We did it! By now you have heard the news and hopefully have supported Beulah Land. As a church, we needed to raise $30,000 for taxes. As we said in the Southern Region, "Don't Worry. We Got This!" Working together, we met the challenge. Let the church say "Amen."
But what did this challenge say about us? It said that when the news is "bad," we rise to the occasion. It said that the church can depend on us.
For many, this three-week challenge has been an ordeal. The news floored us...but know that Beulah Land is solvent. The tax crisis was an unexpected turn of events. The price of lumber was and is at a low; hence it did not yield as much as we thought. Taxes happen...like children. Plan as you might, here comes little "Shaniqua Ayanna," or "Ray-Ray Abdul." Once you get over the shock, you go to work to ensure a safe environment, to raise the child in love.
That's what we are charged to do as the "keepers of Beulah Land." We absorb the shocks, we plan for success, and pray for strength and continued vision. The journey to freedom is not and has never been easy. The road that has brought the PAOCC thus far has had some turns, some valleys, some detours, and some pitfalls. More than once we've sat on the side of the road and asked," How long, Lord?" or "Why now?" or demanded to know, "Whose fault is it!!"
But in the end, if we are truly looking at the end, we know that what we do when faced with a crisis speaks to our faith and our commitment to the journey and to each other. It's good to know that the folks you grew up with, shared life with, built the impossible with, are still in the race. It's good to know that you-we-were in the "Joshua and Caleb Camp," and that we conquered the giants in the land. The crisis got us strategizing, thinking, digging deep. It got us off the bench and back into the game.
Yes, we did it. We saved Beulah Land. When we act, God acts, and the outcome is good. Will this be the last challenge? I doubt it. As long as we are breathing, we will have challenges. But we've got another victory under our belts. And that's what counts...the victories, the work, the camaraderie, the Shaniquas and Ray-Rays of life.
Keep your war clothes handy, saints. Freedom ain't free. We saved Beulah Land, now let's love and protect her. "We Got This," and as long as we walk in faith and do the work, God's Got Us!
Bishop Maia Dakari
Shrine #9 ~ Atlanta, GA
PAOCC - Chief Information Officer
July 1, 2011
Dear Valued Members and Friends:
The annual taxes on Beulah Land have been due since January 2011. In South Carolina, only worship centers are tax-exempt. This means of all the property we own on Beulah Land only our church building is tax exempt, leaving the vast majority of our Beulah Land holdings subject to be taxed.
The strategy for resolving this situation was to pay the taxes out of earnings from timber sold this past spring. However, the timber sale that took place during the spring happened at the worst possible time—when the market for timber was at historic lows. In short, because few people are building homes, the average timber demand has been drastically reduced. Thus, the timber sale yielded about one third of what was projected by our timber manager.
All other available funds are tied up in daily operations of our various regional churches or in prior commitments. As a national church, we do have significant projected income on the way, but we cannot pinpoint precisely when it will arrive. We have just learned that a tax auction is scheduled for July 29, 2011. On that date if we have not paid the taxes assessed on Beulah Land, it will be sold at auction on the steps of the county court house. Such a happening is unacceptable in light of all that members for decades have sacrificed and invested in order to purchase and grow Beulah Land.
To be safe, we need to raise approximately $30,000 in 30 days to avoid a tax auction. Each region is asked to raise a minimum of $7,500.00 by July 24, 2011 to avoid a tax auction of our cherished and valued Beulah Land.
This is not a national office issue. This is not a regional leadership issue. And this is certainly not simply a Beulah Land issue. This is an all-church, all-PAOCC issue. We are each invested in the survival and welfare of Beulah Land. Thus we each, to a man and woman, must shoulder the responsibility of producing the only outcome that is acceptable—the paying of the taxes to keep Beulah Land in our possession. Each region is charged with making a maximum effort toward this end. We need each member to do their best to meet this challenge together. We are asking each member to make a pledge and meet that pledge so that we can meet this challenge so that Beulah Land will remain in our hands into perpetuity.
Jaramogi Menelik Kimathi
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