WB church gives money back

| 12/07/2013

church.jpg(CNS): Following the backlash from the wider community over the government donations given to churches from the controversial Nation Building Fund established by the former premier and UDP leader, McKeeva Bush, the Wesleyan Holiness Church has returned almost three quarters of a million dollars to the public purse from a grant of $1.3 million that it had received. The church has also said that once it has resolved a land purchase, it expected that the land or its full value would also be returned to government. The church decided to return the cash following the negative publicity and because it recognised that the public coffers were not in a position to afford the grant.

The church also recognised that it could not afford to build its proposed $2.6 million fellowship centre and hurricane shelter, so on Sunday, 7 July, its members voted almost unanimously to return the remaining money. The church did retain 10 percent ($80,929.43) for accounting, labour and administration costs from the balance of $809,294.25 remaining from the $1.3 million grant.

Five churches have so far returned $949,769.83 of the money that had been handed out via Bush’s controversial fund, which he appears to have administered himself. The first was Hillside Chapel on Cayman Brac.

Minister of Finance and Economic Development Marco Archer accepted a cheque for $728,364.83 from the Wesleyan Church on Wednesday, 10 July, as well as a letter outlining the church’s vote. He was also given a copy of the letter to the church from Bush, who had been a member of the congregation, granting $250,000 to clear its then-existing building loan and use the rest as a down payment for the purchase of land adjoining the church. The church also gave the minister a statement of accounts detailing the money received and spent so far by the church, including on its shelter project and to pay off loans.

“I am extremely grateful to the Wesleyan Holiness Church for their decision to return this money to government and to the people of the Cayman Islands,” said Archer, who had been critical of the distribution of the nation building grants on the campaign trail and the way it had been managed. “I’m equally grateful to Hillside Chapel, Red Bay Church of God Holiness, Webster Memorial United Church and Fellowship Baptist Church who have also returned funds to government,” he added.

A total of 28 churches in the Cayman Islands received $5,188,416.67 in grants from the Nation Building Fund between financial years 2009/10 to 20012/13, according to the Finance Ministry.

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  1. anonymous says:



    Now i will come back to church there, because you all as a Church where making People leave 

    Now it time for the Church to get back with God, and not making Mac run it. Good Job.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well done Rev Scott!!  You've set such a great example that you have now become the standard.  Churches will no longer be bought to provided political influence.  Let hope that Cayman takes pride in being a country where the rule of law stands supreme and not the politicians.

  3. Anonymous says:

    People leave churches because of this.

    Money, control and power are the only thing religious organisations have in mind.

    Unfortunately we still have to deal with a lot naive and uneducated group of people, that WANT to be fooled. One day they will see the light; there is no god.

    So many religions with different gods, they MUST be all wrong. Simple logic.


  4. Anonymous says:

    What happened to Rosie. Is he returning the money as well?

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe he believes that God works in mysterious ways. How do you argue against that?

    • Anonymous says:

      If you are referring to the joint venture between CIG and the BT COG then that is a different case altogether and there is no cause to return any monies. This has been explained many times already in the media. I guess you haven't been listening or reading.

      • Anonymous says:

        What has NOT been explained is that they required $X million to "complete" the building and after receiving $X million is is still not complete. A proper accounting of how the money that was received was spent would be useful.

        When you pay $XXXX to so-and-so for "work done" it doesn't take very long to use up the entire budget.

        • Anonymous says:

          Wrong. CIG has not given the sum it originally committed to give which the project was based on.

  5. Christian Member says:

    Don't mess with GUILT senior members!  It will keep pressing and eating your mind until you have nightmares!  When God says the money is unclean He means what he says!  You made the right decision.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Any of the Churches that fail to return the money should be taken over by Government and deemed the Peoples property. Government can then let them continue to use the Church but pay a monthly rent from the vast amount of money they collect.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It's amazing how people can end up telling the truth when that was not their original intention. McKeeva's letter to his pastor is a prime example:

    In "accessing" the needs of the country…

    Of course McKeeva's entire career was built around accessing anything that he could from our government's coffers.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Made the UDP Govt. had gotten back in and we would have seen if that money was coming back, but I guess they giving it back now because they know they not going to get any more so they need to show what they have done with the people money.     We will never how many children in this country have gone hungary because their civil servant parent(s) had to take a pay cut, while McKeeva gave away govt. money to Churches and they accepted it.     Its a crying shame. A congregation should be giving to the community not vis-versa!   

