When the leader of the 10,000-member Mount Ararat Baptist Church in Pittsburgh parked his $230,000 Bentley Bentayga outside his church, someone took a photograph of the car and posted it to Facebook. Now Pastor William H. Curtis is finding himself at the center of a debate about his expenditures.
In a Facebook post from last Monday, Jarell Taylor shared a picture of Pastor Curtis’s car parked in a reserved parking spot outside the church, with the caption, “If ya pastor driving a Bentley truck…. he’s sucking ur community dry with hope and tithes.” The post immediately gained traction and has been shared well over 3,000 times as of this writing.
Speaking to CP, Samuel Cruz of the Union Theological Seminary in NYC said “the Gospel was good news to the poor and I don’t know how owning a Bentley that’s worth $230,000 contributes in any way to the furtherance of the Kingdom and also how that could be justified.”
If ya pastor driving a Bentley truck…. he’s sucking ur community dry with hope and tithes 🤦🏾♂️ #babylontricks #jesusroadacamel #pastorBigBs
“To own a car that expensive you have to be among the top 10 percent of income earners or even higher of these United States of America, and I can’t consider how preaching could lead someone to so much wealth,” he added.
According to estranged church member Damon Young, even though Curtis may earned income from revenue streams from outside the church, the optics of his car are “vulgar” when the majority of his congregation is “living check to check.”
“But the optics here just feel … wrong. Vulgar, even,” Young told CP. “Particularly when considering that this church exists in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city.”
“And to be frank, I think it says a lot about a pastor who thinks it’s a good idea to display such an extravagant item in front of a church where the majority of his congregation is living check to check. It’s messy.”
Featured image via Facebook