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Sherwood to shut down day care

Letter to parents cites recession, increased state regs as reason for closure

— A popular Albany child day care center has informed parents that it will be closing at the end of the year, according to a letter sent to parents Wednesday.

The child care center at Sherwood Baptist Church sent letters to parents Wednesday saying that a mixture of increasing expenses and state regulations and decreasing revenues has prompted church officials to close the facility as of Dec. 30.

Center Director Merry Johnson issued a statement Wednesday night explaining why church officials believed it was no longer a viable operation.

“For the past 2 years, the economy has caused a downturn in enrollment and that, along with the cost of increased regulations, has impacted the economic strength of Sherwood Baptist Church Day Care Center to the point that it is no longer a viable operation,” Johnson said.

The letter sent to parents also states that some of the children at the center will be redirected to Sherwood’s lower campus to finish out the school year.

According to Sherwood’s website, the day care hosts children ages six weeks to K-3, for prices ranging from $110 to $140 weekly.

Bright From the Start, the state agency that regulates child daycare centers, keeps records on day care centers throughout Georgia. According to documents obtained from the state, the center at Sherwood had mostly clear scores and only was docked on the latest inspection for being above the preferred child-to-teacher ratio, having issues with infant crib procedures and for a lack of certain playground equipment.

According to the September 2011 report, the playground fencing had been damaged and not properly repaired and certain playground equipment was missing pieces or was defective which prompted the state to give it a “partially met” status.

The center also received a “not met” status for use of crib blankets after the monitor found three infants had the blankets loosely wrapped around them rather than tucked tightly under the mattress, the records show. The report said that staff were reminded of the proper procedures.

Comments

supersquawker 2 years, 6 months ago

Millions in Movie Money!!! I have been anticipating this shift from Ministry to Money but it came sooner than I expected.

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supersquawker 2 years, 6 months ago

Sherwood will not tolerate someone from outside telling them what to do or that they did not do something correctly. That's between them and God.

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southwestga 2 years, 5 months ago

Sherwood is saying that it's expensive and difficult for them to help care for the church's children. But Jesus loves the little children. Parents face these same challenges. They don't give up and abandon the them.

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CONCERNEDMOM 2 years, 5 months ago

As a parent of one of the children affected by this, I ask that you do not assume that Sherwood does not care about their children that are in the daycare. It does not only affect them but as well as the workers who will be out of a job. The parents that I have talked to are devasted by this. If you only knew before you spoke your feelings maybe you would have some grace about this happening.

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churchinsider 2 years, 5 months ago

ConcernedMom - I think that you have mis-read what this person is saying. I believe that this person is trying to say that you parents struggle in this recession to make ends meet for your children. Especially, when Sherwood just raised prices and everyone just had to pay and activity/supply fee. You don't give up on your children and neither should Sherwood. Trust me, this was just as much as a surprise to me as it was you and I have been associated with Sherwood for over 15 years.

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CONCERNEDMOM 2 years, 5 months ago

I understand that I was kinda referring to the one about millions in movies. I dont feel like Sherwood is giving up on the kids though. Maybe I am just confused at this time.

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MomOfArmyMike 2 years, 5 months ago

Sherwood and Sherwidians are a cult and they are only out for themselves. All the money the movies are making and they raised the prices on the parents? Then still shut down the daycare? Says alot about Sherwood, just reinforced my idea of them. I have dealt with people that go there and if that is Christianity, I'll eat my hat. They are THE MOST selfish, and self rightous people.

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Camilla2005 2 years, 5 months ago

Be careful jumping on the bandwagon and assuming that Sherwood is guilty of anything. In my experience, I noticed that parents were taking advantage of the church. They knew that a church would not kick their child out as quickly as a private daycare and so many parents didn't pay for after school care. I would bet that the same is true for the day care program. Parents' priorities are sometimes their cars, clothes, ect. Parents are too quick to assume that their child is the government's, the child's teacher's, or church's responsibiltiy instead of their own. My child went their for years. I am a mother that gets no child support nor government support. I never expected the church to keep my child for free. I made a decision to have a child and expect no one but me to sacrifice for my child. The sad thing is, it is not only the poor that doesn't always pay their own way. It is often the ones that would just rather you and I pay than sacrifice for their own child.

