After national attention was drawn to the story of Candace Petterson, who received a delinquency notice for non payment of $1,000 in required fees by a Florida church, another story has come to light about an elderly woman who received a similar notice.
Ninety-two-year-old Josephine King, who said she has been a member of Georgia’s First African Baptist Church in Bainbridge for over 50 years, recently received a letter stating that she would no longer be welcome as a member, according to WPTV. The apparent reason she is no longer welcome in the church is because she has not paid them enough in tithes.
“Josephine King is no longer considered a member of the First African Baptist Church of Bainbridge, Georgia,” the letter she received reads, according to her nephew, Gerald Simmons. “It’s terrible,” he said.”
Ms. King has shown non-support towards the church in the areas of “constant and consistent financial and physical participation,” the letter signed by Senior Pastor Derrick Mike continues.
“She was stunned,” Simmons told the news outlet about his aunt when she received the notice. “She was disappointed. She was shocked,” he added.
The only reason that King was unable to attend church as regularly as she used to is because she was sick and confined to the house for several months, according to Simmons. He adds that she has previously gone above and beyond with her donations to financially support the church.
“You shouldn’t chase the individuals down. You shouldn’t do that,” said an irate Simmons. “If that’s the case, you’re money hungry.”
Several attempts to contact member or officials of First African Baptist by the news outlet to give their side of the story proved unsuccessful. A number of people have also posted on the church’s Facebook page condemning their actions in reference to Ms. King, but have received no response from the church as they haven’t posted on their page for over two years.
Simmons hopes that his aunt’s story will shed some light on the church policy of removing people who they don’t believe contribute enough financially to the church.
“You got to have money to make these churches run, but it’s not about money,” Simmons said, explaining that he understands why tithing is important. “It’s about God. You have to put God first.”