The economic plan (income) for our Church : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

Dear Brothers and Sisters As promised I have conferred with Rev. Dr. Santucci and the income portion of the Finacial Rebirth program for the AME Church is complete. It is based on the principle that we can have more and do more with the existing funds but like with the broken bread in the Bible we must collect and manage it so that we can feed more of the many and less of the few.

The plan is based on the parts: 1. Consolidated Banking, 2. Connectional Banking (with the creation of an International Bank and Local series of S&L's within the United States, 3. Connectional Card Services Program and linkage with the Insurance program.

These programs have been adapted from the Bermuda Program under the leadership of Bishop Cousin. As I posted earlier we raise hundreds of missions of dollars ( I deliberately posted a number higher so as not to release the correct information on the internet) in the Districts 1-13. By a compelled Banking program all funds would be Banked with one Bank. That Bank would provide a insured commission per year of approximately $3.3 million dollars per year alone

Connectional Banking would then lead to the creation of an international or Global Bank owned by the Church (this would take 3-4 years of steady profit returns to create) This would then be the cleance Bank sweepinng all funds for maximum interest returns on short term funds. This Bank would then be able to provide the Church Episcopal District Branches and services.

First and significant service would be the Connectional Card services program. This would channel the profit normally to other banks and institutions to our Church.

Lowest increase (minimum) per year on this program would double the present budget. Best increase (achieved over time) would mean an increase that would more than triple the present budget. As the profit increases we would reduce assessments to Churches and General Conference sustentation. In time other contingency funds could be set up for protecting assets like Morris Brown and greater investment for Education for our students.

This would not require us to ask anyone for any additional funding but provide a framework of using and increasing the present income base of our Church to assist the Church. The Local Church would have more at home to do with and the Connectional Church would have more without asking for it from the Districts. We could start a new revolution for our work in God's vinyard.

Instead of raising 3-4 million per year we would raise 6-8 million year. What could we do with more of our own money and resources.The challenge is to force all of us into the discipline of followship. It would yield significantly higher yields than the voluntary option. Eventually even higher yields can be achieved (up to $11 million per year)

This plan is to be discussed by some of our Church leaders soon and may make it to the General Conference. To those who doubt it watch the Marriotts and the Mormons. They do it very well. Why don't we.

To those who have privately email me I have been most grateful for your support. This plan is the idea of Sen. Rev. Dr. Santucci (now Candidate for Episcopal Honors in 2004)and I pray that consideration will be given but prayer sought by us all. With the right tools we can do much more of the Lords work

Looking for your thoughts. And Pastor Paris this plan has been based on prayer and faith first. Consider the options

Blessings from Bermuda

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2004


My brother said: "By a compelled Banking program all funds would be Banked with one Bank." Free people should never be "compelled". This type of program should be able to stand on its own legs. Don't restrict it to the church; take it to the general population. Its worth can be proven by the proponents investing thier personal fortunes in it first; and demonstrating to the connectional church the validity of such a plan. It seems to me that too many folk are ready to invest the money of the church in a program that they will not put thier personal money in. Am I in error here?

-- Anonymous, April 14, 2004

Brother Paris,

Are you implying that the 3,000,000 people of the AME church are not willing to put $1,000 each into an AME bank which would be insured by the FDIC for deposits up to $100,000 each? Are you implying that we African-Americans and other members of the African diaspora are so poor in faith that we are not willing to begin this institution?


-- Anonymous, April 15, 2004

No, I'm asking this question: Are you will to put your personal life savings into this venture? If not, then we should not put the local church money at risk. Now if you "compel" the churches to participate, it is not faith but law. You see every plan that I have seen so far puts the church money at risk. Fundamentally, the church is not a business. The purpose of the church ios to save souls. This must be done by the local church, not the connection. Again, are you willing to invest your personal fortune?

