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CGB Baptist Church allegedly asks for donation for 'Mitch' Turnbull

- social media erupts with mixed reactions; church should stay neutral said Natalio D. Wheatley
Online commentators have been giving their take on allegations that there was a recent call for a collection at the Cane Garden Bay Baptist Church to aid the funding of the political campaign of Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull. Photo: VINO/File/
Bishop of the New Life Baptist Church John I. Cline when contacted for a comment said that he preferred not to as he did now know the details of the alleged call for a collection to finance ‘Mitch’ Turnbull’s campaign. Photo: VINO/File
Bishop of the New Life Baptist Church John I. Cline when contacted for a comment said that he preferred not to as he did now know the details of the alleged call for a collection to finance ‘Mitch’ Turnbull’s campaign. Photo: VINO/File
Contacted for a comment, President the People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) Natalio D. Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru said that while such activity may not be against electoral and campaign financing rules, persons might frown on it as being unethical. Photo: VINO/File
Contacted for a comment, President the People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) Natalio D. Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru said that while such activity may not be against electoral and campaign financing rules, persons might frown on it as being unethical. Photo: VINO/File
CANE GARDEN BAY, Tortola, VI – Online commentators have been giving their take on allegations that there was a recent call for a collection at the Cane Garden Bay Baptist Church to aid the funding of the political campaign of Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull.

Calls to the National Democratic Party (NDP) candidate in the Second District all went unanswered yesterday. However, when Turnbull returned a text message asking how he could help us, he did not respond after the issue was put to him, whether there was a call for a collection for his campaign and whether he wanted to respond to the social media reactions.

Yesterday afternoon June 2, 2015 our reported texted Turnbull after trying to reach him by phone without success. After he responded saying ‘What’s up?” the reporter said, “Great. I heard reports that your dad (Rev Dr Melvin A. Turnbull) asked for a collection in church to help your campaign efforts. Is that accurate? Saw some social media comments to that effect.”

This was at 3:29 PM. By 4:15PM he still had not responded.

Efforts also to reach Rev Melvin A. Turnbull of the Cane Garden Bay Baptist Church proved futile.

While some of the online comments were against the idea of the church raising funds for someone’s political campaign, some saw it as no big deal, saying that everyone begs for money and if persons thought that Turnbull was a good candidate then that issue should not prevent them from voting for him.

“That is not politics. That is sowing a seed…beginning a new chapter in his life…people in the church donate monies to all sorts of endeavours all the time…schooling, starting a business, medical care, debt relief…” said one comment.

Another said, “While you have a point, don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Don’t be a blind person and only see that as the issue and not vote for the young man. If you think he is a great candidate and will do a great job then give him your vote. Simple as that. Or else find another excuse for not voting for him but not that stupidness about collection plate. Like who the hell else doesn’t beg for money around here.” 

However, some were clearly against the idea of the church getting involved in funding a campaign. “As a regular attendee of his family’s church I was disgusted when one day they announced a picking up of an offering to help finance his campaign…politics has no place in the house of the Lord and I lost all respect for his candidacy right there. That is not what the donation of the good people of your church should go towards. Give the money back and I might consider giving you a vote,” the comment said.

“Spot on…I fully agree,” said another. “If this happened then it simply shouldn’t have. I would have expected much better from the Cane Garden Bay Baptist Church. Churches should have nothing to do with financing political parties.”

‘No comment’ – Bishop John I. Cline

Bishop of the New Life Baptist Church John I. Cline when contacted for a comment said that he preferred not to as he did now know the details of the alleged call for a collection to finance ‘Mitch’ Turnbull’s campaign.

“I don’t know about the incident so I cannot verify whether it is so or not so. I cannot comment on something that I don’t know. The truth of the matter is I really don’t want to comment on the matter because there is much back and forth and people need to make a decision on the real issues and not these kinds of things,” said Bishop Cline.

