Pay to pray: A single mother in Florida was sent a bill for a $1,000 from her church for failing to tithe on a regular basis.
ABC reports Candace Petterson received a $1,000 collection notice from the Greater Mount Moriah Primitive Baptist Church in Tampa for failing to tithe and being delinquent in her financial support.
Petterson told ABC the $1,000 represents the required annual “donation” in order to be considered a member of the church in good standing.
The following is an excerpt from the delinquency notice sent by the church:
In sending this letter, it is with much regret. We value you as a member of our congregation and your attendance in the worship services. You are currently delinquent in your financial support…
To be a member in good standing and have the right to vote, adults are to contribute the minimum amount of $50 per month.
The letter goes on to note that in addition to the $50 per month, the church requires an additional $150 for “Mount Moriah day” and a yearly church anniversary fee of $250.
The letter, from assistant administrator Ladreda Spencer and Pastor B.R. Fulton Jr., also reminded Petterson that children, including her 11-year-old daughter, were expected to pay $5 a month to the church in addition to two annual $15 fees.
Speaking of the delinquency notice, Petterson told ABC:
Fifty dollars per month, now this shocked me because I haven’t heard about the $50 per month. So where did this come from?
What church charges you to help pay off what they’re going through, I’m not there for that.
It’s like you say to me, if you want to be a member of this church, you need to pay this. If you want to find God, it don’t say anything like that in the Bible…
While many on social media were outraged by the attempt to bill the single mother for what is supposed to be a donation, not all were sympathetic to Petterson.
Bonnie Maxwell, a church member in “good standing,” chided the young church member for posting the letter to Facebook and defended the money-hungry church:
I am a member of Greater Mount Moriah P B Church. I love my church and my pastor. I know people have their opinions regarding the letter that was sent out to this young lady and put over social media. I don’t understand why so much negativity about paying a monthly assessment of $50 a month, that you already knew about. If you go to a club or a bar whatever you wish to call it every weekend, you are paying about $10 or maybe more to get in the door and then paying again for drinks.
Watch the video report below via WFTS-TV: