Three words: they tried it.
According to ABC Action News, Tampa resident Candace Peterson was shocked when she received a collection notice from the Greater Mount Moriah Primitive Baptist Church stating that she will be required to pay $1,000 per year in donations or she won’t be considered a member of the congregation.
“People were really friendly there, and I really enjoyed being there,” Peterson shared.
Ironically, the single mom says that it was a blessing to find Mount Moriah, as she’s been in search of a church home since she moved to the area six months ago. However, this all changed when she received a letter stating that she was behind on payments.
“To be a member in good standing and have the right to vote, adults are to contribute the minimum amount of $50 per month,” read Peterson.
“Fifty dollars per month, now this shocked me because I haven’t heard about the $50 per month. So where did this come from?” asked Peterson. “Then Mount Moriah day is on there, $150.”
The letter went on to explain that she would also be responsible for a yearly church anniversary fee of $250. In total, she was told that membership would require her to pay $1,000 in donations per year. She adds that she was told one of the fees was to help pay off debt owed by the church.
“What church charges you to help pay off what they’re going through. I’m not there for that,” Peterson said.
After learning of the church’s collection attempts, social media users have been flooding the Mt. Moriah Facebook page with comments about their shady policies.
“So you have to pay to pray? Despicable. It’s organizations like yours that turn people away from the church. They believe all churches are taking advantage of individuals and using the guise of Christ to fatten your pockets. May God have mercy on your thieving souls,” wrote commenter Bridget Carey.
“I really hope people start mailing you Monopoly money to pay their dues. You are the poorest example of a church,” added Marilee Hicks.
Out of control.