Church should stay neutral

Contacted for a comment, President the People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) Natalio D. Wheatley aka Sowande Uhuru said that while such activity may not be against electoral and campaign financing rules, persons might frown on it as being unethical.

“Let’s say for instance you have people in the church who want to vote for the other candidate…so perhaps the church should stay neutral in a situation like that,” he said. He added that while politics is divisive, the church should be careful that it acts always as a unifying force and hence should stay neutral.

In addition to Turnbull’s candidacy in the Second District, the PEP is fielding Elford W. Parsons while the Virgin Islands Party is fielding Rajah A. Smith.

80 Responses to “CGB Baptist Church allegedly asks for donation for 'Mitch' Turnbull”

  • elford's fan club (04/06/2015, 09:54) Like (37) Dislike (8) Reply
    It will be methodist verses baptist.
  • Well Sah (04/06/2015, 09:58) Like (152) Dislike (11) Reply
    Cline was very quick to comment on dancia and dr dawson but he don't want to comment on his nephew?
  • is this what the church doing? (04/06/2015, 09:59) Like (54) Dislike (10) Reply
    I thought that money was going to god works? That's why i don't put money in the plate.
    • lulz (04/06/2015, 13:25) Like (17) Dislike (36) Reply
      no it's because you cheap
    • Really? (04/06/2015, 15:25) Like (7) Dislike (16) Reply
      I don't understand what the big hubba baloo is about. If i was there and they ask for a donation for that and I didn't want to give. I would keep my money in my pocket. Its that simple. I don't believe there were guns to ppl's heads. They gave willingly...they chose to. That is their right..their choice...their money. GET SERIOUS PPL. Nothing to see here keep it moving.....
      • Really? (04/06/2015, 20:05) Like (9) Dislike (5) Reply
        You musee don't go to that "church" ... Cuz if people didn't give money them with have been seen as 'black sheep' and words would have been thrown from the pulpit. So stop talking stupidness.
  • FLO (04/06/2015, 10:04) Like (34) Dislike (3) Reply

