Some Mid-Michigan churches can't find affordable insurance - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Some Mid-Michigan churches can't find affordable insurance

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FLINT (WJRT) - (04/22/14) - "What's this world coming to when you steal from God's house?" asked Pam Gadson of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Flint.

Mid-Michigan church leaders say theft and vandalism are making it hard to find affordable insurance. The problem has grown in the past few years to the point that churches feel their insurance companies will cancel their policies if they make one more claim.

Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Flint is a good example. Insurance premiums have jumped 40 percent in the past two years because of frequent crime problems. Even though the air conditioning units at Shiloh Baptist are surrounded by a steel cage, this thief wasn't going to be deterred early Monday morning. Repairs are being made and a steel mesh has been welded to the cage.

"He maybe got $10 worth of copper and caused us $3,000 worth of repair work," Gadson said.

The church has been hit before, as has nearly every church with air conditioning in the Flint area.

"Almost all of our units on the ground and several on the roof have been vandalized," said Pastor Patrick Sanders of New Jerusalem Full Gospel Baptist Church in Flint.

The churches used to file claims with their insurance companies, but premiums jumped in response.

"You're doing the Lord's work sure enough, but you're probably going to be doing it without insurance if you file about three of them in a year," Sanders said.

"We would like to do more in the community, but we're so busy making repairs," Gadson said.

Church leaders believe much of the problem can be blamed on the area's poor economy. People often steal out of desperation, but a large drug problem also is part of the picture.

"The short cut to not working is to take something that belongs to someone else," Sanders said.

"People don't have reverence for the church these days like when we were growing up," Gadson said.
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