Florida church sends $1,000 collection notice to single mother for failure to tithe

A Florida woman is upset her new church sent a delinquency notice reminding her that worshipers were expected to pay $1,000 in required fees or face possible removal.

Candace Petterson had just moved into her new home in the Tampa area when she started attending the Greater Mount Moriah Primitive Baptist Church. Everything appeared to be going well until she received the troubling letter, reports WFTS-TV.

The single mother says the correspondence from the predominantly black church asked her to contribute: $50 a month, a yearly $250 anniversary fee and another $150 for Mount Moriah Day, along with other assorted fees (amounting to $1,000), simply to remain a member in good standing and vote on church matters.

Petterson is particularly frustrated that some of these fees are being requested to pay off church debt.

“What church charges you to help pay off what they’re going through?” she said. “I’m not there for that.”

To add insult to injury, the letter also reminded Petterson that children – including her 11-year-old daughter – were expected to pay $5 a month to the church in addition to two annual $15 fees.

“In order to not be removed from the church roll, your attention to this matter [is] greatly appreciated,” the letter warned but offered to grant her a 90-day “hardship” exemption.

Petterson says she would rather find a new place of worship, but she worries others might be taken advantage of by this congregation’s excessive membership fees.