    he must be falling short only god knows

  • Hmm (04/06/2015, 10:08) Like (54) Dislike (10) Reply
    so it finally came out? hmmm
  • No matter what .. (04/06/2015, 10:12) Like (57) Dislike (90) Reply
    No matter how bad yall try stain Mitch; we still making the damn switch! Parsons and Raja .... GOODBYE.
  • ... (04/06/2015, 10:15) Like (43) Dislike (4) Reply
    It feels like Open Season in the BVI; not Election. The calypsonians will have a lot to sing about this year.
    • FFFFFFFFFF (04/06/2015, 11:48) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      They might not seems like festival not in the plans. The sixty was the last year. LOL
  • weed (04/06/2015, 10:19) Like (41) Dislike (21) Reply
    well saw...deeds so called preachers..god will deal with them
    • @Weed (05/06/2015, 20:50) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
      Before God deal with them, he's gonna deal with you first!
      Be careful!!!
  • Stupes (04/06/2015, 10:20) Like (32) Dislike (35) Reply
    All sorts of silly stunts will come out of the bag now that election is days away. I really don't care whether a church ask for donation for a candidate, the point is whether that candidate is fitting to do the job. Point blank. Enough with all these stunts man the place is getting sickening now.
    • @ Strupes (04/06/2015, 10:32) Like (25) Dislike (1) Reply
      I strongly agree these politicians getting sickening .
    • Hogwash (04/06/2015, 15:53) Like (4) Dislike (18) Reply
      I agree and furthermore it was not him that stood in front of the congregation and asked for donations. He has no control over what a proud father might do by his own accord. The person in the wrong is the pastor not the candidate. Please vote on the issues not these personal hits brought to light to blur your vision.
      • elford camp (04/06/2015, 20:02) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
        Is this some sort of damage control?
      • That simple (04/06/2015, 22:23) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
        If that's how you feel then he should give back the money and tell his dad thank you but the money is to be used for the work of the kingdom of God.
  • voter (04/06/2015, 10:29) Like (19) Dislike (70) Reply
    God knows if this is even the truth.VIP and PEP will say anything to get votes. God don't like ugly
    • Tim (05/06/2015, 08:54) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      If it was the VIP who did it, that would have been wrong; but it is a NDP Candidate, so it is all right. God see and hears!
  • SMH (04/06/2015, 10:37) Like (30) Dislike (54) Reply
    VINO you're reaching but your hands too short. Give up the shenanigans
  • raja (04/06/2015, 10:38) Like (37) Dislike (15) Reply
    Mitch was caught with his hands in the plate?
  • Gossip (04/06/2015, 10:38) Like (37) Dislike (4) Reply
    Why we don't take the same effort to gossip the Gospel the Bible. That is the truth we here blogging foolishness
  • Who to trust (04/06/2015, 10:41) Like (21) Dislike (10) Reply
    bishop? claude? mitch? wheatley? dawson (yes)
  • +++ (04/06/2015, 10:42) Like (37) Dislike (1) Reply
    an organization is the perfect place to influence votes. that is why in US there is constitutionally a separation of church and state. churches sway people. it is bad enough that preachers have a big play in politics, parties, and self-serving. Their churches also avoid standard taxes. This idea of using a safe haven to promote politics is disheartening and discouraging. It is called institutional corruption. Not that the players are corrupt. They are not (so far), but the system needs to be better monitored and kept objective so as not to intimidate parishioners and have fair elections.
  • 2nd district (04/06/2015, 11:01) Like (63) Dislike (24) Reply
    turn off the switch....VOTE FOR ELFORD OR RAJAH
  • Sick ah ryo now (04/06/2015, 11:02) Like (17) Dislike (41) Reply
    I wasn't there but if the people want to give to support him, that's their business, not flipping yours!
    • Church abuse (04/06/2015, 14:19) Like (26) Dislike (2) Reply
      It is a matter of integrity.
    • role (04/06/2015, 15:26) Like (33) Dislike (1) Reply

      The role of the church is not to attempt to collect money to finance a political campaign. Whilst it should go to the maintenance of the church and utilities as well as a stipend for the pastor, if any additional funding is available. It should go towards community outreach programs, help feed persons in need, help to spread the good word of the gospel.

      This allegedly happening is nothing short of despicable, and sickening. What lengths will these persons go to gain political power?

      This does not reflect good on you mitch and your candidacy.

      • Really (05/06/2015, 13:14) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Well when the notice for Zoe's campaign meeting was read that Sunday in Methodist Church I didnt hear any complaints.
  • mudslinger (04/06/2015, 11:03) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
    hanky panky, drugs, collection???????
  • Valley Political Analyst (04/06/2015, 11:08) Like (40) Dislike (9) Reply
    They can't afford a campaign they need to keep out!!!!!! Furthermore, all who loose will get tighten lmbo!!!! This campaign season goneeeeeee tooooooo loose, VIP will tighten um up!!! So you know, I aint giving no offering this Sunday hahahahaha
  • The Watcher (04/06/2015, 11:30) Like (27) Dislike (4) Reply
    Can't serve 2 masters. Keep the campaigning and folly out of the church.
  • chad (04/06/2015, 12:31) Like (23) Dislike (1) Reply
    Truth is truth and facts are facts. More money stories to come. Pension plan money?
  • leaking (04/06/2015, 12:34) Like (32) Dislike (1) Reply
    It is said what isn't broken don't need fixing but I can tell you people of this beloved BVI we have a serious leak and we need some new tools to fix this leak.
    Oh father help us to fix it Mix up the tools and help us to choose the right tools and right size for this job for the pipe is to loose.

