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McBride: We're doing what we can for day care staff, students

Sherwood's Day Care center will close December 30.

— The executive pastor for Sherwood Baptist Church said Thursday that the church is working with area daycares to help its staff find jobs and its students find a place to stay, following word the church's center will close December 30.

Jim McBride said Thursday that the church is "doing all that we know to do," to help those who will be displaced by Sherwood Daycare center's closing December 30.

Parents learned Wednesday that the center would be closing because of what church officials said were declining revenues and increasing state regulations.

McBride said that the church was working the daycare centers in the Albany area to find work for those staff who will be out of a job at the beginning of the year and to help parents find a place to keep their kids where possible.

"We've been in contact with some day care centers and, of course, we're going to be giving recommendation letters for all of our staff who have been impacted by this decision," McBride said.

As for the day care center, McBride said that the K-3 children will be moved to the lower campus for the remainder of the school year and that some of the parents and children may be able to take advantage of the Mothers' Morning Out program that allows mother's to drop their children off at the church between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. while they are out running errands, he said.

Word that the center was experiencing financial troubles perplexed many who commented on the story at albanyherald.com based on the success of Sherwood's film ministry, which is currently having its best run ever with the release of "Courageous."

That film alone, which opened September 30 in limited release and has since expanded to more than 1,200 theaters across the country, has grossed more than $21.8 million, according to industry reports and was listed on the movie website "Fandango," as being top-rated fan favorite currently in theaters.

While only a portion of the money generated by the film will go to Sherwood's movie making arm, Sherwood Pictures Ministries, Inc., how much money is flowing into the church has not been stated publicly.

When asked about the revenues generated from the film, the general financial state of the church and the seemingly conflicting notion of the revenues coming from the film and the lack of funding for the day care center, McBride said he couldn't comment.

A request for a tax-return or other financial documents sent to the attorney-of-record for Sherwood Pictures Ministries, Inc. -- which is listed as a tax-exempt, 501(c)3 organization with the Georgia Secretary of State -- under Georgia's Open Records Act, was denied because SPM, Inc., is not required to file anything with the Internal Revenue Service because it is an auxiliary of the church.

A budget does accompany the church's bulletin that is posted online. According to that, the church is currently operating with a $161,162 deficit, having received $3.3 million of its $3.5 million budget.

The only recent reference to revenues and the church appears in an article published this month by the Baptist Press in which Pastor Michael Catt is said to have given $100,000 check to the International Mission Board to fund overseas trips by Baptist missionaries.

That offering, along with the funding used to build the 82-acre Legacy Park, is inferred in the article to have come from revenues generated by the film.

On its website, the church also solicits donations or offerings from its members and the public to support its various ministries which it uses to spread the Gospel in a variety of different ways.

Comments

supersquawker 2 years, 6 months ago

"No Comment" yeah we've heard that before somewhere. How can you say you "Love Southwest Georgia" on your billboards but don't feel you should tell people the truth? Are you hiding something? Wait....God told you to, that's right. Play the God card.

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Laughingoutloud 2 years, 6 months ago

Supersquawker - You must have been extremely implemental in the either the making of these movies or Sherwood's other ministries in general, because you certainly do have an amazing interest and opinion on what they do with the revenues.

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churchinsider 2 years, 6 months ago

I just absolutely love this part of the article: When asked about the revenues generated from the film, the general financial state of the church and the seemingly conflicting notion of the revenues coming from the film and the lack of funding for the day care center, McBride said he couldn't comment.

Way to hide, McBride. The parents, staff, and now the Albany Herald has not been able to get an honest answer out of anyone at SBC about the profits of Courageous and what mission(s) will be supported. This tells me the Church is guilty since they seem to be ducking the most important question.I think the staff and parents deserve more of an answer than that. I am sure it's easy for him to sit in his nicely decorated office, drive his nice vehicle, and wear his fancy clothes while he hides behind Sherwood Pictures and SBC. Most of the staff members shop at the Goodwill and Dollar Tree just to make ends meet. Don't think the staff did not hear several key Pastor's joking about people that shop at those stores. The Churches creditability with the Day Care staff is zero. The Church was so ashamed of them that during the Refresh Conference the students and staff were not allowed to cross the Atrium area to get to the gym even if it was raining outside.

By the way...the staff would like to see more than spoken words on how the church is going to help them recover. My family and friends have not seen any assistance as of yet. Maybe McBride can shed some light on this for us where it's written and legally binding?