-- Anonymous, April 15, 2004

Good Morning Pastor Paris

I appreciate your response. Does not your annual assessments paid to the Annual Conference come as a result of Church Law? Does any Pastor have a choice to deny his Presiding Elder or Bishop the monies owed? My understanding is that all Churches and Pastors are compelled to pay towards the costs of the Church. Based on that Principle this is only extension of that program. Who would hurt if the same money you Bank now with Bank ABC is now in Bank CDE? It may mean that you are already in the Bank of choice and no changes are made. The plan is to reduce then remove assessments to each Church in every Episcopal District. To be able to assist any and every member who wnats to serve God and needs financial assistance in their educational persuit. If I am wrong I would certainly agree that the proposal of Candidate Santucci and I ought to be withdrawn. But for the last four years we have had hundreds of posts on this BB discussing the need for change in every area of the Church. I agree with Rev. Vernon Byrd in his assessment of the qualifications for Episcopal Leadership and all of us agree that we need to stop having Preachers and Bishops who do not have business management experience trying their hand at it with the financial resources that God has placed in our store house.

We need leadership Pastor Paris. Visionary leadership and hope that can and will inspire us all to work harder for the Kingdom building of God. This is only one suggestion by a candidate who seeks to serve God better. I believe in him and his plan and have yet to hear any plan of any kind from anyone or anywhere in our Church.

I believe in your view Pastor Paris as you have much to give in this same cause. I believe every view is important and take every point of yours very seriously. I am asking you to consider that our Church already compels us to operate under a structure. Can we not consider adding this to that structure? Or if no are we still going to sit, wait and pray for a miracle when God has already given us the gift.

God Bless You My Brother I do want your response. This is a mist important dialogue.

-- Anonymous, April 16, 2004

Dear Pastor Paris I am sorry I did not answer all of your questions. To answer the question of personal investment is still secondary to the question of better financial management of the Church's funds. We presently allow tens of millions of dollars to be made by banks, credit card providers and others at our expense.

For the first time I find myself in disagreement with you on one point. "Free people must always be compelled!!!" They must be compelled to value their freedom or they will loose it. They must be compelled to teach their values to their children and community to assure that freedom will continue. But most importantly Free people must be compelled to think! Think of ways to make their lives better and better the lives of the children that will follow. If we do not then our freedom is already lost. Our enemies will find our weaknesses and destroy us. This is why there is still slavery in Africa Four Hundred years later from when our forefathers were forced into a journey. This is why our Church is still struggling over 200 years after Richard Allen was compelled to leave the place he could not feel free to worship. We must be compelled to consider the cost of not accepting the price of our decisions or lack of them.

Once the program drives forward you will see the fruits of faith and yes I have already invested my personal money in this. What is indeed sad is that other denominations want what our Church is only considering.What kind of leadership does the AME Church expound as we used to be the vanguard for persons of color around the world.Once succesful the Church will have more money for more programs and yes even the membership can find a place to not only invest but get access to something more important. Credit and credit counselling and credit assistance. Students, Seminary Students, Pastors, Members all of us would have access to it because it would be ours.After all membership should have its priveledges.

Blessings to you my Brother

-- Anonymous, April 16, 2004

Perhaps I misunderstood. Yes, we fully agree and pay the Assessments made upon the local church gladly. What the General Conference does with those funds is strictly up to them because the funds now belong to the General Conference.

My understanding was that the local church would be required to send/deposit ALL of its funds to the connectional bank to be redistributed as needed. Currently we choose to use the local financial institution that best suits the needs of the congregation.

I will go back and re-read the proposal and see where I went wrong.

It appears we have a different definition of "compel". I took that to mean the local congregation would be forced by the Discipline to do all of its banking in the Connectional Bank rather than a local institution. Now if this refers only to the current Connectional Claims and no increases will be made to support implementation of the plan, I could support such a plan.

However, I don't believe it is scriptually sound to not allow the local church to pay its fair share of connectional expenses. My basis for thinking this way is based on a synthesis of the relationship between God and man including David's reaction to the possibility that an unbeliever would supply an offering to the Lord, "Shall I worship the Lord with that that costs me nothing?" [Not an exact qoute.]