    To much pressure in the pipe it continue to put fine cracks in the pipe. To much pressure in the BVI
  • DON Q (04/06/2015, 13:34) Like (39) Dislike (9) Reply
    Mitch and the CGB B church has hitted a low NDP must go!
  • Split voter (04/06/2015, 14:22) Like (4) Dislike (19) Reply
    Why nobody aint going talk about the opponent who begged his Reverend to pray for him and other politicians was in teh same church. How can you pray for one and not the others. God don't like Ugly, and remember Karma a bitch!
    • i was there (05/06/2015, 10:27) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      The opponent asked the reverend to pray for him before church even started... How was he supposed to know that the others would be in church the same day???!!! Smh
      • I was there too (05/06/2015, 13:27) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        The reverend actually invited all political candidates up for prayer so when you bringing the story, bring it good. There were three candidates in church on that Sunday and they all went forward for prayers.
  • As I said (04/06/2015, 14:36) Like (26) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thre is something wrong when... and I hate to say so, our Spritually Leaders in the name of fear, promise of doubling what we gave in return or other stimuli to feed their personal gratifications asked the congragation for monetary gifts. Each member of the Church should be free to choose and openly express his/her support for whosoever candidate or whatsoever Party without fear. But as a Church one has to be wise and to avoid "contention" and "wars among us" , one has to wise. The bible tells us that we should "pray for Governments and those who are in authority over us"...I admit, it is a hard thing to do at times but thats our teachings. If again according to the bible "that promotion comes from God who is able to take one down and elevate another then we must trust him that "all things worketh together fro good" if even the party or individual we supported loss. Openly raising a collection in any church for a particular Political Party/individual person is not the best way to go. There are persons in our communities who are genuinely needy/poor and the church should use these occasions to help them. After all that is why we exit.
  • Pundit (04/06/2015, 14:51) Like (23) Dislike (39) Reply
    I would like for someone to tell me what the problem is if Mitch's church decided to ask for an offering for him. Please tell me.....A sensible answer. It was not mandatory. They didn't insist that anyone give. If you didn't want to give, you didn't, end of story. You thought the money was for the Lord's work??? They didn't take the church collection money and give it to Mitch. They asked for a special one for Mitch, so how could anyone think they taking the "Lord's money"... Finally, the church should not be involved because?? Separation of Church and State? There is nothing in the Virgin Islands Constitution (that I am aware of) that says the church should not be involved in politics in any form. This is not America. The church is the people, the people are the community. Mitch is a part of the 2nd district community. I really don't see a problem here. This is just more proof that you all are THREATENED BY MITCH. THREATENED !! But don't worry, the SWITCH is still on...... lol.
    • Really? (04/06/2015, 15:41) Like (19) Dislike (2) Reply
      You really think it is that the whole congregation would know who didn't contribute! The CGB Baptists moral compass is lacking!!!! you all should be a shamed
    • @Pundit (04/06/2015, 18:43) Like (18) Dislike (3) Reply
      It is a question of integrity and moral discernment.

      Mitch's candidacy started out on the basis that he has something fresh to offer. That was something to look forward to. However, the more one hears about his campaign, the more one feels that he is not the best candidate in the race.
  • Not one vote (04/06/2015, 15:51) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    Leave the church money alone, and use your own money to pay for your billboards, tshirts and flyers

    Take out a personal loan if your that Commited to the cause but leave the church money alone.

    People hard earned money should not be solicited in the house if God to pay for your personal ambitions!!
  • 22 (04/06/2015, 15:57) Like (33) Dislike (1) Reply
    Okay...I'm team NDP but i have to say i dont agree with this at all!
  • Comment (04/06/2015, 16:27) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is the word that came to me when I heard this story...

