Says: â€˜You are your brothersâ€™ keeperâ€™
By Chinta Strausberg
Chief Apostle William McCoy, Presiding of the Apostolic Fellowship of the International Pentecostal Assemblies Ecumenical (IPAE), was one of the first to respond to a cry for help from Bishop John Rodgers, Jr. who will be evicted from his South Side church on April 1st if he doesnâ€™t come up with $68,000.
Rodgers attended a press conference held at Josephineâ€™s Hardtimes Restaurant, 436 E. 79th St., Chicago, Il, then laterat his church, the New Life in Christ Missionary Non-Denominational Training Center Church, 740 E. 91st Pl., which is now on financial life-support since the owner has called for the balance of his installment note.
Rodgers, who paid $10,000 down on an installment payment plan and never missed his $550 monthly payments, must raise $68,000 by April 1st or he will be evicted from the building.
Rogers joined 34th District Candidate Richard Wooten at Josephineâ€™s restaurant and later at his church. Wooten said if he were elected to the state office and as Sixth Ward Committeeman seat he would fight for grants and programs to bailout struggling churches.
The clock is ticking for Bishop Rodgers who graciously accepted a $500 check from Chief Apostle William McCoy. â€œWe are our brothers keepers,â€ said McCoy.
He was also joined by other clergy including: Dr. Bennie Owens, assistant pastor at Brothers Keeper Outreach Church headed by McCoy, Apostle Renaldo Morgan, pastor of the Radical End Time Ministries International, Apostle Pastor Dr. A.R. Wilson, The Feast of the Harvest Outreach Ministries International, Minister Marques Anderson, Feast of the Harvest Outreach Ministries International, Rev. Victor Grandberry, New Faith and Hope Ministries, 14617 Lincoln, Dolton, IL, who lost his church last year, Rev. Wilbur Sanner and Deacon Ronald Brown, both members Â of Rodgersâ€™ church.
Speaking from his from Rodgersâ€™ pulpit, McCoy vowed to further help Bishop Rodgers saying he will make some phone calls.
Wooten also pledged his help and even though Grandberry lost his church last year, he too said he would help Rodgers as did Wooten who said, â€œThe churches are struggling because high unemployment led to a decline in church attendance and tithing, resulting in a growing number of churches going into foreclosure or severe debt.
â€œIn many churches that are able to keep their doors open, Wooten said the pastors are spending less time addressing the needs of members and residents, because they have to spend too much time making sure the electric and gas stays on. This week churches received even more bad news when Mayor Rahm Emanuelâ€™s administration announced that the mayor wants churches to start paying water bills, adding to the mounting utility debts,â€ said Wooten.
â€œIf Wall Street and the automotive industry can be bailed out, why canâ€™t we provide support to our churches?â€ asked Wooten, an associate pastor at Faith Walk Church International in Chicago. â€œThe economy has had a devastating effect on our churches, which have been the backbone of our communities. When they are healthy, our families are healthy, and when our families are healthy, our communities are healthy. If we truly want to help people in need, we have to help our churches.â€
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: Chintabernie@aol.com.