Widows and orphans paid the Cook lawsuit
by Bishop Tom Brown
It's done! Paid in full! The unjust lawsuit leveled by former Mayor John
Cook, which forced Word of Life Church to settle or lose its property,
is finally over. The church was arm-wrestled by the courts, forcing our
church to pay $418,750.
For what? For our speaking out against an anti-democratic
mayor--a mayor who refused to honor the votes of El Pasoans. And when he
saw that he was going to lose the recall election, instead of doing the
honorable thing and defend his position, he sued the citizens of El Paso
to stop his recall election. He abused his position knowing the courts
would back up a mayor over the people. He was right. Being mayor has its
advantages. The office has power over the people, at least in El Paso.
Our church members had to come up with $418,750 or they
would lose their church land. In less than 90 days people sacrificially
gave $127,115. The church refinanced the remaining balance.
Not only did our members give, but I want to thank the 20
churches and ministries that also contributed to our church. Cook and
Walker did not take money simply from one church, but from many.
It's amazing that people actually think a corporation paid
the lawsuit. Where do you think the church gets its money? Of course
from people. It exist through people. People are the church.
Cook and Walker took money, not from a corporation, but from
ordinary citizens that sacrificed to save their church.
They took money from a family, Mr and Mrs W, that runs an
orphanage in Juarez. Today, the money that could be used to help feed
and cloth orphans went, instead, to line the pockets of a rich lawyer.
Widows and single moms sacrificed to give money to the
lawsuit settlement so their church would not lose its land. So next time
Mark Walker sits down and enjoys a meal, he should bow his head and
thank God for the widows and single moms at Word of Life Church that
helped pay for his filet mignon.
Ms D, a young college student, touched my heart. I know the
sacrifices she made to go to an out-of-state college, yet when she heard
that her church was in trouble, she gave. There were many young students
like her who gave $20 or $10. Anything to help save their church.
I appreciate Mr A as well. He is retired and takes care of
his 90 year old father while living in a small house in the Lower
Valley, yet he pulled out of his account to give a large donation. All
to pay a lawyer.
There is also Mrs J who is a waitress, just trying to eke
out enough money to pay her bills. Yet, she sacrificed nearly a weeks
salary to pay Mark Walker.
The number of African-American families that gave was large.
Some are senior citizens, like Mr and Mrs B, that lived during the
struggle for their civil rights. Yet, it wasn't their color that
mattered this time, it was their religion. They knew they lost their
free speech because of their fight for traditional marriage.
The citizen of El Paso also lost. How? Our church had plans
to build a 2 acre park with a wedding gazebo, yet those plans are on
hold. Instead of spending $650,000 to build a park that would benefit
all the citizens, it had to borrow to pay for the lawsuit.
Make no mistake about it: we all lost because John Cook sued
us! Yet, we lost more than money or a park; we lost our free speech. Our
church does not have free speech because when it cost us nearly a half
million dollars to speak out, our speech ceases to be free!
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