“To be a member in good standing and have the right to vote, adults are to contribute the: minimum $50.00 per month, assessments for Mount Moriah Day currently $150.00, assessment for the Church anniversary $250.00.” (Credit: Facebook)

Church to ‘delinquent’ member: Pay dues or face removal from roll

A Florida woman received a letter from her church telling her she was “delinquent” in her giving, and she had to give $1,000 a year or be dropped from its roll.

The Facebook posting of the letter this week set off a social media firestorm on the merits of such an ultimatum.

Some people saw no problem with the letter. It takes money to operate a church, they said.

Others said asking for specific amounts smacks of a membership fee.

The letter from Tampa’s Greater Mount Moriah Primitive Baptist Church to member Candace Petterson said she had to contribute a minimum of $50 a month plus two special assessments. Petterson said she was unaware of those requirements.

In a Facebook post, she wrote: “if I knew a church charged 50.00 a month I would have never joined…especially if I’m a single parent trying to make ends meet…”

The pastor of the church did not respond to phone and email requests from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. ABC Action News in Tampa said church leaders acknowledged the letter but would not comment further.

According to the letter, the church also has contribution requirements of children: $5 a month plus two assessments.

Petterson told ABC Action News: “It’s like you say to me, if you want to be a member of this church, you need to pay this. If you want to find God, it don’t say anything like that in the Bible.”

She said she is looking for a new church.