Bishop Van Moody’s multisite megachurch in Alabama donated nearly $500,000 to five mission-oriented organizations ahead of the new year.
Moody announced during a Dec. 23 service at the Worship Center Christian Church’s Derby campus that the nondenominational ministry was giving $95,000 to five mostly local nonprofits that serve women, children and the incarcerated.
“I pray that you also don’t miss the lesson that the real meaning of Christmas is that it is more blessed to give than to receive,” Moody told the churchgoers at the service.
Moody explained that the ministry began a process last March of setting aside 10 percent of tithes, donations and offerings given to the church. That money was put into a separate bank account.
“The tithe is holy unto the Lord,” Moody said. “God promises that if we put Him first and set aside that 10 percent, that He will take care of the rest.”
“So to all of these organizations, we are presenting a check to each one of you today for $95,000,” he said, adding that the organizations receiving the donations “embody much of what we believe as a ministry.”
Those organizations are The Children’s Village, a group home for siblings; the Lovelady Center, a prison reentry and drug rehabilitation program; Maranathan Academy, a private school working with at-risk youth; Einstein’s Playground, which provides early childhood education and a summer program for young children; and the United Negro College Fund.
The Worship Center Christian Church has partnered with each of the organizations for years in an effort to make an impact in the lives of those within the community.
“It is an honor to be able to give them such an unexpected gift during a time when much of the world is focused on receiving,” Moody said in a statement shared with The Christian Post.
“It brings me great joy to know that The Worship Center Christian Church is blessing them with a combined financial gift of almost $500,000 to help them start or complete projects that will enhance the lives of those they serve.”
Moody is an influential African American church leader who received pushback from other black Christian leaders in 2018 when he was a part of a group of 20 predominantly African American inner-city pastors who met and prayed with President Trump at the White House.
The group also discussed issues pertaining to prison reform, urban economic growth, and workforce development. Moody even thanked Trump for being "compassionate and caring about all people."
Moody responded to critics at the time, saying his “caring about all people” comment was taken out of context.
"[I]t referred to the people who have been marginalized in the prison systems who can finally be ministered to and have the opportunities they need to succeed outside of prison if the bill is passed,” Moody said.
The Worship Center Christian Church is not the only church that exhibited a giving spirit this Christmas season.
Also on Dec. 23, pastor John Gray at Relentless Church in Greenville, South Carolina, announced that the congregation was giving away over $30,000 to community members in need.
Most of the gifts distributed by Relentless Church were monetary contributions to help relieve families of financial burdens.
Among the gifts was a $10,000 donation to a family in which both parents recently lost their jobs and are expecting another child.
For another churchgoer, Gray’s wife, Aventer, vowed that Relentless would pay his rent for an entire year and help him buy a car.
Another church, the Christian Assembly Church in the Los Angeles area, announced the week before Christmas that the congregation paid off $5.3 million in medical debt for 5,555 households with no strings attached.