Not only did you not understand the gist of the essay, your rear view mirror using biblical examples are not convincing to me.

The gist of my essay is that 'Blacks/Africans' will rather build a CHURCH than invest in institutions that will help advance their course and cause. On that same note, I said the same people 'Blacks/Africans' run to for aid, assistance, are playing down the role of the church as they advance other aspects of their life. They will build mega churches but they also build mega businesses that create jobs. What did you not understand in that common sense essay? I guess 'comon sense is not common. If that is the case, you are excused.

If all a people do is build churches that they use on Sunday but Monday thru Friday, they are victims of economic manipulations, low employment opportunities, no financial institutions to support their existence, doesn't that call for a re-thinking on how to spend community resource to improve their life?

Yes, folks should pursue their spiritual growth any way they see fit. But how about the growth of other aspects of their lives? If your opinion is that folks should build churches and then go 'begging' for their daily existence, I have no problem with that. But in today's world, if other ethnic groups that are also pursuing spiritual growth are doing other things while blacks/Africans are catching the rear building churches, then who is controlling the destiny of Blacks/Africans? In Dallas, there is no African-American owned bank, good shopping centers, and all the other significant investments that create jobs, instead they build mega-churches. Here are examples, and I am sure you have no clue how this factors into better schools and other establishments in a community.

Community A builds a church for the sum of $50 million in a depressed neighborhood. In terms of economic impact and base, Community A has zero tax base. This is Economics 101.

Community B builds a church for $20 million, invests $10 million on a retail center containing 100,000 square feet, $10 million in a warehouse/distribution facility, and $5m in municipal bond, the balance of $5m, in a small office building. And if they chose, they can charter a bank with $300,000, and own the majority shares.

Using the two examples, what is the highest and best use of money? And what option impacts the community more? Have you heard of the term: Economic Impact Study on Invested Dollar? And do you know the difference between return on and return of invested dollar?  Please research USA Africaonline archive to read my piece on 'Stretching The Dollar', contact Chido Nwangwu, in case you are unable to pull the piece.

If you lean on Community A building a church for $50m, because they have to pursue 'spiritual' growth, I can see that. But let me gyrate your mind with some educaion on stretching a dollar.

Community B has the best option and use of money, and here is why.

a. the $20m facility is not taxed and does not add value for the community economic base. I hope you know the definition of economic base. In case you don't, it's defined as 'the primary activity a community is engaged in to produce goods and services, which in turn create employments and return on and return of investments'.

b. $10m for a retail center containing 100,000 square feet. Retail centers that are stabilized and rented at market rent is expected to have gross trading revenue of about $350 per square foot, with sales at 8.25% for sales tax - Texas. The sales tax is shared by the state and the community at the rate of 6% for the state and 2.5% for the community. The retail center will produce $35,000,000 in gross sales yielding tax revenue of $2,887,500, which is distributed as follows: $875,000 to the local community and $2,012,500 to the state. And with a 3x matching what the state give to the local community, their revenue of $875,000, turns into $2,625,000. In addition to the sales tax, the real estate tax contributes another $270,000, which is shared between the city, county hospital, county college district, police, and all the other taxing entities. So far, have you seen the impact of $10m invested? By now you are probably confused and left gasping because of the numbers, so I will do you a favor and stop here. A church/community that adopts Example B using the 'peoples' money, will depend less on the congregation for tithes. But a church that uses Example A, will always ask the congregation for money.

The gist of my essay which is not intended for the soft at heart to understand is that one can do many things with a single dollar. It is the distribution of the dollar that matters.

While Blacks/Africans will sink all the resources building a mega church, the others will seek ways to distribute the resource to maximize the impact and benefit, and still improve their spiritual content. Just the number of jobs created at the retail center, will be more than the jobs the $50m church will create. At the end of the day, when one worship their creator with full stomach, one is better than the one who worships with an empty stomach. Yes, build the church and scream His name all day long, when that is over, if the mortgage is due, if the kids are hunger, if medical treatment is needed, no miracle takes care of that. For some may be, but in reality one better pay up.

Note in the above examples, I stopped at just the retail center so that I stop agonizing your understanding. By investing and distributing the $30m out of $50m, a community stand to benefit because they touch on all the aspects of human development. If the saying that one should not put all their eggs in one basket makes sense, then why invest all the $50m in church? 

If you have any counter, please offer it. But I doubt that because the number speaks for itself. I will not go down a path with you on frivolous exchange reading what I consider obsolete Biblical verses. Offer those to the dogs. I don't say stuff just for the sake of it. I try to agitate the mind by seeking ways to accomplish goals exploring alternatives. 

ejike e okpa ii 

PS - For your information, I got appointed by the City of Dallas to serve on Dallas Development Fund Board. The Board is to look at ways to distribute about $125m, the city will receive from the federal government - New Market Tax Credits. The money considered 'stimulus', is to be used to ignite development in the southern sector. My nomination to the Board was made by the Chamber of Commerce, and their reason for nominating me, is because I will represent the community interest. That carries weight. Also, a pastor of one of the mega churches, has retained me based on idea I offered, on how to develop their 60 something acre campus considering the 'highest and best use' of the land. The community is now asking questions about their church money and what else can they do? What 'else', one can do will not come from wishful thinking but from analysis using acceptable financial and economic approach. I think I have significant presence in the community I now call home because when I speak or offer views, it is listened to. And that did not come by accident: It is a culmination of both education, community involvement and diverse knowledge base. In a few weeks, I will be speaking to Dallas City Council on how to address Budget Deficit, and I will urge them to pass it into law. Come listen!