    • Anonymous says:

      You are SOOOOO WRONG

      that money would have been given back to government – UDP or no UDP.  Read the press release and you will see how the money was spent.  Stop blowing hot air.

  9. Anonymous says:

    typical local 'church'…. only did the right thing after being shamed into it…..zzzzzzzz

  10. Donnie says:

    Dear Sis Bowman must have smiled and shed a tear of joy up in heaven when she heard this.

  11. Anonymous says:

    UDP giving away people's money all in the name of getting votes and giving it a nice title, "Nation Building Fund". Yeah right !!! I wonder if a "yellow church" will also be handing back their money to Government – as Wesleyan did.  

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well done, WHC! I'm proud of your decision.


  13. Knot S Smart says:

    There goes Mac's last chance to get to heaven…

  14. Anonymous says:

    The church has to do LOTS MORE than that – if it's to restore the faith of the once-loyal members of West Bay!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I applaud the decision by the decision makers in the church to return the money.

    Thank you Wesleyan. This is a step in the right direction.

    As Christians, God allows us to fail and maintains a path for forgiveness if we recognize the errors of our ways and repent.

    P.S. We look forward to the resolution of the land deal proceeds also.


  16. Bono says:

    let me guess 10% finders fee

    • Anon.....(and on and on) says:

      Absolutely not!  "10% Surcharge for accounting, labor and administration" (See page three of the attachment).  That said, big kudos to WHC for their "almost unanimous" decision to return "almost all" of the "donation".  Will others now follow this example?  Under the circumstances a return of 90c on the dollar is a good deal for all Cayman.  "From each according to their ability; to each according to their needs"

      • Diogenes says:

        You do realise that you are quoting Karl Marx, right?  

        • Anonymous says:

          Marx said a great many sensible things.  The extreme concentration of capital in the 21st cetnury makes his views all the more relevant today.

          • Anonymous says:

            12.24. Off the subject I know, but Marx recognized that capitalism is a revolutionary force. Looking at the 'inverted totalitarianism' of America's  corporatocracy,  to quote Sheldon Wolin's phrase, I'd say Marx was a true visionary in many respects. Democracy in the States is an illusion, managed by the corporations exerting vast influence in Washington. The working class has been destroyed, the middle class has been eviscerated, and the Treasury has been ransacked by Wall Street at the tax-payer's expense. As Cayman is  attached to America by an economic umbilical cord, contemplating our future makes me somewhat nervous.

          • Diogenes says:

            He wasn't a great believer in religion tho, was he. 

    • Diogenes says:

      $89K is a hell of a lot of accounting labour and administration for returning a cheque.  Methinks the 10% was already "spent".  

      • anonymous says:

        that's what they chose to call the tithes they took out.

      • Shane Ebanks says:

        i am a member of the Wesleyan Holiness Church West Bay, i just want to say that our church was paid for before Pastor Mccoy reached these shores and it was not the govt grant that paid for it,it was our love offerings coupled along with church savings that made it possible. what in the world is the Board thinking or are they not thinkiing or they dont have a chance to think? we were given 1.3million and returned $728,000.00 roughly, what right do we have to keep back anything and who was it paid to for these so call services? God have mercy on your souls. you can fool some peoplebut not all the people.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Things are indeed looking up for Cayman, folks, first we finally manage to elect ourselves a decent Government, and now we have our churches finally turning their backs on political iniquity.

