Scammers hitting church
MORE FAMILIES are approaching the local arm of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the West Indies (PAWI) for welfare assistance.
But so are crooks looking to make an easy dollar.
The disclosure came from Barbados District Bishop Gerry Seale, who is reporting an increase in the number of people attempting to run scams on the church.
He made the point while calling in to Voice Of Barbados’ Brass
Tacks radio programme.
“They seem to think that the church is an easy mark and they can come to us and rip us off for whatever money they feel they can rip us off for. Let me say up front, we don’t give money, so all you scammers can forget about
. . . . We don’t give money.
“It is not happening. We have people that will check out your story before we actually give you. We are not innocent little babes that some smart-aleck scammer can come along and rip the church off for money. Our members are giving sacrificially of their hard-earned money, and we protect that money on their behalf and make sure it goes to people who have genuine need,” he told moderator Sanka Price.
Seale said when he took up leadership of PAWI six years ago, an accounts and audit committee was established to help the grouping get their accounts in order. He said the consolidated statement coming out of the exercise showed collectively, the 25 assemblies, including the two largest – The People’s Cathedral and Abundant Life Assembly – assisted the less fortunate members of society to the tune of over $200 000.
“We do not usually publicise these things . . . . We believe the injunction of scripture that when we are doing charitable work, you should not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing. It is between us and God; it’s not for publication.
“We help senior citizens with the paying of utility bills. Some of our churches prepare hampers every single month that are given to persons who are going through economic challenges, and we don’t get any money from anywhere but our congregation,” the PAWI head said.
Seale said the church’s membership was living with the same challenges as the needy they were trying to help, in addition to dealing with a decline in income from offerings and increased requests for assistance. (ROG)