay, you’re still allowed to participate in church functions. They’d rather keep you in the fold than push you out.

But this church requires adults to pay $1,000 a year. To be fair, that’s far less than a literal tithe (unless they’re making less than $10,000 annually), but any amount is staggering. Who knew salvation required a down payment?

It’s also pretty jaw-dropping that church leadership requires members to help them get out of debt — via the assessment fee — even when members may be struggling to meet their own needs.

The only way this story could be more appalling is if it was a teenager who received the letter for not ponying up the required $5/month or $90/year.

ABC Action News in Florida contacted the church… but no one there will speak on the record other than to confirm the letter.

We reached out to church leaders who acknowledged the letter had come from them, but did not offer any other explanation.

We also left several messages for the church’s pastor, but so far, have not heard back. At this point, Petterson says she’ll now try and find a new place of worship.

Anyone wanna take bets on how much the pastor makes?

Whatever you suggest, I’m gonna say “higher.”

(Thanks to everyone for the link)

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