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Leadership Lifestyles ADDITION

Не переведенная часть статьи: http://reveal.ru/article308.html

In September of 1999 the Chicago Church of the ICC purchased a home in the affluent North Shore area of Wilmette, IL. The cost of this home was $400,000. The lead evangelist of the Chicago church, Byron Parson, and his family took up residence shortly thereafter. At first, the knowledge of this purchase was kept from the members of the Chicago church. When the information began to circulate it caused a lot of problems within the membership in Chicago, even to the point of some of the members leaving the ICC. During a church meeting in which former member and Elder, Isaiah Pickett, was being "marked", a term used for the ex-communicating of someone from the fellowship, the purchase of the home in Wilmette was brought into the open. The following is an excerpt from the explanation given to the members by Elder, John Mannel, for the purchase of this $400,000 home.

"As it stands now, we're talking uh, we're just about everywhere in the Chicago Metropolitan area, with one exception. The only geographic area we're not in is the North Shore. That area Wilmette, Glencoe, Winietka, Highland Park, Lake Forest. What does that remind you of? Money…. but uh, we thought we were gonna attack and uh, uh evangelize the North Shore of, o- of Chicagoland. And we brought a bunch of great people, great disciples with awesome hearts down from Milwaukee church with the idea of planting the North Shore (inaudible) to be able to afford what the North Shore had to offer.

As a result, they wound up living around in Skokie, Evanston and surrounding areas, and started converting people in those neighborhoods which is awesome, but the North Shore remained dark to the light of God. And, uh, it's been that way ever since and really up until this point in time and frankly we made the decision, uh, for a couple of reasons. One of which was, we, we have got to reach this, this place. We can't say that everyone else deserves salvation but them. But you know what, they are not the kind of neighborhood you just sort of, uh, live over in, uh, uh, live over in Berwyn and go knocking on doors in Glencoe {laughter} it just doesn't work you know what I mean? …. And so the decision was made and we had, the, the time is right we believe, to begin the North Shore Ministry. Uh, and uh, you know in doing that (inaudible) we're at the decision now where we're going to do this and do it right …. If we're gonna evangelize Wilmette. If we're gonna evangelize Glencoe, well somebody's gotta be in that area to establish a beachhead (inaudible), that you become part of the community. You don't go in there as transient people and say "we're gonna evangelize this area." And so the decision was made that we're gonna go we're gonna move into those areas."

Where does Scripture teach that to spread the Gospel to an affluent community such as Wilmette a "beachhead" must first be established by the church taking up residence (buying a home) and becoming a part of that affluent community? Where does Scripture teach that you cannot evangelize an affluent community as "transient" people? Most of the evangelizing done during the first Century was by Apostles like Paul and Peter who were very "transient". And to suggest that this affluent area known as the North Shore had "remained dark to the light of God" for no other reason than the ICC had not yet moved into that area, speaks volumes about the ICC stance that they are the one true church and that outside their membership there is no light of God.

After hearing this explanation, some of the members still asked Byron why he was moving to a $400,000 house. He responded that he did not own the house, nor did he have any equity in the house, that he pays rent. One woman even stated:

"We don't have a place to even worship God. You, you have seen the suffering of the people, and you buy a $400,000 house with the money we give the church? (inaudible) We always give our contribution, everything Byron."

Needless to say that many people were upset to find out that their hard earned contributions, which they live sacrificially in order to give, were used to buy such a pricey home in an affluent community for the lead evangelist of the Chicago church.

Parson's home
Parson's home

I personally flew to Chicago to see this house. This house, located at 421 Illinois Road, Wilmette, IL 60091, has 4 bedrooms, a new maple kitchen-family room which opens to a deck and private fenced yard in back, central air and furnace, attached 2.5 car garage, a recreation room, and sits on a corner lot. While this is certainly more than comfortable, this home does not appear to me to warrant a $400,000 price tag. Yet it reveals the reality of real estate costs in affluent residential areas. It also reveals the truth about the ICC leadership mindset concerning "image". 

But this was not the first time that this kind of purchase had taken place. In the spring of 98 Kip McKean moved into a new home, a roomy condominium in the highly affluent community of Pacific Palisades, California. The condo was purchased by the LA church for $480,000! According to Al Baird it was purchased as a parsonage for the lead evangelist of the LA church (who just happens to be the leader of the movement, Kip McKean). The current market value of this condo, as of July 2000, exceeds $540,000. I wonder how many members of the LA church had knowledge of this purchase before it was aired on national television in an investigative report by the Fox News network? Shortly after the investigative report was aired, the ICC published an article to ICC members, in which Al Baird stated that:

"To a college student or a single adult or someone not familiar with LA real estate prices, it may sound expensive; but that is just what real estate costs in West LA and many other parts of LA."

