PUBLISHED SUNDAY NOVEMBER 20, 1997
Copyright 1997 The Pensacola News Journal. All
Dad says church
was no help
Rick Gaskins, 28, father of a
toddler and a newborn, stands on the porch of a
tiny, run-down house and shakes his fist at the
red metal framework of Brownsville Assembly of
God 's newest expansion: a $3 million family life
Gaskins and a number of others living nearby
are angry that the revival 's wealth is not
benefitting the neighborhood needy.
Gaskins has degenerative arthritis. His wife,
Michelle, 24, has curvature of the spine. They
don 't know from one day to the next whether they
can feed the babies and buy diapers.
They came to Pensacola from Michigan six
months ago. Their car has died. Neither has been
able to find work. They often go hungry.
Gaskins, a Pentecostal, says he went over to
the church three times to ask for help to buy
baby formula and diapers. Each time he was turned
away, he says.
Gaskins said he talked to church treasurer
R.L. Berry, and Berry said: "We only help
our church members."
Berry would not accept News Journal phone
calls. Business administrator Rose Compton spoke
on his behalf. She said Berry does not remember
Gaskins ' request.
Compton told the News Journal: "A lot of
this stuff comes up. Every day people are coming
up here for groceries."
She said she heard that people in the
community were taking the groceries and selling
them for drugs.
"You can pretty much figure out who is
legitimate," she said. "It is a real
hard place to be because there is so much need.
So many scenarios. So many children."
top of page