I will give Sherwood an A+ for effort in the PR stunt but an F- in execution.

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supersquawker 2 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Laughing: I guess what people would appreciate is answers not insults. To me it seems simple and makes more sense if you want to impact kids and their families to subsidize a Day Care center for little children rather than bring in Senior athletes into the high school with subsidized tuition. Maybe it's just me or maybe that's what God said for you to do and I'm in trouble for asking the question.

Are you employed by the church or one of its offshoots?

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Sixty 2 years, 6 months ago

churchinsider - Why do you want to know so bad how much money the church has made off their movies? What if they have made 10 million? If they feel the need to close down the daycare, then they can close it down. I personally would not want to run a daycare if I were a pastor. There is a ton of liability. People will sue for anything these days. I think it is a great idea to get out of that business all together. With the new regulations in place and if the daycare is not self-sustaining financially, it would be a smart move to close it down. What if SBC wants to spend that money elsewhere? You act as if SBC owes you something. Get over it. SBC has done nothing but good for the community. As far as the suits pastors wear, what is your point? You sound cynical. Look where the current staff has taken that church. They are touching lives in Albany as well as all over the world. I hate to hear that anyone is losing a job. At the end of the day, Churches are businesses. They have to spend their money in a wise manner. They do not need to be throwing money in an albatross.

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TD31707 2 years, 5 months ago

You sound like a member of the SBC flock to me. In your comment we see " At the end of the day, Churches are businesses. They have to spend their money in a wise manner. They do not need to be throwing money in an albatross." Apparently serving (their) God requires them to make money.

It's interesting to compare your statement to this one in the article

" A request for a tax-return or other financial documents sent to the attorney-of-record for Sherwood Pictures Ministries, Inc. -- which is listed as a tax-exempt, 501(c)3 organization with the Georgia Secretary of State -- under Georgia's Open Records Act, was denied because SPM, Inc., is not required to file anything with the Internal Revenue Service because it is an auxiliary of the church."

I think it's time to yank the tax exempt status, since they are pretty clearly FOR profit. Let them pay their fair share!

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Seriously 2 years, 6 months ago

It's best for the day care to close if they cannot replace the director. I've seen her have one of her "fits" while throwing things like a child. It actually scared my daughter to the point of crying. I have also witnessed the manner in which she treats her employees. It is not conducive to a "church" environment at all.

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chinaberry25 2 years, 6 months ago

Some of this church money and the way it is spent may be subject to taxes and that is a no-no to churches. But all the venues churches are going into, I for one have a problem is seeing this being used for the glory of God. When all said and done, it does not go for the benefit of members like the closure of the daycare. If the movies are making a killing as implied, this could be a goodwill gesture.

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wellobserver 2 years, 6 months ago

In reference to Seriously, I have witnessed the same. When her day is not going good. you can bet your day will not be good either. I strongly agree on your comment on how she treat her employees. I, myself was a victim.

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supersquawker 2 years, 6 months ago

Yall don't forget to buy Jim McBride's book, which is for sale on the Sherwood web site, about the responsibility that adults have for children. God put that stuff in the book on his heart in the past several years.

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churchinsider 2 years, 6 months ago

Sixty - Either way, what's done is done. What I would like from SBC is to have someone stop all the BS and be truthfull to the staff and the parents. Expecially the staff, who deserve answers. Also, they should put something in writting and legally binding on how they will help these staff members. These staff members need something more than to hear on the news that Sherwood is "We're doing what we can for day care staff, students." From what I understand that over 30 families have already sent in notices of when their students will be leaving so do you expect me to believe that all of these staff members will have jobs until 12-30-11? No, I don't think so.

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myopinioncounts 2 years, 6 months ago

SERIOUSLY, The director is not the issue- they're not replacing her at all. In fact, she will remain on as staff in her original position as director of child ministries. She has been nothing but WONDERFUL to the parents, staff, and to her community. She has worked her butt off for that program and deserves every ounce of respect from us all!

There are many very sad parents that know what we are losing here. Thank you to Merry for all of your hard and dedicated work! WE APPRECIATE YOU!

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churchinsider 2 years, 6 months ago

myopinioncounts - I am so glad that you have a wonderful experience with Sherwood. You hit the nail on the head when you said you were a parent. This gives you an inside view but Sherwood has done a great job of perception in the Day Care but the church as a whole. How many hours per week are you in the building? Maybe 1-2 hours per week? The staff has to deal with Mrs. Merry 7-8 hours per day. So, you don't realize the heck that she puts those ladies through and drama that occurs while parents are gone. As a customer of any service you expect the highest quality and to never deal with the drama, favorites, or politics of the business. This is why you don't see what the staff deals with on an almost daily from Mrs. Johnson.