    …28"For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? 29"Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, 30saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'… Luke 14: 28-30

    So then... the first stage in building would be to ensure that the builder is God. If God is the builder of your development plans you will not need to ask for assistance. God would provide every step of the way. Many of us do things believing that God is in it but instead we are the sole builder of our life.
    • Puzzling (04/06/2015, 20:38) Like (36) Dislike (0) Reply
      Something is wrong with the ruling party's fund-raising philosophy. While some of their candidates seem to have no problem dropping huge sums of money on their glitzy district launches, political jingles and huge imposing billboards, others are resorting to social media soliciting funds and in this case, if it is true, the church collection plate. Why is there such a disparity among members of this 'family'? This is certainly not a good perception of 'togetherness' - hellooooo - can anyone in their 'action' camp clarify for me for I am certainly puzzled. Laws that govern campaign ethics including sources of funding is a must if we are to ensure transparency in such processes and be taken seriously as a progressive country.
      • zone 2 (04/06/2015, 23:12) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
        It's not that they don't have enough.... It's that no matter how much they have it's never enough

        It's called Greed!
  • Uhmmmm (04/06/2015, 18:34) Like (5) Dislike (17) Reply
    But, pastors ask for special offering alllllll the time.....I'm sure Pastor Mel said exactly why he was asking for the donation and it was the people's choice to choose to give or not to give......

    It wasn't your money so....go have a seat and stop talking Piss!
    • Really??? (04/06/2015, 20:01) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
      So if Pastor Mel starts to collect special offering from now his church can fund the entire election in four years for all the party groups ...NDP, VIP, PEP etc! Why should Mitch get all the 'special offering' the next time around?
  • Hmmmm (04/06/2015, 19:31) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
  • Bayside (04/06/2015, 19:38) Like (4) Dislike (8) Reply
    Interview all those who put the money in the plate; not Mitch.
    • hello (05/06/2015, 05:21) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      No need to interview them. A Shepherd or the keeper guides the flock and they will follow. He should know better. Looks like he didn't pray over this one.
  • ooooo (04/06/2015, 20:05) Like (23) Dislike (1) Reply
    yo mean the NDP ain't give he enough money or pops already depleted all the funds? maybe he wasted too much over in jost van dykes?
  • good thing (04/06/2015, 20:41) Like (6) Dislike (17) Reply
    I am so glad that Blogs don't decide elections, people do and the second D going wid Mitch.
  • New Life (04/06/2015, 22:08) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply

    C***** Cline is his campaign manager ?

  • Advice (04/06/2015, 22:15) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    Young man humble yourself or life will do it for you!
  • Yes (04/06/2015, 23:25) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Collection-gate..... Moonlight could run as long as it want but day light must catch it.

  • cgb (05/06/2015, 04:17) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    We switching back to elford bam
  • 911 (05/06/2015, 04:19) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    Mitch must go do not vote for him
  • Be real (05/06/2015, 06:37) Like (3) Dislike (4) Reply
    Mitch grew up in the this church. He is a member of this church. He is a junior pastor in this church. There are many members of this church who is on his campaign team. There are many, many supporters in this church.
    There is nothing wrong in asking for a special offering and a special prayer for him. There is nothing wrong in influencing members to vote for him. This is what all candidates and their supporters do. This is not USA where there is a constitutional law against this principle. I know of other Caribbean Islands where the church sponsors leaders of the church to run seeking to influence the government in a godly way. Not one of these church ministers ever win because people will vote for who they want. This a solid candidate so lets get behind him and stop jumping on the bandwagon of church and state.
    • HAHA (05/06/2015, 09:07) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      many many supporters???? you ever been to that church on a sunday???? EMPTY AND I FROM DEH BAY
      • No matter (06/06/2015, 06:03) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
        I don't understand how people are losing, the important facts by something that is not even relevant to his campaign. I stick with Mitch cause that matters!!!!
    • @Be real (05/06/2015, 09:50) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      How about the members that are 'not' supporters of Mitch in the church?

      Causing offence in the church of God...

      “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 1 Corinthians 10:23-32 ESV

    • Careful!! (05/06/2015, 10:07) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      This does not sound right...(There is nothing wrong in 'influencing' members to vote for him.)!! This is not to be done in a Church of God. This almost sounds like borderline cult practices...

