NEW YORK — The widow of Pilgrim Assemblies International, Inc. founder Archbishop Roy E. Brown is being evicted by the church her husband led for decades and her family claims she could become "homeless."
"Please take notice, that the Owner and Landlord, Pilgrim Baptist Church, INC., is entitled to immediate possession of the premises known as and located at 1721 Ditmas Avenue, Brooklyn, New York (the 'Premises') based on the fact that the person who had a license to live on the Premises, Roy E. Brown, died and such license expired upon his death," the notice, dated Aug. 15, said.
"Any and all license, if any, given to Paula Scarlett-Brown to occupy the premises by Roy E. Brown, the deceased holder of the license, has expired and terminated by virtue of death of Roy E. Brown. Your occupancy of the premises is without the permission of the Landlord," it continued, requesting the widow and all others living on the property to vacate the premises by Aug. 26 or face further action.
The widow's niece, Tonya Joy Bolton, who posted a copy of the eviction notice, asked for prayers on Friday and worried she could be "made homeless."
"Please pray for my Aunt Paula Scarlett-Brown. Today her Church of 28 years gave her notice of their intention to make her HOMELESS in Ten DAYS TIME! She is the most kind-hearted, Sweet natured woman I know," Bolton wrote.
"What House of GOD, What decent human being would seek to remove the FIRST LADY and WIDOW of their Founding father from her home of 22 years and put her OUT ON THE STREET in the next 10 days? Their absence of God's Love grieves my heart but comes as no surprise as I have witnessed it with my own eyes.... Shame on you Pilgrim_Church. May the Judgement of God be upon you ALL!!!"
Monte Malik Chandler, the church's attorney, told The Christian Post in an interview Monday that the church has provided both Brown as well as his widow with significant assistance.
"The church recognizes wholeheartedly their duty to widows and orphans, recognizes their duty to do justice to love mercy and walk humbly with their God but they also need to balance that with the notion of being good stewards of their time, their treasure and their talents. And I think at the end of the day, the reality of the circumstances are that the church has been extremely magnanimous and kind to both Bishop Roy Brown and deservingly so and they also have been extremely kind to his wife," Chandler said.
He explained that even after Bishop Brown retired, the church covered weekly home health aide expenses totaling $1,700 weekly and paid premiums to cover a $100,000 life insurance policy for his widow.
"She's not the only widow in our church. She's not the only widow that's in need of assistance in ministry. And I would tell you that the church was proactive in financing a $100,000 life insurance policy for Paula. She was the primary and only beneficiary, so when Bishop Roy Brown died on June 2, weeks later she got a check for $100,000 courtesy of the church's proactive nature of financing and paying for a life-insurance policy," Chandler said.
He further explained that Scarlett-Brown has been aware for some time that she would have to leave.
"This circumstance was not a shock or a surprise at all. So I will leave it at that," Chandler said.
Pastor De΄Bora Annette Crowe is currently the leader of Pilgrim Church, according to the church's website.