TABOR CITY, NC (WECT) - A pastor in Columbus County is speaking out about an ad in his church's newsletter about a political fundraiser. It comes after people raised concerns that Tabor City Baptist Church is violating the restriction the IRS has on tax exempt organizations.
Brenden Jones, a republican who's announced he's running for the State House of Representatives District 46 seat is a deacon at Tabor City Baptist.
In last week's publication of The Baptist Caller, there was an ad telling church members, they were invited to a luncheon which took place Tuesday. Jones and Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest were there. Some people say the ad is political and it makes voters believe church leaders are endorsing Jones.
"We are honored to pray for and acknowledge our leaders, Democrat or Republican," said Pastor Bruce Schmidt of Tabor City Baptist Church. "We are not giving an endorsement as a church. Which we're prohibited to do as a tax exempt organization. But we feel like it's very very important to give acknowledgement and encourage people to pray and do their civic duty and step up and be involved in the political process."
Pastor Schmidt says, he asked the church council about the ad before it was printed and they agreed if a democratic politician wanted to do the same they would allow it.