Church Fraud Alert
Church Visitor Repeatedly Asks for Money
In the incidents described below, the church visitor wanted money. Please share this information with the ministry staff, class leaders, benevolence leaders, those responsible for church security, and others who would want to know about this before your church gets such a visit.
Antioch Baptist Church, Sandston reported that a woman calling herself Verna Hill visited the church on July 27, 2014. She had two teenage girls that she identified as her daughters. “They did not interrupt the worship service, but they did go to four different Sunday School rooms asking for money.”
This follows a pattern which other churches have reported in the past. Bethel Baptist Church, Midlothian reported “a lady and daughter…went to a couple of Sunday School classes asking for money. She went into the class asking if she could give a testimony and then told a story of how she needed money immediately or she and her daughter would be evicted that day.” The pastor had heard of a similar visit to another church the week before. The woman asked “to speak to the whole church and take up a love offering for her during the worship service.”
In September 2012, MCEF sent a message about similar incidents. Some churches in the Mechanicsville area “have experienced incidents when a woman named Vernia Hill (spelled with an ‘i’ even though she pronounces it ‘Verna’) has been coming in on Sunday mornings and standing up during the service asking for assistance.” That message went on to say, “…we have heard about her attending churches in the West End of Richmond also. While we don’t want to advocate turning people away and not being good Christians, we do want people to be aware of her method of operation. If Vernia Hill visits your church, please contact MCEF so we can keep up with her activities. Please know that she does not have young children, something that has been added to her plea for help…”
We have heard of similar visits to other churches. Please share this information with the ministry staff, class leaders, benevolence leaders, those responsible for church security, and others who would want to know about this before your church gets such a visit.