Scam­mers hit­ting church

UK Barbados Nation - - NEWS -

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)

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