This is true IF you are speaking of real estate in posh, affluent areas such as Pacific Palisades or Brentwood where many celebrities live. But there are many areas of LA where $480,000 is not by any means the norm for real estate. This is quite verifiable by checking real estate publications for the LA and surrounding areas. This statement made by leadership is misleading. I would be curious to find out what percentage of the membership in LA live in affluent areas such as Pacific Palisades, or own homes valued in excess of $480,000. If the leadership of the ICC thought it no big deal to purchase the condo, why did they feel it necessary to publish an article explaining their actions to their own members and down playing the cost of the condo? Oddly, just four years previous to the purchase of this condo, Kip McKean was rebuking those in leadership for the purchasing of houses. During the ICC Manila World Leadership Conference in 1994 Kip McKean stated:

"When the first special contribution came, Al, wanting God to know his heart, and with the need for world missions, sold his house. Just like in the Bible, Acts 2, Acts 4. But today we're not selling houses, we're buying them. Now if you're buying a house, how you going to ask someone to sell theirs for a special missions contribution?"(Kip McKean, Malachi: God's Radical Demand for Remaining Radical, Manila World Leadership Conference, 1994)

This did not stop many of those in leadership from continuing to purchase homes, several of them within three to four months of the annual collecting of "special contribution" (an amount set by leadership and expected from each member. In recent years it has reached an amount 20 times a person's weekly tithe.) Kip also made mention of people in leadership owning "…2 and sometimes 3 cars…" and evangelists making "…$80,000…" a year. And this was back in 1994 (six years ago). God only knows what some of them are making today.

In the ICC article Al Baird also stated, as did Byron Parson about himself, "the McKeans pay fair-market-value rent." What he did not say is that the McKeans also receive a nice housing allowance with which to pay that rent. According to an ex-leader of the ICC, Rick Bauer, those in leadership receive housing allowances, travel, entertainment, and other allowances which often doubles the total compensation package. So not only did the cost of the condominium come out of the contributions and tithing of the members, so does the housing allowance which pays the rent.

Johnson's coop
Johnson's coop

Then there's Steve Johnson, world sector leader of ACES and lead evangelist of the New York City church, who moved into a luxary co-op at 215 W 98th Street on the upper West Side of Manhattan in January of 1990. Being a co-op the price is not listed with the New York County Clerk's Office nor the New York City Department of Finance, only the name of ownership (Steven and Lisa Johnson), the bank involved in the transaction and the amount of co-op shares purchased (408 shares). According to several brokers contacted real estate in that area of the upper West Side, especially for luxury co-ops, is not cheap. Members were told that an anonymous benefactor put up the money and that Steve's name is listed as owner solely for legal purposes of living there.

[In the previous version of this article I implied that Steve was being deceptive and dishonest by stating that he did not own the co-op. Even though some members of the NYC Church wrote to me informing me that the information was incorrect, they could not or would not supply any evidence or documentation to support what they were telling me. With the only available documents being the Manhattan County Clerk's documents listing Steve as the legal owner, and the members writing to me refusing or being unable to supply any evidence to the contrary, I made a comment that I thought was the truth. I suggested that Steve was lying. Instead of just printing the real estate information and keeping the focus on the apparent hypocrisy in the way the leaders were living, I added the idea that Steve was a liar. In a recent conversation (as of March 31, 2003) with the anonymous benefactor, I was informed that what Steve told members about not owning the co-op was the truth. I was told that both his name and Steve's name appear on the actual mortgage, but that he, himself, had put up the entire $500,000.00 for the co-op. I am currently waiting to find out if the benefactor can locate a copy of the mortgage so that I can verify this by documentation. My apologies to Steve Johnson, his wife, Lisa, and to everyone who read the article and held a wrong assumption about Steve or Lisa based on the comment in the article.]

Steve johnson's home
Steve johnson's home
Steve johnson's

Then in October of 1994 Steve moved his family to West Nyack NY, where he had purchased a home for the sum of $346,000. Although Steve admits to having needed assistance in purchasing this home, it is a far cry from the modest living the leaders claim. This 2 story home includes 3_ bathrooms, a sundeck, and a sizable plot of land with a large pond and wooded area. The current estimated value exceeds $400,000.

There is also the World Sector Leader and Lead Evangelist over the Washington DC church, Douglas Arthur. In May of 1997 he purchased a home in McLean, Virginia (1201 Old Stable Road), priced at $470,000. Apart from this being an extremely highly priced home for someone in a group where the leadership harps on "sacrificial living", as a means to gain higher contribution amounts, it was only one of the two homes owned by Douglas Arthur from May 1997 till July 1999. The first (9406 Vernon Drive, Great Falls, Virginia) was purchased in 1993 for $290,000, and was sold in 1999 for $314,500. Very recently, as of the writing of this article, the home at 1201 Old Stable Road was in real estate listings for the sum of $675,000.00. Three separate realtors in the DC area confirmed this information. They also stated that the home is temporarily off the market. I was also told that McLean is very "desirable" and "affluent". In fact, the July 2000 average sales price for homes in Fairfax County, where the town of McLean is located, was $264,874. That is as of July 2000. Douglas Arthur paid much more than that three years ago. Again, as much as the leadership of the ICC harps on living financially sacrificial lives, it appears as though they don't practice what they preach.

