‘Preachergate’ continued: Elders step up to bat

| April 16, 2014
Eric Hackley

Eric Hackley

Questions again arise about Adams Center Landfill money

By Eric D. Hackley

Editor’s note: The following interview with George Middleton, James Redmond and Limuel Coats continues a discussion that Eric Hackley earlier had with community activist James Redmond, who was highly critical of a significant number of ministers in the community.

George Middleton

George Middleton

George Middleton: I understand what you’re talking about concerning the “Black Ministerial Alliance” and the Black Church period. We are all for ourselves and everybody is looking out for “my people” and my church. The way to settle all disputes amongst the people, deacons and the administration of the church, there is a formula in the Bible that tells you how we should do that. But, we’re not doing that.

Limuel Coats:  I’m with Redmond concerning the ministers.  On every Sunday, it really wouldn’t hurt them to talk about the kids for five or 10 minutes. Take 20 minutes away from talking about the plate to talking about the kids and talking about what their problems are. They should meet the kids. Sometimes I think the gangs are better organized than the church. The churches are meeting over here saying things about them, they’re meeting over here too.

Limuel Coats

Limuel Coats

Pastors are going to have to come out of that pulpit and get with these kids.  As long as they’re sitting up patting each other on the back and talking to each other, “Dr. This and Dr. That,” that’s not going to work.  You’ve got to talk to the kids and you have got to talk to them on their level. You can’t talk down to them. If you talk down to a gang leader, he’s a leader.  Just like the pastor is in a church, a gang member is the leader of a gang. You can’t talk down to them like they’re nothing or right off the bat, he’s going to be defensive.

George Middleton:  The kids get involved in these gangs because they have comradely, they can build relationships. The church doesn’t build that with the youth.  So what are we going to do?

Limuel Coats:  Like I said, the pastor should get up every Sunday and talk about the kids.  How many pastors do you know of who have come out of the pulpit and walked the streets talking to gang members?

George Middleton:  They’re still shootings.

Limuel Coats:  Shootings are going to happen. The only way we’re going to stop it is get with these kids, talk with them and find out what the problem is. No matter who you are, you want to belong to a group somewhere, with somebody or about something.  That’s being with nature. So these kids are in a family for them. Pastors need to talk to these kids’ parents about their kids.

George Middleton:  The whole family structure has broken down.  And when the family is broken down, the church is broken down.  You now have a society where everyone does what’s right based on what’s right in their own heart where the name of the game is the survival of the fittest. We all came here by ourselves, but it’s going to take everybody and his brother to help us maintain a certain status. And everybody comes to each other’s aid and work with each other rather than trying to outdo one another.

So what the church needs to do is try to get people together, but their leadership is corrupt.

Limuel Coats:  They don’t have any leadership.

George Middleton:  Then what are you going to do?

Limuel Coats: If the three of us were pastors sitting here, we couldn’t have leadership because I want to be a leader, you want to be a leader and he wants to be a leader or the top dog.  You can’t have a bunch of people and no leader.  If an Indian chief has no Indians, what is he the chief of?  He’s chief over nothing. So some people have to be Indians and some have to be leaders. We don’t have a leader. Show me where we have a leader. You have a leader in this church, this church, this church, all of them.

James "Jim" Redmond

James “Jim” Redmond

Jim Redmond:  Well the first thing is, we have too many churches in the same block where no one is doing anything. They’re all concerned with the bottom line, which is money.

Limuel Coats: Recently, I actually asked a pastor while we were sitting down at Link’s having lunch, about the Adams Center landfill situation. I said, “Do you know that you guys got almost $400,000 from the Adams Center Landfill?  What did you ever do with that?  Do you know what his answer was?”  He said, “I don’t want to talk about it.”  I said, “I guess not!  I haven’t seen anything in the community that anybody did with that money.”

George Middleton:  Who appointed the Ministerial Alliance to take that money and divvy it out to the community?

Limuel Coats: The Ministerial Alliance is set up where, if you give them a million dollars, do you know who they have to answer to  when they spend that money?  Nobody!  They can put it in their pocket without answering to anybody.  I think the Adams Center Landfill gave New Haven $200,000.  New Haven had to account for every penny they spent.  So I figure [the Ministerial Alliance] they stole it!  Even if they would have just had a big picnic for the kids, for $400,000 some proof of reinvestment should show-up somewhere.

George Middleton: So the Ministerial Alliance should be investigated.

Limuel Coats: The members of the churches should ask their pastors, “Where did the money go?  What did you spend it on?”

George Middleton: This is what I’m saying. Pressure should come to bear on the Ministerial Alliance to come and be transparent.  When our kids see the stuff they’re doing, they’re no better than the kids in a gang.

Limuel Coats:  That’s why I keep saying that every Sunday the  pastor should spend five or 10 minutes talking to the parents and the kids.

George Middleton:  We should stop talking and do some work.

Limuel Coats: People put their pastors on a pedestal and after letting them run things so long their way, if you get up and say it’s wrong, they’ll say it’s not wrong, it’s the way we’ve been doing it all the time.   It doesn’t make it right that you’ve been doing it wrong for so many years.

George Middleton:  I heard a story of an alleged gang member who was killed and I believe was a member of the church. When the pastor was asked about having his funeral there, the minister said, “No we can’t do it because he was in a gang.”

Now who did Jesus come to? He didn’t come to the rich. He came to us.  So what I’m saying is we lead by example.  If we’re going to allow the church to do what they’re doing in the community, what good is it to do any other voluntary work in the community.

Limuel Coats: The really bad part about it is, we really have some good pastors here. But, the dishonest ones make it bad for the ones who are  trying to do right.  They’ve got a circle.  If you’re not in their particular circle, you’ll be blackballed.

George Middleton: So that’s the same thing as discrimination.

Eric Hackley: Thank you for sharing your views today.  According to the evidence, Willie Lynch is alive, well and deeply embedded in our collective Fort Wayne Black Community mindset.

Here are some questions that I frequently ponder: Can we truly emancipate ourselves from slavery indoctrination and mental bondage? Does anyone know of a reputable Willie Lynch exorcist?

Is it futile for Kekionga Blacks to keep being aggressive in the “War on Willie Lynch Slave Mentality?” Or should we start viewing each other as perpetually self-regenerating victims of white supremacy?

Eric Hackley gets deeper into this subject in his recently published book, “Kekionga Blacks’ War on HIS-Story & Slave Mentality” now available on amazon.com and at the Bookmark locally.

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Category: Local, Special Reports, Spiritual Matters

About the Author ()

Eric Hackley is a veteran independent journalist, television show host and producer focusing largely on history, particularly family history in the black community. His award-winning public access television shows have featured a host of local and national icons. Hackley can be contacted at hackonomicstv@gmail.com.

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