Oct 23rd, 2006 · Categories: PCUSA · 3 Comments

PCUSA Realty Inc. Clifton Kirkpatrick, Broker

Is the Stated Clerk secretly studying for his real estate brokerage license?

In a story on the ACSWP meeting, James Berkley of the IRD mentioned seeing an advance copy of the Stated Clerk’s annual questionnaire to clerks of session:

The questionnaire probes extensively into financial matters, such as detailed questions about loans, investments, plans to expand or renovate facilities, bequests, and value of planned giving receipts and gifts from estates. Thirteen of the fifteen questions deal with such matters.

Berkley observed dryly that “it just seems a little worrisome to have the Stated Clerk so very interested in the specifics of congregational assets”. Worrisome, yes. Surprising, hardly. This Stated Clerk seems to have focused on little but property lately. Consider:

  • His long history of ignoring other constitutional issues such as ordaining bodies ignoring ordination standards
  • His legal beagles’ notorious secret strategies (here and here) for harassing churches and seizing their assets
  • His AO #19 asserting his claims to PCUSA ownership of property
  • His letter to synods and presbyteries demanding maximum financial benefit from departing congregations
  • His cold indifference to the pain he and the 217th GA have caused among conservative and evangelical Presbyterians

It’s hard not to come to an unwelcome and disturbing conclusion: Given the train wreck the PCUSA has been on his watch, this greedy approach to “connectionalism” might be easily understood. Kirkpatrick has a cushy job with a six-figure salary to protect. He journeys to far-flung destinations to schmooze with his left-wing political allies in the WCC and WARC.

Yet he is faced with falling membership and income and the concomitant shrinking budget. Per capita income this year is showing the effect. The total from the presbyteries’ per capita is short $430,000. The per capita amount is already scheduled to go up next year. But will that produce an increase in the amount of cash flowing into Louisville’s depleted coffers?

Some churches are simply leaving; more churches will withhold or redirect their per capita payments; defiant presbyteries may remit even less of what they have available. An increase in the per capita amount demanded may yield a higher budget total, but the actual income will probably shrink even more. What to do?

Is this aggressive pursuit of property Kirkpatrick’s way of salvaging some of the tribute the presbyteries are compelled to pay to Louisville? Does he figure that income from seizing and liquidating the assets of departing congregations would make it easier for him to squeeze the presbyteries? Is he planning to go into the real estate business?

It seems like it would be an attractive solution. He could save his PCUSA salary and perks and draw a commission on every sale of church property. And all the while, the number of annoying members calling for orthodoxy, fidelity to Scripture, commitment to the BOO, and relief from political correctness and cultural accommodation would diminish.

Such a deal.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 23rd, 2006 at 11:07 pm and is filed under PCUSA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “PCUSA Realty Inc. Clifton Kirkpatrick, Broker”

  1. Toby Brown Says:

    October 27th, 2006 at 4:34 pm

    Wonderful post! Thanks.

    This is what I blog about as well, how we have become nothing more than a property holding corporation with religious language that does not affect our behavior in any way.

    Well said.

  2. stjones Says:

    October 27th, 2006 at 5:39 pm

    Thanks, Toby; Thanks also for reminding me to visit your blog – I have to update my list of links or I’ll never remember.

    I have one more property post coming tomorrow or Sunday, then, maybe I’ll be done with property for a while.

    But I’m not worried about running out of material – not with the PCUSA still in business!


  3. Larry Says:

    November 1st, 2006 at 3:15 am

    I have roughly estimated the 11,000 PCUSA churches have an average value of $500,000.

    Do the multiplication and you get $5.5 billion!!!

    The liberal regime controlling this denomination for decades and driving people away, those liberals are looking to where will their future money come from.

    The best source of future cash to perpetuate the liberal agenda of the PCUSA leadership is the real estate value of the 11,000 churches.

    Does Louisville care if the membership continues to decline and churches be sold?

    I suggest the leadership would generate more annual income by selling churches and investing the proceeds in 5% bonds. That alone has the potential to generate over $250 million of annual income.

    Right now the GA, Synods, and Presbyterians received about $125 million from the pew sitters.

    This is why Kirkpatrick is fighting to the death of the church to keep control of the real estate.

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