Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Riverside Church lawsuit

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2009/04/22/2009-04-22_new_riverside_church_pastor_rev_brad_braxtons_600k_compensation_prompts_parishio.html
NY Daily News, 22 Apr 2009


Call it the stimulus package from God.

Manhattan's Riverside Church - one of the country's most illustrious religious institutions - is paying its new senior pastor, the Rev. Brad Braxton, more than $600,000 in annual compensation.

That's twice what Braxton's predecessor, James Forbes, one of the country's best-known preachers, was getting after running Riverside for more than 18 years.

It amounts to almost 10 times what William Sloane Coffin, the legendary anti-Vietnam War clergyman, was paid in his last year as senior minister at Riverside in 1987.

Braxton was selected in a vote of the congregation last fall and is to be officially installed Sunday.

A group of church dissidents claims the members were never told about the lavish package.

Those dissidents filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court last week to stop Braxton's installation, revealing a growing divide among the church's 1,500 members.

The Wall Street-like package, the dissidents say, is outrageous for a man of the cloth - especially when you consider Riverside's long history of advocating social justice.

Church sources say it includes:

  • $250,000 in salary.
  • $11,500 monthly housing allowance.
  • Private school tuition for his child.
  • A full-time maid.
  • Entertainment, travel and "professional development" allowances.
  • Pension and life insurance benefits.
  • An equity allowance for Braxton to save up to buy a home.

    On top of that, Braxton immediately hired a new second in command at more than $300,000 a year.

    (read more)

    Related articles
    New Riverside pastor's compensation splits congregation (NYTimes, 22 Apr 09)

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