Sunday, November 11, 2012

New Prosperity Oriented Mega Church Birthed

 As one person indicated in the article below, regarding the conspicuous wealth and lavish lifestyle of Pastor Clint Brown-- "no one is perfect". True. But the world watches you and where is one's heart truly at?  Surely 90 percent plus of this church attendees do not come close to the wealth he owns; yet his needs are supplied by them.  (Oh yes, you might say "He supplies all of my needs according to His riches in glory"). Yet satan will often orchestrate provision as well to anyone willing to contort the message of the Gospel of Christ or to place someone in leadership who will eventually makes Christians look bad to unbelievers. The unbelieving world cannot understand why Christians fail, and a lot of times we cannot understand it either--particularly when people twist the message of the Gospel for their own personal gain.

Nationally-known pastor drawing thousands to Port St. Lucie church
By Zaimarie De Guzman
PORT ST. LUCIE — Tucked away near a residential area in Port St. Lucie, cars fill a parking lot on any given Wednesday or Sunday evening. They are parked along the grass, near the side of the road. A nearby sign reads "FaithWorld."

The name and swarms of people might make the spot seem like a religious amusement park, but FaithWorld is a satellite church of the 6,000-member FaithWorld in Orlando, one of Florida's largest churches, according to a database of megachurches by the Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

While many long-standing churches on the Treasure Coast have roughly 700 members, the local FaithWorld has, in a year, attracted nearly 1,000 churchgoers who come from all over the three-county area and as far as Orlando. They come to watch the twice-a-week sermons from Pastor Clint Brown, a nationally-known gospel recording artist recognized for more than just his musical and pastoral roles.

Records from Brown's 2005 divorce, which Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers obtained from the Seminole County Courthouse, revealed Brown's lavish lifestyle — cars, houses and shopping sprees — had been paid for in part with the Orlando church's money.

The church had been making payments to Brown's $1.4 million mortgage. Records show he still lives in the same gated, Central Florida community.

FaithWorld was paying for two of Brown's Mercedes-Benz cars, as well. Brown had five other vehicles, including two Harley-Davidson motorcycles and a Porsche. Reports also showed thousands of church dollars were used to pay for monthly clothes shopping sprees. Credit card statements show Brown and his then-wife often shopped at stores such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's and Louis Vuitton.

Also in 2005, Brown was the target of a lawsuit in which a widowed church member from Orlando said the pastor failed to repay a $200,000 loan she made to the church. A similar lawsuit came months later, when a Denver church claimed Brown borrowed $100,000 from its congregation and never repaid the money. Both cases were amicably resolved later that year.

Despite his past, Brown is the reason Port St. Lucie's FaithWorld is growing, say church members.

Through a church representative, Brown declined an interview with Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers, but in September brought up the issue during a sermon at the Port St. Lucie church in which he knew a Scripps reporter was in attendance.

"Ain't nobody perfect to your left. Ain't nobody perfect to your right. Ain't nobody perfect in front of you," Brown said, regarding the past media reports about his finances. "If you're going to publish the evil, take the time to publish the good."

His listeners agreed.

"No one is perfect. As a pastor, he has a private life. Just because our pastor has a relationship with Jesus, that doesn't make him perfect. What matters is how his message connects us to God," said Jenny Posadas, a teacher at Treasure Coast High School who volunteers at the Port St. Lucie church as an usher.

Posadas trusts her tithing money is going to a good cause, although she isn't sure what that might be.

"My responsibility as a Christian is to tithe," she said. "If (Brown) spends my money for himself, that's out of my hands. That's between him and God."

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