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Your view: Greed in churches

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I remember approximately 75 years ago when a small group of "humble, God-fearing" believers who had just been converted, were under the ministry of a teenager preacher. This preacher, in the person of O.H. (Otis) Virgin, began what is now called the Bell City Assembly of God Church. The revival that converted so many of this group was held in a barn type, dirt floor building.

For about seven years, the church rented the first floor of the Masonic Hall in Bell City for worship services. On April 8, 1935, the heirs of the late William H. Bollinger, in an attempt to give the local church a home, donated the property to this group's local trustees and their successors that were elected by the local congregation. This is the property where the church now stands.

Now, approximately 75 years later, a world organization church headquarters located in Springfield, Missouri, has laid claim to the local church property, including land, building, furniture, fixtures and bank account. The deed for the real estate still stands as it was written in Stoddard County court records.

The case has been tried and the decision is in the hands of the Stoddard County court judge, as to the future of the local church in Bell City. At this time, the Springfield organization has not documented that the local congregation claims they were grand-fathered into this situation. This is NONSENSE.

Here is the clincher: The local people have paid for 100 percent of everything the Springfield organization is claiming is theirs. Question is, what is "Godly right or wrong" with their claim?

This is the situation: The Bell City membership is only for a remnant or what it was a few years ago, but we have a sincere loving desire for the future of this church community. Please, readers, we ask for your prayers in this situation. This is still our Lord's church, not the Assembly of God in Springfield.

Jim DeLay