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interestedperson 2 years, 6 months ago

I just think it's a shame that a church is starting to think of ministries as money-making ventures instead of good-will ventures. Maybe Sherwood has gotten too big for its britches with these movies it's making....'bound to happen sooner or later.

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truthseeker 2 years, 6 months ago

To Sixty: I sincerely hope you aren't on staff there, because you just called the daycare an albatross..? Really? Taking care of the children is a burden? What other ministries are such a burden? Is that the message Sherwood wants to send is that reaching out to the community is a burden? I doubt it. Yes they sure can do what they want with their money..problem is they can't claim to "want the next generation" then close daycare. Its just inconsistent. Sherwood has done some wonderful things, Yes..But the perception this is creating is doing more harm than good. I think I would've taken the financial hit rather than the credibility hit. Just proves that the daycare was just a business and not a ministry. Poor poor message to send. FYI, you're not reaching the world if you're not taking care of your own town. Again, I hope you don't represent that church, because if you do, you just showed the world where you really stand. In the flesh. The love of money..

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Margie 2 years, 6 months ago

Now, this is Crazy as it gets. I do not and will never understand all the hype and talk about Sherwood closing its day care program. Did any of you question Cooper Tire when they closed and hundreds of people were without jobs, even though cars and equipment that used tires were being made? I am surprise that the day care program remained open as long as it did. It is a good program and I hate to see it close. But, the issue here that is really bugging the hell out of some of you, especially squawk is the money made from films and the fact that GOAL scholarship funds were used to help some young men get a Christian base education. If another church was closing its day care program we would not be having this conversation, and it wouldn't have made the new. Running a day care is a business and just as any other business it needs to be financially stable. I tell you, let's all stop going to McDonald's or Winn Dixie and see what will happen. The doors will close here in Albany, even though there are hundreds elsewhere. Sherwood was a church in the community that only those were members had an interest in being involved. But, after the first mega movie, eyes are on Sherwood. If they spit on the ground someone will be there to take a picture. I am sorry that people will not have a job and parents must take their little ones elsewhere. My grand daughter went to the day care program, and now attends the lower campus. It is a good program. But, you can't be angry with them making sound business decisions. If something would happen to a child, the news media and haters like sqwak will have something to say. As for the director, she is a decent human being and doesn't deserve ugly talk about her. She will help any way she could, but yes those of you that were lazy and sit on your butts had to work or leave. No, she doesn't' play around when it can to doing your job. Finally, I am sure that the church has written off more debt you can imagine. I know of a family when the dad lost his job, but the director continued to let the child come. Dad was going to take the child out because he couldn't afford. But, the child continued to come. Now, there is no telling how many others they helped. Shame on you haters of Sherwood and using God's name in vain to attach them. What business is it of yours. Sherwood does not have to disclose their business to the community. What other churches are you asking for their financial statements. Oh yes, to church insider and employees, if things were so bad, why did you stay. Why attend a church that you hate? Why work somewhere where you are mistreated? That I certainly don't understand. Well one thing I can truly say, "Everybody Loves Sherwood."

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supersquawker 2 years, 6 months ago

Well one thing I can truly say, "Everybody Loves Sherwood."

Not true. Count me out Maggie.

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supersquawker 2 years, 6 months ago

As some commenters have observed....

I was reading a story that Jesus told in Luke 19, verses 9-14. One of the characters reminded me of the Sherwood people that I know, including the Head Honcho, and it wasn't the Sinner! Lord have mercy.

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myopinioncounts 2 years, 6 months ago

Churchinsider- if it was so horrible, why didn't you look for another job? I guess you're one person who is glad to be out of a job now, huh?