Be Blessed

-- Anonymous, April 16, 2004

When I read again the proposal, this paragraph stood out:

"Lowest increase (minimum) per year on this program would double the present budget. Best increase (achieved over time) would mean an increase that would more than triple the present budget. As the profit increases we would reduce assessments to Churches and General Conference sustentation. In time other contingency funds could be set up for protecting assets like Morris Brown and greater investment for Education for our students. "

Under no circumstances would I support a "doubling" or "tripling" of the current budget to implement such a plan.

In Texas, we are able to establish Federal Credit Unions. These Credit Unions does everything that your plan does and is additionally supervised by the Federal Credit Union Rules. As a matter of fact, the Tenth Episcopal District once owned an AME Credit Union with offices in Wesley Chapel, Houston. A Credit Union in Texas can be started with as few as 20 members of a common class willing to invest in the Credit Union. The Credit Union is managed by a Board of Directors elected by the members of the Credit Union and expenses are paid, the profits are returned to the members who can reinvest or withdraw at thier discretion.

The Texans Credit Union, one of the largest in Texas, offering full service banking, started with 20 employees of Texas Instruments inc. some 40+ Years ago.

Be Blessed

-- Anonymous, April 16, 2004

Dear Pastor Paris I must apologize for the confusion. The tripling would be the present revenue now raised. I would certainly not suggest raising the Church Budget. The revenue is only a comparison of the actual amount raised. If this program raised $10 million this would equal 3 times more than the $3 million the Church raises from assessments. Yes contingencies like this work.

I am very interested in the Credit Union approach. I would like to learn more and suggest to Rev. Santucci this be included. This would accomplish more for each district. A great idea and I am most grateful for it. Our Church is better for your participation Pastor Paris.

May God Bless You is my Prayer

-- Anonymous, April 16, 2004

Browse to: And read about this Credit Union.

-- Anonymous, April 17, 2004

Sorry about that the URL is

-- Anonymous, April 17, 2004

This is the history. Surely we can find 11 people willing to invest $50.00 each.

Texans Credit Union was founded in 1953 by eleven Texas Instruments employees. Eight men and three women each pooled $5 and petitioned the Texas Banking Commission to create an organization that would promote thrift and provide low-cost loans to employees of Texas Instruments. On October 8, 1953, the Texas Banking Commissioner signed certification that made us a state-chartered Credit Union. At the time of our founding, we were named Texins Credit Union. For nearly 40 years, membership at Texins was limited to Texas Instruments employees and their family members. However, In 1991, the semiconductor industry experienced a dramatic economic swing that changed the way our members managed their finances. To maintain our stability, we opened our field of membership to additional employee groups. In 1998, our field of membership expanded once again when a smaller credit union merged their operations into Texins. This merger resulted in the addition of several communities to our field of membership, as well as more employee groups. To better reflect the diversity of this expanded field of membership, we changed our name from Texins to Texans in 1998.

Today, with over $1billion in assets, Texans Credit Union serves over 130,000 members in various companies, professional groups, and communities.

-- Anonymous, April 17, 2004

Blessings to you Pastor Paris

Your suggestion is both excellant and very workable in this plan. This model can be developed and owned by and for our Episcopal Districts. This model may have the ability of the administration and management needed for other projects in this proposal. I have also been provided another model similar to this which may be equally succesful.As a result I would like to ask your assistance and support if the Church does agree to proceed with this. Your passion and diligence is greatly needed in our Denomination. Thank You very much for your points and suggestion. I have submitted this Sen. Rev. Dr. Santucci who agrees in the belief of inclusion of ideas. Again Pastor profound thanks

Blessings from Bermuda

P.S. Thanks to others of you who are watching but emailing me directly. Your support is critical.And to one of my favorite Pastors yes I have reviewed the program set up by Dr. Harris and the Council of Bishops. Our program has the ability to outpace that program by 2- 20 times. I will keep an eye on that program.

-- Anonymous, April 18, 2004

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