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Monday, June 25, 2007

Shiloh Deacon Speaks to Church's Real Estate Holdings, Stewardship

Thanks to commenter Davester for pointing me to this WaPo article about affordable housing. The article contains a telling blurb about infighting at Shiloh Baptist Church over their vast vacant property portfolio. Here’s the blurb:
Church and housing haven't mixed well lately at Shiloh Baptist Church in Shaw, where church members and leaders are in a nasty battle about what to do with Shiloh's many properties. In a January letter to the Rev. Wallace Charles Smith, deacon Johnny M. Howard slammed a plan to sell land to fund repairs to a church-run community center.
"Selling real estate in this day and time, when the community is changing, is not wise," Howard wrote. "The use of the property near and around the church can directly and adversely affect the mission of the church."
It seems that Deacon Howard does not grasp the concept of stewardship. I would be curious about when, if ever, he thinks selling real estate is a good thing for the church--clearly Shiloh Baptist Church cannot afford to maintain its properties (and haven't been able to do so for decades) and their properties present a major drain on their resources (e.g., I believe one commenter added it up and found that the church accrued about $80k in vacant property taxes alone last year), so why is not as good a time as any? If funding could help enhance the ministries in their inhabited properties (e.g., the threadbare life center or tattered daycare center), why not tap into some of their real estate holdings to help advance those causes? If Shiloh is so committed to affordable senior housing, why not sell to--or partner with--an organization that actually has experience in the complicated field of senior housing?


Shaw Rez said...

For the Biblically inclined, I will add that the parable of the talents comes vividly to mind when thinking of Shiloh's stewardship.

Anonymous said...

Deacon Howard's quote was particularly interesting, as it confirms in writing what has been widely presumed: Shiloh's holding on to those properties in an effort to maintain influence and control in the neighborhood. Not as they have stated to create affordable housing for the seniors or the poor. They prefer dilapidated slums they control over housing development and new places of business that they don't, which would continue improving life in Shaw. What a shame. But I guess having crime and drug magnet properties is no biggie for the parishioners, since most have left the neighborhood for the burbs long ago.

Anonymous said...

Shiloh is in desperate need of new leadership. There are two extremely powerful sisters in Shiloh that would make phenomenal senior pastors based on their commitment to CHRIST not self. They include Rev. Desire Grogan and Rev. Jacqueline Thompson.

Unfortunately, these two sisters are not given the opportunity to teach on Sunday due to fear from weak-kneed (wo)men, which include the Senior Pastor, the bow-tie wearing hypocrite, and a number of chumps / Deacons who would rather play church.

Uncle Tom house negroes that still suffer from Willie Lynch Syndrome.

Anonymous said...

The Senior Pastor should take note of the powerful leadership, ministries and churches of those visiting pastors that taught during Spring Revival and HBCU Sunday a few years ago.

One of the visiting pastors I'm refering to is from a powerful church in Dallas, Texas and the other pastor is from a phenomenal church located in Jamaica Queens, NY.

Unfortunately, the current Senior Pastor of Shiloh has no vision for the congregation or the Shaw community. He would rather wait on master Bush, Cinton or whomever is in office to pat him on the head and show him the way.

Willie Lynch Syndrome - Ask the bow-tie wearing hypocrite who talks a good game on Sunday, but is affraid of strong men who may threaten what little power he thinks he holds.

Anonymous said...

It becomes obvious to anyone reading these posts that the issue is less about what is happening with Shiloh's properties than it is about personal agendas, just as I suspected. It has devolved into name calling and speculation about the gender of the senior pastor and whether powerful women leaders would be better. Shiloh's leaders are called by the congregation, not by the current senior pastor. All of this hateful, unChristian chatter has to stop!!! Go read your Bible.

Anonymous said...

I for one couldn't care less about any personal agendas; I am SOLEY concerned about Shiloh's poor stewardship regarding its properties. It seems that Shiloh's in-fighting is probably the cause of Shiloh being such a poor steward, so it's probably not irrelevant to the conversation. Shiloh's shameful infighting is not only hurting the body of Christ, it's holding an entire neighborhood hostage!!!

and for the record, Anonymous at 9:06, I do read my Bible daily and attend an evangelical, spirit filled church.