By Victor Ochieng
Black people have been criticizing the Black Church for various reasons, including claiming that it’s not doing much in liberating the Black community, among other things. The Black Church has even been blamed by such people for failing to offer leadership when it comes to political matters, with individual churches choosing to chart their own political directions.
Now, to all the critics of the Black Church; to all who don’t believe they’ve got a role to play in the UPLIFTING or LIBERATING of the Black Community and are always blaming the church, there is a message for you from Reverend Doctor Cecelia Williams Bryant, mother of Pastor Jamal Bryant and wife of retired Bishop John Bryant.
“It’s really hilarious listening to the critics of Pastor’s and Churches always referencing ‘Pastors are in it for the money.’ WHAT MONEY?? Out of 300,000 churches in America, the average salary of a Pastor is $27,000 a year, 76% of Pastor’s work secular jobs, churches are operated by 12% giving of the congregation which means 88% don’t give anything on a regular basis. Stop this foolishness. It’s your doctor, dentist, boss, lawyer, clothing designer, car dealer, club and restaurant owner and favorite entertainer that’s getting rich off of you… NOT ur Pastor.”
Wow; what a message!
It’s true that many people have been complaining about the Black Church being full of rogue pastors whose main focus is to rob their congregants of their hard earned money. From alleged putting too much pressure on them to give “First Fruits,” tithes and offerings, the Black Church has been blamed for the worsening condition of the Black community.
Every rich pastor out there has at one point or another been said to have earned their wealth by stealing from the church. It’s more like pastors aren’t allowed to just work and make their own money. Any pastor who starts rising up the economic ladder is blamed for preaching money even when the money they’re asking congregants to pay for is to be used directly in running church-related activities.
If you look at the salary pastors are paid, it makes you sad. There are even some pastors who’ve found the pastoral work to be so difficult that they’ve chosen to go for secular jobs. People aren’t giving much to the church yet they expect the church to give them all things and be everything to them.
But even as Dr. Cecelia shared her message, there are some who complained about her son.
“What she states is true, however it’s hard to ignore her very own son that drives a Bentley and lives in a million dollar home,” said a user on The Old Black Church blog. “And yes, some pastors don’t make a lot of money preaching and leading the church. But they are no different then any other jobs that serve people such as teachers, firefighters, police officers. And those jobs can be a lot more physically and mentally demanding then any pastor may go through.”
And another said, “She needs to start within her own seed.”