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churchinsider 2 years, 6 months ago

myopinioncounts - I never said that I worked at Sherwood. You can be associated with a Church organization without being a church or staff member. You ask a very valid question and I will answer it as best as I can without giving away my identity or personal situations of my family and friends. Trust me when I say that all of the people I know were looking to leave. Personal and family situations caused them to stay longer because in this economy a bad job is better then no job at all. We all have bills and responsibilities. To add to this the State of Georgia is requiring all Day Care workers to have a CDA to work in a child care facility. Sherwood decided that those workers needed to have this certification by the end of this year when the Georgia requirement is December 2012. There is a cost of between $700-$800 to obtain this certification. Sherwood has not paid any of this cost. The State of Georgia will help pay for the first test for a limited time TBD by the state. This this a three phased process. The first phase costs $325 to complete. The final two phases must be completed in the child care facility where the staff member works approved on their CDA application. I understand that the facility will be closing on 12-30-11 but at the rate that parents are currently removing their children I have been told that the staff will be lucky if they still have a job by Thanksgiving. I know a number of staff that is on phase three because 10-1-11 was the last date they could submit their application and payment to the CDA to be certified by Sherwood's deadline. Which means that these staff members have already paid the full amount and if they don't have a job at Sherwood when the CDA council rep comes to complete the process the they have lost all that money and have to start over. In addition, if they do find other day care work it must be for the same age group and the CDA council must approve the change if not, then they have to start over. In addition, if they start working with a new age group then they have to start over. I do know one person that had an opportunity to leave Sherwood for another day care position but their were several factors that lead to the decline of that position. It's unfortunate that this person did not see this coming and run like heck.

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billybob 2 years, 5 months ago

Sixty said, "At the end of the day, Churches are businesses." You really don't believe that, do you? Businesses pay taxes. Businessed can not discriminate based on religion or creed. Businesses have to pay unemployment. Publicly-owned business (businesses that offer stock purchases) even have to report earnings and financial data. I think we can agree that churches do none of these things, so they are most certainly not businesses. I think this story is generating interest and dialogue because it really shines a light on the hypocrisy of many big churches. I assure you Sherwood is making money hand over fist with the movies. Not just Courageous -- they're still generating revenue from Fireproof and Facing the Giants -- big revenue. They could fund the daycare if they chose to. There is nothing Christ-like about the way Sherwood is going about this. Anyone who looks at it objectively can see that. By the way, I think churches should be taxed like a business. Because although Sixty is technically wrong, he or she is right that most churches today do operate like businesses and that is sad.

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supersquawker 2 years, 5 months ago

To the squawker who wrote that "people are jealous of Sherwood making movies". No you missed the point entirely. Who cares what they do? What I and many others object to is basically making up a LIE that they don't have enough money to keep a day care open. That is a straight up lie. The are chosing not to allocate their millions to keeping the day care open. Period. OK fine, but don't lie about it.

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billybob 2 years, 5 months ago

Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner! That's exactly it. It is insulting to reasonable, intelligent people to have the church say they don't have the money to run the daycare. While the church may think their decision is courageous. I don't think their reasoning is fireproof. I think they should face the giant problem of funding and keep the center open. Flywheel.

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churchinsider 2 years, 5 months ago

"We've been in contact with some day care centers and, of course, we're going to be giving recommendation letters for all of our staff who have been impacted by this decision," McBride said.

It's more like other centers are calling Sherwood because they are taking in students and want to hire a few teachers that the students know so that they are not totally in shock. The recommendation letter that they have given these teachers are a joke. First the letter assumes that the staff member will obtain new employeement in child care. Second, with the few letters that they had to write they could have done a little better in personnalizing the letters. After all most of the staff have been loyal employees for a long time. Here is the letter:

Dear Director:

As Director of Sherwood Baptist Church Day Care Center I know the imporantance of having well-trained, qualified staff members who love children and work well together as a team to provide the very best in child care.

A decision was made to close Sherwood Baptist Church Day Care on December 30, 2011. This closing will provide child care centers in Albany some of the best child care teachers in the area. This letter is written in recommendation of the qualified teacher who has applied for a position in your center.

It is my desire that all of our teachers find employment by our closing date. I would be happy to know you have considered my recommended teacher as an employee in your center.

Sincerly, Merry Johnson, Director Weekday Ministries

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supersquawker 2 years, 5 months ago

That's pretty anemic. Who is going to find out the real reason that they closed the Day Care Ministry?

How much movie (and books and study guides and licensing fees etc etc) money is coming in? Where is that money going? Who gets the royalties? Are they letting the Membership know the details (tithing and non-tithing members) about how much and where? Debt is paid, great........now what? How much is going to the Schools? How much is the Executive Producer getting in his bank account? Some great questions that somebody should be asking. It's not un-Christian to ask questions is it? Jesus did it all the time and He exposed a lot of raw nerves when He did. "NO COMMENT" means they are hiding something.

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