Congregation Said Show Us The Money!
A congregation divided since Hurricane Katrina could vote next week to get rid of its pastor, who some church members say has refused to repair the Katrina-damaged facility.
The vote will come as members keep asking their spiritual leader, where's all of their money?
"He took a catastrophe and turned it into an opportunity for himself," said Claudell Riddle, a member of the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church congregation. "And we are getting to the bottom of it."
For Claudell Riddle, the catastrophe was Hurricane Katrina; the opportunity for her pastor, Donald Robinson, was to close her 9th Ward church.
"There's no reason for our church to be closed," Riddle said.
Dozens of members of the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church gathered Saturday to pray and prepare for next week, when they hope to gain back control of their church from their pastor.
"We're being led like a bunch of little children -- do as I say, don't ask any questions," said Cynthia Wharton, a member of the church.
Since Katrina, church members have asked Robinson when he would repair their church. Records show they received $20,000 from the Bush-Clinton foundation. Members say they also got insurance money and other donations, but their pastor won't show them any financial records.
"We haven't had any accountability of the funds," Wharton said.
Robinson has encouraged Mt. Moriah members to come to his Jefferson Parish church, and some have, but this group won't. And next week, they want to vote their pastor out.
"We would like him to be removed as pastor. We can't have a pastor we can't trust," Riddle said.
Eyewitness News called Robinson for a comment Saturday on this story He has not returned our phone calls.