Jump directly to the content

Suburban Megachurch's Inner-City Bank Goes Bust

Chicago church preaches prosperity, but attempt to aid Lawndale fails to follow suit.

Living Word Christian Center in Forest Park, Illinois, is known for preaching prosperity, but the suburban megachurch's inner-city bank has failed to become an example.

Federal officials recently shut down Living Word-owned Covenant Bank after it failed to raise $3 million in capital to continue operating. Covenant's account holders are now customers of Liberty Bank and Trust, and their funds are insured up to the $250,000 Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC) maximum. However, the move will wipe out the holdings of the bank's owners, including Living Word pastor Bill Winston.

Winston purchased the bank for $3 million "as a means to foster economic development in hard-hit African-American neighborhoods like the bank's home in Lawndale on [Chicago's] West Side." However, FDIC estimates suggest the bank has lost $6.2 million since his purchase.

In a statement, Winston blamed the bank's failure on "troubled economic times [that] made it difficult for people to invest. As I have shared many times, my vision for the bank was to provide an economic engine to help revitalize urban communities, such as Lawndale, by providing lending for small businesses, commercial development, and affordable housing, as well as education and financial literacy to local residents."

CT has previously reported on Christian banking efforts, including diversifying approaches to micro-finance and the Christian Community Development Association.

CT has also reported on prosperity-gospel theology and debt, including the moral case for debt.

Related Topics:None
Posted:February 25, 2013 at 9:47AM
Gleanings aggregates what others are reporting. Learn more.

Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article.
Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.
Login
or
Subscribe
or
Register
Recent Posts
Guard Kills 3 Americans at Christian Hospital in Afghanistan
Pediatrician "felt called" to leave Chicago's Lawndale Christian Health Center for Kabul.
Israeli Military's Call-Up of Arab Christians Labeled 'Intimidation'
Attempt at increasing recruits ten-fold occurs against backdrop of stalled peace talks, Hamas-PLO reconciliation.
James Dobson's Birthday Gift: Latest Court Victory Over Obamacare Contraception
In shadow of Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby hearing, judge rules in favor of Family Talk.
Bill Gothard Breaks Silence on Harassment Claims by 30 Women
(UPDATED) Popular seminar speaker: 'I have failed to live out some of the very things that I have taught.'