It also appears that many of those in ICC leadership choose to live in either very comfortable homes or the more affluent areas of the cities or towns in which the individual churches over which they lead exist. In the majority of these cases the homes were purchased or rented after leadership status was obtained. We are not suggesting that to live in affluent areas or to own homes in excess of $300,000 is a crime, or even a sin. But for the leadership of the ICC to preach "sacrificial living" and "sacrificial giving" to the rank and file members, and expect it from them, while doing the exact opposite is plain old hypocrisy. And that IS a sin.

The following is a list of additional ICC leaders and the homes that they own or rent at the current time. This information was gathered through public records data bases, County Tax Assessors, County Clerks Offices, Land Records Departments, etc. These are listed on the last page of this article. Make note of the year that some of these homes were purchased, as well as the purchase price. Judge for yourselves whether or not the claim of hypocrisy within the leadership of the ICC is supported.

Los Angeles Church

Marty Fuqua (World Sector Leader, Evangelist)
1408 Laurel Street, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Owner / Purchased: 6-18-99
Price: $430,000.00

Cory Blackwell (former World Sector Leader, Region Leader)
5424 W 61st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90056
Owner / Purchased: 8-97
Price: $385,000.00 (Current assessed value $470,095.00**)

A few of the details for the Blackwell's home are 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a fireplace, and a pool. It is located in an area known as Lower Ladera Heights and is is described by realtors as "above average" with large custom homes. Recently, Cory Blackwell was removed from leadership, and there are reports that he and his wife are no longer a part of the ICC. But at the time that he was in leadership he purchased his home for $385,000.

Doug Webber (HOPE Worldwide LA)
4821 Vista De Oro Av, Los Angeles, CA 90043 (this area is known as Windsor Hills)
Owner / Purchased: 2-1-96
Price: $380,000.00

John Bringardner (World Sector Administrator)
5934 Brookford Dr, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 902745
Owner / Purchased: 10-29-97
Price: $445,000.00

Realtors contacted described the areas that the above four properties are located in as "above average" and even "affluent" with 3 bedroom / 2 bath homes starting at $350,000 + .

Albert Baird (World Sector Leader, Elder, Spokesman for the ICC)
5509 W 124th Street, Hawthorne, CA 90250
Rents home
Estimated current market value exceeds $300,000.00*

In 1999 the Baird's moved from a rented home in El Segundo, CA that had a purchase price of $322,500 in 1992. One of the realtors that I spoke with informed me that as a rule of thumb the monthly rental price of a home is equal to 1% of the home's purchase value. If this is accurate then the rental price of the home Al Baird lives in is at least $3,000 a month.

New York City Church

Jim Brown's home

James W Brown (Super Region Leader, Evangelist)
32 Kendall Drive, New City, NY 10956
Owned / Purchased: 8-30-96
Price: $349,900.00

(James and Teresa sold their home in Nov of 99 for
$465,000.00 and moved to Westchester county where they had purchased the following home for half a million dollars)

Teresa and James Brown
1 Chestnut st.
Pleasantville, NY 10570
owned / purchased : 8-28-99
Price: $507,000.00

NOTE: In locating the deed, James' wife's name, Teresa, was listed first.

Steve Kinnard (Congregation teacher)
91 Cairnsmuir Ln, New City, NY 10956
Owner / Purchased: 7-28-94
Price: $267,500.00

Notice that Steve Johnson, Steve Kinnard and James Brown all purchased homes in the West Nyack / New City area within a 2 year period

Samuel Powell's home Samuel Powell's home

Samuel Powell (Assoc Lead Evangelist)
55 Del Rey Drive, Mount Vernon, NY 10552
Rents home / Purchased: 3-22-99
Price: $350,000.00.

This property at 55 Del Rey Drive is owned by a World Sector of the ICC known as ACES, which the New York City church just happens to be a part of. 

Samuel Powell's home Lobby of 500 East 77 St

Sam Powell's previous address is listed as 500 East 77th Street in New York City. This address is located at 77th and York, a very nice area of the Upper East Side. It appears that Sam Powell was living quite comfortably even then. 

In addition to ACES owning a residential property in Mount Vernon, the New York City church, which is under the ACES World Sector, also owns residential property in Mount Vernon at 324 Westchester Ave, Mount Vernon, NY 10552. This residence was purchased on 7-29-99 for the sum of $322,000.00. It is unclear as to who actually lives in this house, but the New York City church owns it.

Daniel J. Conner's Apartment

Daniel J. Conner (Super Region Leader,  Evangelist)
45 E 25th Street Apt 25-C
New York, NY 10010
Owner / Purchased: 3-2000
Price: $362,000.00

The above purchase price was calculated from transfer tax paid. According to the Deed the tax paid was $1,448.00. According to the Manhattan County Department of Records, tax is $4.00 per every $1,000.00 of purchase amount.

Copyright © Церковь Христа, МЦХ Все права защищены.

Опубликовано на: 2003-09-26 (6735 Прочтено)

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