Church for rent by the hour - Building available at $1,500 rate
For just $1,500 per hour a person seeking to operate a church can move his congregation into a fit-for-purpose building and begin ministering.
A clergyman advertised the facility for rent, and told THE WEEKEND STAR that the $1,500 charge is for congregations that use the building on a weekly or regular basis.
However, if the venue will be used for a one-off event, a cost of $2,500 per hour may be incurred by the tenant.
With a seating capacity of 200 persons, the building is fully equipped with chairs, drums and sound system.
The enterprising clergyman, who identified himself as Bishop Smith, yesterday said he would accommodate an interview about the venture some time in the future. He, however, said he was unable to speak on the matter at the time.
Meanwhile, Reverend Garnett Roper is bemoaning the role that some churches are allowing money to play in their ministry.
"There is an overarching, corrupting and corroding influence of money on much of what is happening especially within a section of the church," Roper said.
Seen as immoral
Roper is concerned that some churches are using their place of worship for purposes that are not dedicated to the glorification of God. And he also believes that the act of renting a church could be seen as immoral.
"I am assuming that this is a registered denomination, so you get tax relief because you use the space for worship. For you to then turn around and then put that to a commercial return is unethical and the tax authority are to review the use of it, if is used in that way," he said.
He also questioned the motive of some institutions who claim to be aligned with Christianity.
However, Pastor Herro Blair Jr said another church allowed him and his members to have services at their church for five months after Hurricane Ivan damaged his building in 2004. Therefore, he said he sees no problem with churches renting their facilities.
"Maybe a smaller church wants to rent a bigger church for a concert and services. Why not? The building is there," he said.
However, Blair is opposed to churches being rented for non-religious purposes.
"I don't believe the church should rent it's building for a dance or for something that is secular and not proper," he said.
Blair, who pastors the Spanish Town Deliverance Centre (GATEWAY), says he doesn't have a building now and has to rent a school for services so he doesn't see why he can't rent a building owned Adventists for Sunday morning services.
Blair argues that churches have to come up with innovative ways to make money because they don't get funding from the Government to assist the needy persons that they help.
"You have do whatever you need to do in order to look after people because the offering we get every Sunday is not even enough to pay a good salary, much more to look after all the people that are dependent on you," he said.