      A cult is a group of people who organize around a strong authority figure. Cults, like many other groups, attempt to expand their influence for the purposes of power or money. (A successful induction by a destructive cult displaces a person's former identity and replaces it with a new one. That new identity may not be one that the person would have freely chosen under her own volition (Hassan, 1990).
  • sweet sour and bitter (05/06/2015, 06:50) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    just for this he has lost my vote
  • Youffe (05/06/2015, 06:51) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well what I will like to know is what accounts for integrity? When the collection of funds for this candidate started? How often this collection was done? what was the total amount garnered from the congregation to support his candidacy? Will the candidate return all the funds or donate the amount to some non profit organization? As it stands on integrity the majority view this fundraising as meddling in the political machinery as a red line that should not be crossed. This matter begs a candid response from the candidate.
  • voiceofthevoiceless (05/06/2015, 07:45) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    My take on this is that the Pastor is in an influential position and for him to ask his congregation to make an offering for a political candidate who happens to be son, I find it inappropriate and bordering on unethical behavior. Why? Well if one member decides not to contribute he/she could be considered an outcast. One must not impose their political convictions on another. Members may well find it difficult not to contribute and it is an uncomfortable position to be in. What makes him think that his entire congregation supports his son's candidacy?

    I really find this distasteful but in this political season, distasteful is the norm.
  • Crimestopper (05/06/2015, 08:58) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply

    This is a a low down dirty shame if true. Church is a place of worshipping. A refuge....keep the politics out. Crimestopper is against begging church offering for politics.

  • tony (05/06/2015, 09:26) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply

    what sh.. i hearing hear begging money for politics from the pulpit? real low class and is the devil made him do it?

  • RealPol (05/06/2015, 11:18) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Oil and water do not mix and religion and politics do not either. Though not illegal but immoral using the church for political reasons is poor form. It appears as if the Rev M. Turnbull may be using his position, stature and influence to coerce (or at leastfeel uncomfortable) members to contribute to his son's political campaign. Is this now the norm? Will donations now be asked for any other member running for political office or elected office. The church should be neutral. What if some members are not NDP supporters and refuse to contribute. Will they be penalized or ostracized? Church should be a place of comfort, a place of worship, and a place of fellowship. This issue has the potential to plant seeds of division among the congregation.
  • Stopit (05/06/2015, 18:37) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
    What about the two VIP strongholds who have been going to the fat lady prophet from the Caribbean and asking her to fortune tell them what will be the outcome of the elections and to pray special blessings on them? You aint know bout that nuh? They been secretly seeing her since January, 2015. When a collection was asked to assist in funding the campaign for Mitch, no gun was placed to their heads. They didn't have to give. The money was not taken from the church. Can't you see the thin line here. The money came from individual's pockets. That to me is considered a personal gift for the cause presented, and all who here fussing about how that money was used if they want to disagree, then disagree with the asker and disagree with the givers, but do not come here cussing MITCH. He didn't ask for money from no one. Move on and stick to the issues.
    • @Stopit (05/06/2015, 23:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Clarification is needed because a prophet is not a fortune teller. These are two very different people. If she is a prophet then she is under God's authority to communicate His words and wisdom to who God wishes, it is not a sin to seek the advise of a prophet of God or have a prophet pray for you. (Fortune tellers practice divination and hears from falling angels 'demons'...not God) Secondly, personal gifts, donations, offers etc. for political campaigning should not be requested or distributed at church. If persons wished to contribute to Mitch's campaign they could have approached him after church hours.
  • NPO (05/06/2015, 23:24) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Let's wait and see how the church will account for the collection. At the end of the year the Church have to account for monies pass through it's organization. Financial services have rules so let's see if it's above a certain amt it has to be accounted for.
    • @NPO (06/06/2015, 15:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Really? That would be interesting to know? I had no idea that there were such accountability measures in place in the BVI?
  • prove (08/06/2015, 15:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Maybe what they can do with the money is to help the sick lady

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