A church in Atlanta, Ga., has received three winning lottery tickets totaling $4,069 over a two-day period this week. The Unity North Atlanta Church, like the rest of Americans, has noticed the challenges today’s economy provides. During worship Sunday, the Rev. Mercedes Guzman led a prayer that prompted acts of generosity toward the church.
“We know prayer is a beautiful force that can transform everything. And we see now we were heard,” said Guzman.
The prayer led a member of the Unity North Atlanta Church to offer two Keno tickets worth over $3,000 inside an envelope. The next day, another ticket worth close to $1,000 was donated, NBC reported.
The church member and contributor of the lottery tickets has been identified, but asked the church to keep his name private.
Wendy Beck, a member of the Atlanta church, heard the contributor discuss the winning tickets: “He made the comment, like, ‘Don’t get me wrong, I could use it.’ But he’s like, ‘That’s not what this is about.’”
Presiding minister Rev. Richard Burdick said that the contributor is a long-time member of Unity North Atlanta Church, and noted that prosperity can show up in unexpected ways, according to CBS.
“The person, we found out, plays Keno a lot,” Burdick told reporters, and said that he does not believe accepting lottery prize money sends the wrong message.
“God shows up in mysterious ways and if it comes through someone’s generosity after winning the Lotto, we are grateful to accept that,” said the Reverend.
Burdick pointed out that Unity North Atlanta Church is not “supporting anybody to go out and gamble,” and that gambling is “a risk we don’t support in our ministry.”
“However,” Burdick adds, “a gift is a gift.”
The contributor told other church members that he intends to continue buying and donating lottery tickets until the Cobb County church’s $2.7 million mortgage is paid off.