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churchinsider 2 years, 5 months ago

While I don't agree with the way it was said I think that this person makes a good point. Courageous has already made $29 Million and growing. I understand that everyone in the movie business has to get their cut and Sherwood has to recover the 2 Million that it spent making the movie however, I believe they would make plenty of money to make the improvements that are needed and keep the daycare open. I believe that the net profit that Sherwood received for either Facing the Giants or Fireproof was around $5 Million. With the movies that Sherwood has made they have paid off the church debit and built a huge sports park in the middle of nowhere. It also seems funny to me how the Mother's Morning Out program is being expanded in this recession where they are struggling for money. You being a parent, I would not take the excuse from Mrs. Johnson that none of the Courageous money comes to Sherwood. It's a pure lie. Here is the facts...The Daycare is a ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church and SBC can use it's profits from Courageous any way that they so choose and any ministry they so choose.
You have also made an excellent point about the staff losing their jobs. Over 30 people will loose their job and since Sherwood is a church organization they are not required to pay unemployment benefits. Therefore, if theses staff members don't find a job then they will be without any income as the cannot file for unemployment.

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churchinsider 2 years, 5 months ago

Camilla2005, you bring up a great point about the Church working with parents but at some point you have to draw the line in the sand. Especially, when loosing the daycare is at stake. I know that right now there are two parents that owe the church over $800. One of them owes over $1000. I believe in this case you most do whats good for everyone and not whats good for just a few.

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Laughingoutloud 2 years, 5 months ago

So, let me just get this straight, because I'm pretty sure that Sherwood cannot EVER win with everyone. Just a recap of a couple of things I've heard over the past few months:

1- Sherwood is trying to take over everything...school, sports, day care, movies, etc...**why can't they let another church have a chance?**

YET...when Sherwood says, "We believe God is leading us to step back from this..." people shout, "Callous, uncaring church! Love the children!" Guess what?!...here is an opportunity that God may be giving one of the other churches to open a day care!!!

2- Sherwood is always raising tuition...why can't they use MOVIE money to foot the bill??

YET...these same people refuse to take advantage of the tax money the state is willing to give if parents allocate a portion of their income tax to Goal Scholarship fund, which would enable the school to reach out to those less fortunate in the community. Sherwood is TRYING to reach out, but everyone loves to say that the movies should foot the bill for EVERYTHING. The movies are there for OUTREACH, not for the public OR church members to get out of their responsibility to sacrfice for their children and for the Church as a whole. God blesses so that we can bless others in return. Most people CAN afford a Christian education. They just can't afford everything else they want if they make that choice.

So, QUIT blaming the CHURCH for making decisions that they have earnestly prayed about and sought good counsel on. They offer SO much to this community, yet aren't we so quick to ask for MORE??

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supersquawker 2 years, 5 months ago

Love it when they say "God is leading us to........blah blah blah". Playing the God card is the ultimate Ace in the Hole! Who could argue that?

Suggestion: cooperate with other churches in the Albany area and get more done with less cost. But no you don't want to risk staining yourselves with less righteous Christians and as I said you want to be autonomous and not let anybody else have a say (or impose state regulations).

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churchinsider 2 years, 5 months ago

First, I would like to thank the Albany Herald for covering this story. They are the only news source in town that has at this point pick up this story. I also appreciate the follow-up article that further proves SBC has something to hide. I am disappointed that several comments that I have written has not appeared to have been accepted. I have a wealth of knowledge of the truth that has not been posted on this website. Until I saw the latest Sherwood article I assumed that these comments were not being accepted to cover the truth. I know of at least one SCA alumni and church member that works for the Albany Herald. I would hope that there would be some reconsideration to my comments or that you dig deeper into the story. The parents, staff, and this community have the right to know the truth.

