Those who keep up with Presbyterian Church (USA) news might recall that at the General Assembly in Birmingham in June it was announced that Stanley Anderson from Denver would be donating $150M for church growth activities.
Swiftly on the heels of that announcement, Denver Post religion writers Eric Gorski and JP Eichmiller published an investigative report on Mr. Anderson's finances. According to Gorski and Eichmiller, Stanley Anderson owes hundreds of thousands of dollars .
Some excerpts from their investigative report:
While Presbyterians meeting in Birmingham, Ala., last week gave Stanley
W. Anderson a standing ovation for his gift, Anderson's modest Arvada
home sits in foreclosure and his assets are frozen because of an
unsatisfied court judgment.
The money for the donation is to come from the Trinity Foundation,
which Anderson and business partner Edwin A. Smith founded in January.
said the foundation has no assets, but most of the money will start
arriving in about a month from "off-shore investments we have been
working on for quite a period of time" with "multiple partners." When
pressed for details, he referred questions to a Washington, D.C.,
lawyer, who did not return a phone call.
"With my long passion
for the church, I would not have (promised the donation) if I didn't
believe I could deliver," Anderson said. "I just simply could not."
Anderson's donation is to be given to the Presbyterian Foundation, with
the first installment coming in late July and the balance by the end of
November, church officials said. Called the Loaves and Fishes Church
Growth Fund, the program will pay for things such as new churches,
reinvigorating existing ones and launching ethnic congregations over
six years. (my emphasis)
Two statements merit attention. One, it is now early August so I'm wondering if Mr. Anderson made good on the first part of the pledge. Two, I am keenly interested in hearing how the money will be spent to pay for "new churches, reinvigorating existing ones and launching ethnic congregations".
May I play consultant or auditor? I would like "permission" to scrutinize the PC(USA)'s record on church growth as a means of assessing the likelihood of whether they can or will actually accomplish these goals. Why do I ask for permission? Because many people have significant investments in their religious tradition broadly, and their denomination and particular church narrowly. If someone begins to scrutinize without permission, it can aggravate those with significant investments.Read more