The leaders of an evangelical ministry based in Montana have resigned following allegations of abuse and misappropriation of funds earmarked to help feed impoverished children.
The new head of Potter’s Field Ministries (PFM), a 27-year-old nonprofit that was previously affiliated with Calvary Chapel, announced last month that the organization’s founders, Michael and Pam Rozell, have stepped down from their day-to-day leadership roles with both PFM and Potter’s Field Ranch.
With PFM registered as a church, the Rozells preached the Gospel in churches across the nation for over two decades through live pottery presentations. Potter’s Field Ranch is a separate nonprofit that houses the ministry’s internship program.
The couple along with all current sitting board members will resign from the board of directors of both entities, according to a statement from PFM’s new CEO, Rob McCoy.
The Rozells were accused this year of verbally abusing and manipulating people who served with the ministry’s IGNITE internship program.
Over a dozen sources involved with the internship program since 2000 detailed for the Daily Inter Lake their experiences of verbal abuse, sexually inappropriate conversations and being forced to work excessive hours for below minimum wage.
Additionally, Montana Public Radio reports that Potter’s Field Ministries CFO Don McClure revealed in a Facebook video last month that hundreds of thousands in funds designated for a PFM program to feed kids in Cambodia, Uganda, Costa Rica, and Guatemala were diverted to the internship program.
McCoy explained that about half of the over $100,000 in monthly donations made to the Potter’s Field Kids Club were used to help support the IGNITE program, where students would travel to learn from missionaries in other countries for months at a time.
McCoy said that it cost more than the $6,000 fee students had to pay to feed, house and transport students to said countries. Thus, the ministry is said to have a subsidized program through other donations.
Kenzie Kinney, a former IGNITE student who also handled Potter’s Field finances for a period of time, told MPR that there were always more donations coming to the kids’ program than were needed to support the children.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith