WATE – BAINBRIDGE, GA (WATE) – A 92-year-old woman is no longer allowed to worship at the church where she was a member for more than 50 years because she was not tithing.
Josephine King said that was the reason she was kicked out of Bainbridge's First African Baptist Church. Her family members said they hope the situation will bring change to churches across the nation.
"Josephine King is no longer considered a member of the First African Baptist Church of Bainbridge, Georgia," read Gerald Simmons, as he skimmed over the letter addressed to his aunt.
The letter, signed by Senior Pastor Derrick Mike, stated that Ms. King "has shown non-support" towards the church in the areas of "constant and consistent financial and physical participation."
"She was stunned. She was disappointed. She was shocked," said Simmons.
He said Ms. King was considered sick and a shut-in for several months, which was the reason for her lack of attendance.
He also said his aunt had gone above and beyond in the past to financially support the church.
"You shouldn't chase the individuals down," said Simmons. "You shouldn't do that. If that's the case, you're money hungry."
Simmons also noted that his aunt isn't the first person to receive a letter of removal for not tithing, and hopes her story will shed some light on the policy.
"You have to have money to make these churches run, but it's not about money," Simmons said. "It's about God. You have to put God first."
Several requests for comment from the church were made, but no responses by officials or other members were given.