- Let’s begin with a little history of the CDF. I believe that it was begun as an arm of the Southern California Evangelistic Association to help finance church buildings. I ministered in Oceanside in 1968-1971 and I believe that the Oceanside congregation was the first congregation that deposited 100% of what it needed for a loan. Am I correct so far?
- Also during this time (1970?), I think that the CDF reached its first million dollars in total deposits. Is that correct? How much do you have in deposits now?
Comment: What you may not know is that Clayton C. Root, who was the first evangelist of the SCEA, was sent to California by the CRA to start churches. During the first 10 years of the CRA’s existence our evangelists started 122 churches. The CRA got out of the church starting business when local evangelistic associations began to appear. We felt that local groups know their needs better than a national group with some far away headquarters.
- Tell me how CDF works today.
- Does it still consider itself a ministry or mission? How many churches support you today as a
mission? As a ministry, do you still believe that you are accountable to the churches?
- How many employees do you have today?
- What is your annual payroll?
- How do you get the money for loans? It used to be from depositors-- is it still that way? Does the CDF have other sources of income? What are they?
- Several years ago the CDF came up with a “trust agreement” for churches. How does that work?
- How many trust agreements do you have with churches?
- Are you aware of the court cases of the 50's and 60's of the independents versus the Disciples of Christ? In light of the results of those court cases, why is there a need for the trust agreements? The
independent brethren won every case that went to the Court of Appeals.
- In those trust agreements it says that the church can ask to get out of the trust only once every two years. Is that true? Whose decision is it to let a church out of the agreement? What criteria is used?
- Over the years, how many congregations has the CDF let out of its trust agreement?
- What is the CDF’s view of local autonomy?
- I understand that the CDF is having a disagreement with some of the churches it holds in trust. Can you tell me about the Westview church in the Charlotte, NC, area and the problem there?
- I have been told that your lawyer in the NC case told the church there that the CDF has been in court with at least three other churches and in one case the CDF spent over $300,000. Is this true? Would you
like to say more about any of those cases?
- How many churches has the CDF taken over because of the trust agreements? How much in assests
has the CDF received from churches because of these trust agreements?
- There is another church, one in San Bernardino, CA, in which there is a trust agreement. I know that they have asked to be let out of their agreement but the CDF has always said no. Why?
- The San Bernardino church wishes to relocate. They are having a hard time where they are. If they stay there, they say that they will die. In order to relocate, they need to be let out of the agreement to sell the property. Is this true? If the church dies, the CDF and related groups will get 60% of the money. Is that correct? Doesn’t that trust agreement put the CDF in the position of making money if a church dies and thus it has no reason to let a church out of the trust? Isn’t that a conflict of interest for you all?
- It is my understanding from the leaders of the San Bernardino congregation that they wanted to go to arbitration, but someone at the CDF told them that they could or would lose everything if the arbitration did not go the congregation’s way. Is that true? Isn’t the fact really that the only thing that would be in jeopardy would be the 60% of the sale price that CDF says that the congregation owes to the CDF? Why
does the CDF feel that any amount of money is owed them on the sale of the property when the CDF has
not really put any funds into the church?
- How can the CDF say that it works with churches associated with the North American Christian
Convention when a church cannot associate with the convention? The NACC was never a convention of
churches, but always of Christians. There is a very important historical difference here that goes back to
the separation of the Disciples and the International Convention.
- At least two of our Bible colleges had loans through the CDF and lost their campuses. Is this true?
- How much does the CDF give each year to the NACC? If both are ministries of the churches, then
don’t the churches have the right to know?
- When the CDF got involved with the NACC it was the largest convention among our people. The
CDF has some sort of alliance/partnership with the NACC and Christian Standard, which was the
flagship of our brotherhood publications. Would you like to explain that relationship?
- There are some who think that the relationship among the CDF, NACC, and Christian Standard, is a
repeat of history with just different players. What would you say to those people? Murch mentions the
relationship that the International Convention, Board of Church Extension, and The Christian Board of
Publication (who published the Christian-Evangelist, later the Christian) had before, during, and after
they took over the Disciples of Christ. Is there a parallel here?
- I have heard that CDF has made over $50 million worth of loans to organizations led by sitting board
members of the CDF. Is that true? What is the exact number?
- CDF has made over $20 million in loans to the renamed William Jessup University, while the
chairman of the board of the university also sits on the CDF board. Does it seem to be a conflict of
interest to have the leaders who are requesting loans also be controlling CDF/Provision as board
- The CDF circular talks about no loans being delinquent, has CDF ever lent additional funds to a
debtor who couldn’t make its debt payments in order to keep the original loan from being classified as
delinquent? Are there any current loans in your portfolio where this has happened? How many?
- In 2001, according to your offering circular dated February 1, 2003, the CDF got a line of credit for
$22,000,000. According to the offering circular dated February 1, 2005, the CDF had borrowed
$20,000,000 on that line of credit and increased the line of credit to $30,000,000. Why? Does that mean
that you do not have enough on hand to keep your commitments to depositors?
- If I am reading the offering circular dated February 1, 2005, correctly, the CDF sold off some of its
loans to a third party. Is that correct? In a crisis, would that mean that there are some organizations that
will have claim to funds before the depositors?
- According to the offering circular dated February 1, 2005, the CDF paid over $1.2 million in leases
for office spaces 2002 through 2004. The CDF, according to the same offering circular, will pay about
$4,138,621 in office space leases for 2005 through 2010. Do you think that is a little steep?
- According to the offering circular dated February 1, 2005, total compensation for the three highest
paid officers of CDF for 2004 was $258,228, $196,498, and $164,216. Isn’t that high for a ministry
dedicated to the promotion of One Who “had no place to lay His head”?
Questions for the CDF