Thursday, April 23, 2009

The $600,000 Man of God

The story below comes from "NewsOne Breaking News".

Reverend’s $600k Salary Causes Church Outrage By News One April 22, 2009 10:30 am

Call it the stimulus package from God.

Manhattan’s Riverside Church - one of the country’s most illustrious religious institutions - is paying its new senior pastor, the Rev. Brad Braxton, more than $600,000 in annual compensation.

That’s twice what Braxton’s predecessor, James Forbes, one of the country’s best-known preachers, was getting after running Riverside for more than 18 years.

It amounts to almost 10 times what William Sloane Coffin, the legendary anti-Vietnam War clergyman, was paid in his last year as senior minister at Riverside in 1987.

Braxton was selected in a vote of the congregation last fall and is to be officially installed Sunday.

A group of church dissidents claims the members were never told about the lavish package.

Church sources say it includes:

$250,000 in salary.

$11,500 monthly housing allowance.

Private school tuition for his child.

A full-time maid.

Entertainment, travel and “professional development” allowances.

Pension and life insurance benefits.

An equity allowance for Braxton to save up to buy a home.

On top of that, Braxton immediately hired a new second in command at more than $300,000 a year.

I'm not too sure why this story bothers me, I just know that it does. It bothers me in several different ways...

1. How could the parishoners not know how much their preacher was making? Maybe not the exact number but if it is truly almost double what the previous one was making, wouldn't this need to be a discussion that the church had prior to "hiring" him on?

2. In another report, it was stated that some church members have filed a suit against him to stop the first installment of payment to him. I'm not sure I agree with that either... Afterall, if he has already began serving the church, shouldn't he also receive payment for what he's done? Judge Lewis Bart Stone denied the request to delay his installation, according to the Daily News and scheduled a follow up hearing on April 3.

3. On "The Daily Voice", it states "... the compensation package is too high for a pastor at a church with a history of supporting social justice causes, and especially in a time of recession." Shouldn't this have been taking into account PRIOR to him receiving the job? And to bring up the recession... Did they just remember NOW that we are in the middle of one?

I don't know people, holla at me on this one...


hollybeth75 said...

I don't have a problem with his salary. From what I gather, the pastor of a church typically makes a salary that is determined by a board, and the board is voted on by the church members. This board looks at the budget (donations, etc) and I'm sure past years salaries, economy, and decides what is fair. I imagine someone in Manhattan or Beverly Hills makes more b/c the church members donate to the church donation plate in higher dollar figures than say the east side of Austin. So if that pastor makes $300K and the east side pastor makes 30K then I'm never going to say the higher paying pastor shouldn't be making as much and the lower paying pastor deserves more. That's just the way it is. Sorry. We're not a communist country where everyone makes the same salary. If you want that move to China or Cuba. Now regarding taking this away or changing it up after the fact...this dude should be subjected to a contract or what ever the rules the board has in place. If the board has the right to change up the contract due to the economy...well there you go. I imagine a church is like a private company. I don't think it's like a gov't agency where they are governed by rules and regs so its up to them. If he/she doesn't like it he can quit! :)

Anonymous said...

I just see this as a way of making us know that Church is a business and money making venture...Everyone could be a pastor for that...