lately, we have reassessed our sponsorship of Set Free Ministries and have prayerfully and carefully come to the conclusion that we will be helping them launch out on their own and removing ourselves from responsibility and oversight over them. Below is the letter I wrote to them this week and they receieved graciously:
Baptist Temple – The Fellowship of Joy
4141 N Fresno St., Fresno, CA. 93619
From the Desk of Tom Sims, Senior Pastor
Set Free Ministries – Fresno
4141 N. Fresno St.
Fresno, CA. 93726
Attention: Pastor David Zamora
It is not necessary to state all the reasons prompting this decision, but some of them include:
•An inability for us to give adequate oversight, guidance, and accountability to the ministry's top leadership.
•A sense that we have given as much as we are able to give at this time in terms of resources, leadership, and support. The financial and administrative burdens have become more than we can continue to carry as well as the wear and tear on our facilities and public relations.
•A parting of theological and philosophical ways with regard to leadership styles and lifestyle decisions on the part of the leadership. We say this without judgment or condemnation. We simply have differences in this area that cannot be resolved at this time.
Having said that, we will continue to pray for Set Free and for you and will encourage those who volunteer from our staff and membership in your ministry to continue to do so as God leads – specifically in Bible Study. That will be up to you and to them after the 30 day period.
We want to be fair in this matter of withdrawal, but we need to ask the Set Free Church to locate another meeting place within 30 days of the receipt of this letter. If more time is needed and requested in writing, that can be negotiated with me and with the help of our Director of Missions and Director of Ministries with rent and in-kind as compensation for use. Upon vacating use of the property within the agreed upon time, we will need to receive the keys that have been issued and any that have been copied. We will also need keys to the office for Set Free that you may have made. Please leave any areas you have occupied clean. We will also ask that you cease to use our Federal Tax ID number on your bank accounts. We understand that this may necessitate opening new accounts. Please change your address with correspondents and take any other steps necessary to disassociate Set Free with the ministry of Baptist Temple.
Baptist Temple will forgive any back rent from Set Free, the months of residence of the men's home, and the rehearsals of B.U.S.T.. We will also, as a gesture of good will, pay the men's home a sum of $500 for services rendered in our graffiti ministry. Continuation of that program in the future is a matter of negotiation between the leadership of our ministries and shall be compensated on an agreed upon basis. Until the end of the thirty days, participation will be considered as in place of rent. If this is not acceptable, we will calculate the cost of rent over the period of time the facilities have been occupied, damages, wear and tear and other expenses and our obligations to you for services rendered and submit to arbitration.It is our hope and prayer that Set Free Fresno will be able to continue to reclaim lost lives and that you, our brother, will find the healing, grace, and victory that God has in store for you. We say this out of friendship and brotherhood.
I am sure that our future relations can be as cordial and cooperative as they have been in the past. For now, however, it is time to end this phase of our relationship and forge a new one.