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thepottershand 2 years, 5 months ago

My wife and I own and operate The Potter's Hand Learning Center at 173 Society Street in Leesburg. We are a faith based Christian ministry that has been living by faith day by day in order that we may provide a loving, caring, Christian environment for children and their parents. We are a Christian pre-school teaching the A Beka curriculum. Please see similar article, "Couple Answers God's call with Center". For those parents whose children will be displaced by this daycare closing, we invite you to come visit us and see what great things God can do with little children. We have several openings in our 3-4 year old classes. It is our desire that we might serve you, your children, and the community in the name of Jesus Christ. For those workers who will be displaced by this closing, we invite you to come by to visit and fill out an application. Please check out our website www.pottershandministries.com and on Facebook @ The Potter's Hand Learning Center. Jeremiah 18:1-6.

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immokaleeman 2 years, 5 months ago

It is amazing to me how everyone here is quick to jump on the anti-Sherwood bandwagon. If you can't clean up what is in your own backyard... don't go trying to clean and fix someone else's. Even though Courageous is making money... you fail to realize that Sherwood is not making a dime right now on the movie. It is the promoters, go-betweens, and theaters that are making the money. By the time it filters down... Sherwood may not make a thing off of it. It is called ministry for a reason.

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jhendricks 2 years, 5 months ago

churchinsider: The comments you made that have not be activated were specific allegations against specific individuals that are not substantiated with proof. As far as the remark about a Sherwood church member/alumni working at The Herald, I'm sure we have employees who go to that church and other churches, and probably some who don't go at all. Regardless, Just for the record, I made the decisions to not activate the comments you're referring to and I have no affiliations with Sherwood.

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churchinsider 2 years, 5 months ago

thepottershand - Thank you so much for this information. I will pass this information along and I wish you future success.

jhendricks - Thank you for your comment. I can accept your honesty. I wish I could be more specific but at the same time I am trying to protect myself, close family and friends from the wrath of Sherwood if I was to be identified. We are already in a tough position at this time.

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supersquawker 2 years, 5 months ago

to immokaleeman: that's it the cool aid is working full strength for you. Question: do you know how much money has been brought in to date on the other movies, books, study guides, DVDs, sound tracks, syndication rights, etc (yes it's certainly in the 7-digits) AND what was done wiht that money? It's a real good question don't you think? As the wise man said "Inspect what you Expect" and that goes for eveyone from the janitor to the Sr. Pastor. If they won't tell you, won't report it to the membership at minimum....then the situation does not pass the Sniff Test.

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supersquawker 2 years, 5 months ago

Sorry I left off Licensing fees to show the films at other churches. Check out the Sherwood Pictures web site. Note also that the pastors write the screenplay, act in the movie, score the music in the movie, publish books supporting periphery themes in the movie, etc etc ad nauseum. There's a lot of money being made here by somebody and it ain't all going to the folks in the "biz".

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LuLu 2 years, 5 months ago

To jhendricks: THANK YOU for replying to churchinsider. It's nice to see that his/her comments weren't altogether ignored, and nice to see you take the time to reply, even though your answer probably wasn't what he/she wanted to hear. Now that being said, will you PLEASE PLEASE pretty please go over to the article titled "A user's guide to our website registration features" and answer MY questions? I wrote on there several times asking, then I resorted to BEGGING, for someone (anyone!!) to please respond to my question! They responded to other poster's questions, but never to mine.

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churchinsider 2 years, 5 months ago

thepottershand - Thanks for the information. I will pass this along to my friend and family.

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wellobserver 2 years, 5 months ago

In reference to church insider, I myself was a former employee of the daycare and I know first hand what went on there and also agree about the unemployment in which when I was terminated, I could not recieve any unemployment benefits due to their regulations. I have watched the daycare terminate people for silly reasons. Lots of favoritism took place within the facility. I witnessed a toddler get shocked by sticking a hair pin in the outlet and the teacher over her was never terminated and still to this day is still working there. The daycare has policies in which if you are pregnant out of wedlock you are terminated but yet they had customers who kids were born out of wedlock but they had no problem taking the money for their services, I never understood that. Some of the balances for parents bill were ridiculous starting from 1,000 on up and that explain why their budget was the way it was. Employees made only minimum wage and certain others that were on the favorites list got paid more secretly. We asked for raises several times but we were told that the daycare was not part of the church in which we all knew better and the Pastor was the one who signed the checks (lol! ). I mean everyone do the math. $110 per week. Thats $110 per head and they had over over 100 kids in attendance. thats alot of money made per week. But this is the place everyone holds up high, but no one knows how judgemental they are especially when they are "Chirstians".

