Minister faces eviction on April Fool’s Day, fights to raise $68,000 before deadline

By Chinta Strausberg


A minister for more than 15-years, Bishop John Rodgers, Jr. who heads the New Life in Christ Missionary Non-Denominational Training Center Church, 740 E. 91st Pl., is facing an April 1st deadline to come up with $68,000 or his congregation will be evicted even though he’s never missed a payment.

The Bishop will be at Tuesday’s March 5th 10 a.m. press conference at Josephine’s Hardtime Restaurant, 436 E. 79th St., where 34th District candidate Richard Wooten is calling for grants and programs needed to bailout struggling churches.

Rodgers moved into his church on January 1, 2010. Bishop Rodgers gave the owner, Cedric Smith, $10,000 in cash with a balance of $68,000. He has been paying $550.00 a month for 24-months. “We have not missed a payment,” said Rodgers.

“I had two-years to get someone to finance me or I would lose my church. I had put a lot of work into this building. I kept the building up and paid on time,” the Bishop said.

“All I need is for someone to finance us, and we will pay this person our mortgage,” said the Bishop.  “I would hate to lose my congregation and to be put out on the streets with nowhere to go.”

Rodgers signed the installment agreement for warranty deed on January 1, 2010. The owner is calling in that debt and has allegedly promised to evict Rodgers if he doesn’t come up with the balance of $68,000 by April 1st which is also April Fool’s Day except it’s no joke for Bishop Rodgers and his parishioners.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: