So Great a Cloud of Witnesses - Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 217th General Assembly; Birmingham, Alabama; June 15-22, 2006 - NEWS PC(USA) Seal

Detterick says $150 million donor will honor pledge

Vote of confidence follows news reports of Anderson's financial woes

by Jerry L. Van Marter

BIRMINGHAM, June 21 – General Assembly Council Executive Director John Detterick today reaffirmed his conviction that Denver businessman and lifelong Presbyterian Stanley W. Anderson will make good on a $150 million pledge he made last week to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Detterick’s statement to the assembly came after The Denver Post reported today that Anderson is in debt and that there are no assets in the Trinity Foundation, which Anderson set up in January with a business partner in the Bahamas and which was to channel the contribution to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Foundation later this year.

Detterick acknowledged that the news reports "cast serious doubt in some minds.

But I know Stan Anderson as a man of integrity."

Detterick said he has talked repeatedly to Anderson the last couple of days. "Stan said to me, 'I would not make a promise to my church that I’m not able to fulfill.'"

Anderson conceded to the Post that he has experienced serious financial problems. "Going through the trials and tribulations that I have today is just part of life," Anderson told Post reporter Eric Gorski. "You have challenges and you find ways to meet those challenges, and the greatest comfort is your faith."

Detterick said he had not investigated Anderson’s financial situation before the gift was announced here June 15. "In business, we require verification of a gift like this. In the church we accept such gifts with gratitude and grace."

Detterick acknowledged that the news of Anderson’s financial difficulties "comes as a great disappointment to many." However, Detterick added, I’m quite confident that those who are disappointed now will regain the excitement many of us have in this gift come November.

Anderson told the assembly last week that Trinity Foundation funds would be transferred to the denomination's foundation by the end of this year, establishing the "Loaves and Fishes Church Growth Fund." The fund will provide grants of up to $1 million to presbyteries for the establishment of new churches, the transformation of existing congregations and the development of racial ethnic and immigrant congregations. A portion of the funds will also benefit Presbyterian mission and PC(USA) theological seminaries.

Disbursements from the fund are scheduled to start flowing early in 2007, with all grant applications processed by the end of 2009 and the entire $150 million expended by the end of 2012.

Anderson, who served six years on the Board of Pensions (BOP) and chaired the search committee that called Detterick as president of the board in 2003, has been working directly with Detterick on the gift for several months.

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