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wellobserver 2 years, 5 months ago

Yes some can be very selfish but some members who attend there are so blinded they don't see it and don't know what goes on behind the curtains.

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Guest2011 2 years, 5 months ago

I understand that economics has to play a part in everything. With that being said, I feel that the children should come first. How much of the church money is being spent on the "Outreach Center" on Pine Ave? I agree that we need to help everyone that will accept help. But please don't overlook the families and children who have counted on you for years. A very loving and safe environment for children whose mothers have to work.

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jhendricks 2 years, 5 months ago

Lulu, I'll check into that and this evening.

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Camilla2005 2 years, 5 months ago

Thank you Mr. Hendricks for making the obvious point out that you all have employees from other schools and churches. The Potter's Hand Learning Center sounds like it will provide daycare, and maybe with additional children, they can employ additional staff as well. Sherwood does have a right to make their own decisions. I am sure that there are reasons that none of us know that lead Sherwood to make the decision that it made.

For all the employees, children, and PARENTS THAT ACTUALLY PAY, I truly am sorry for this inconveince. As for all of the other posters, if you are not a tithing member of Sherwood, what gives you the right to say what Sherwood spends their money on? What gives you any right to say what service they should provide?

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supersquawker 2 years, 5 months ago

camilla2005: well last I checked this still is America where you have the right to ask any question you like and the question that I am still asking is how can you tell people you're not going to do something because of "lack of resources (money)" when everybody knows good and well Sherwood is raking in millions, to the extent that they are totally debt free (check out their web site touting M. Catt's accomplishments since becoming pastor) and also putting people out of work in this town where unemployment is among the highest in the state? Give a real reason and that reason can't possibly be money. By the way, probably only about 15% max of the members of Sherwood are tithers so I'm sure there are a lot more people out there who ARE members who are trying to say their piece if given a chance. I know how these Baptist churches operate believe me!

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churchinsider 2 years, 5 months ago

I get so tired hearing people say they, "Go to the Church that makes the movies." That statement tells me that they are there to be seen and to bring glory and fame to them and not to God. I personally know Alex Kendrick and he is a talented God fearing man that is doing what God has called him to do and I truthfully think that Sherwood has just slapped him in the face by making this announcement just a couple of weeks after the release of Courageous. They better hope this story does not hit the national news or I think it will send too much of a mixed message and could destroy this work of God.

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myopinioncounts 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm the mother of a child who attends Sherwood daycare. There are lots of intricacies to this kind of decision that are hard for the outsider to understand. I think it's only fair to keep an open mind that we don't know what all went into this decision.

What I DO know is that when I had a problem with one of the daycare ladies, it was taken care of IMMEDIATELY. A mother knows when her child is happy and when she's not happy. I can attest to the fact that my child was happy, safe, and learning with every single woman who took care of her at Sherwood (with the exception of this one person whose employment was terminated because of my concerns.)

Those ladies worked for minimum wage, but they loved my daughter. How could I ask for more? I have only good things to say about Sherwood and I'm not a member there. I just want the staff and Ms. Merry to know that they are VERY much appreciated. They all had the most important job of all of us, in my humble opinion and they did it VERY well. Thank you.

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LuLu 2 years, 5 months ago

Thank you so much, jhendricks!

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KK 2 years, 5 months ago

First I'd like to say my child attends the daycare and we love the teachers. They are wonderful.....But here's my question, I attended the church when the daycare began and it began as a ministry. A ***MINISTRY*** for working moms (not everyone can afford to stay home). The daycare was to give quality childcare to these children, which they have done, and done well.....ministries do not make money....so why the concern over money? It is or was suppose to be a ministry...I'm grateful it was there for us...and I'm sorry other moms will not be blessed by the center...and other babies will have to go to less quality places...... I just want to know....what's more important investing in little children that can't fend for themselves? or investing in scoccer fields? Call it what it is.....Sherwood just traded the daycare for the "sports Park".........very dissappointing......I wish the teachers and other babies well.

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