  18. Anonymous says:

    May God have mercy on whatever little might be left of mckeeva's soul.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Ooops, looks like you have a little confession to make there Brother Mac.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Mysterious. Slow and mysterious …

  21. Anonymous says:

    The spirit of this church is fading. I remember when Weselyan was so packed you couldn’t even find parking. Today? Not even mothers day brings a crowd. This church needs new blood. A young dynamic couple who can relate to their followers and to the youth in the district. That church and school should be overflowing with young people. Weselyan was once the heart of west bay. Not only was it instrumental in the education of many, it was also the place of worship for many generations. I pray God delivers them.

  22. Anonymous says:

    True chuches of God do not need handouts from political hacks who want to buy votes.


    Pray and you shall receive…from non-corrupt sources.


    And what you receive might not be money, it might be something of much geater value.

  23. Anonymou says:

    I hope we do not see the "Nation Building Fund" in the PPM's budget

    • Anonymous says:

      The Nations Building Fund — already in the new budget

      • Anonymous says:

        I am happy to see that we have some organisations out there that have a conscience, and I bet some of them did not have no justification of how they spent the money, or even documented how the spending of those funds were utilized and placed on file for auditing purposes. These are the Island churches, what about the others that are now establishing on the Island that have received portions of  the YNB Fund?

        As it is understood the YNBP is/will be transferred to the Education Ministry,  In my opinion there is the  need to have a re-evaluation of the amount of  CI$50,000.00 for four semesters with a disbursed per Semester of CI$12,500.00 and includes Tuition and cost of living has been identified that it is not adequate to the Students that are overseas. Many of tthe students find themselves in undesirable positon.   The distributed balance for personal use after the deduction of Tuition cannot meet the demands  of  transportation, rent, insurances and living expenses, provision for the College or University communications eg iPhone, e-Books etc.  that are mandatory – I believe the evaluators of the fund still live in the stone age!!!  come on, lets be real and live in the real world out there,  not like Cayman!!  

        Minister Marco Archer, I am aware of what the outside world is all about when it comes to overseas education!!  An evaluation of the amount given to a student for overseas education is just not a fair Scholarship, when there are others receiving from the Education Department  more than the YNBP, and the accountability should rest with the Financial Reviews provided by the Institutions, and not for someone to decide what they should disburse!! 

        It is my opinion that the Scholarships should be thoroughtly evaluated in accordance with the criteria of the Student in line with the Education Scholarship once the individual is receiving the required GPA and the College or University is recognized  by the Cayman Islands Government,  Education Department.  I hope this information will be helpful as it is some of my experiences as an Overseas Students. My parents have had the good understanding of knowing what a good education is and have been very supportive of me to makie my mark in life and serve my country..

        I would hope that other student would take the time and make their experiences known, like I have done.

        • Anonymous says:

          Every child over the age of eight is walking around Cayman with an iphone, Android, Galaxy etc. Why is it suddenly so hard for parents to afford these things when they get to college!?! Scholarships should be about the bare necessities. It is better for more children to get a reasonable amount than for a small few to get extravagances.

      • Anonymous says:

        False. Expressly excluded from the PPM budget. 

  24. Anonymous says:

    Why the hell accept it in the first place ? Oh, just because of negative publicity.

    • Anonymous says:

      Glad they finally did the right thing but it sure took a long time for the negative publicity to prick their conscience. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Of course they did the right thing, that's why it took them until now to do it because they needed to have all their I's dotted and T's crossed before they took the final step. I wish you all will quit the bickering now and get down on your knees and ask GOD's forgiveness for all the slander you have and still spreading. Do some serious FASTING and PRAYER and live good with each other. GOD BLESS CAYMAN AND ITS PEOPLE.  

  25. Anonymou says:

    Now we need his Bypass church to take down the ugly  plywood campaign  billboards.  Months later.  Where is planning and election office enforcement in this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Those signs SHOULD have read ‘Thy will be done’. Some how Satan got in there and lead folks astray.

    • Anonymous says:

      By law the posters had to come down the day before the election, but the sign boards on private property are the landowner's responsibility to remove.  So, unfortunately, unless the congregation stays an hour later on Sunday to do so, we may be stuck looking at them for a while..

  26. Anonymous says:

    Giving back the money is a very Christian thing to do, but they still have to keep McKeeva as payment for their sins!