Home Christian News ‘Rampant Spiritual and Emotional Abuse’—Celebration Church Releases Scathing 22-Page Report on Former...

‘Rampant Spiritual and Emotional Abuse’—Celebration Church Releases Scathing 22-Page Report on Former Pastor

Weems was receiving no financial oversight at that point and did not seek the board’s authority for his actions. He used some of the PPP funds to invest in TurnCoin, and the report uses the word “deceptive” more than once to describe how Weems represented this investment to others. 

The report also goes into Weems’ duplicitous handling of church finances as they relate to Honey Lake Farms (HLF), one of Celebration Church’s ministries. “The fraudulent manipulation of HLF’s financial statements and unauthorized debt forgiveness in connection with a loan application violates Florida and federal law,” says the report.

The result of these and other actions was that the Celebration Church suffered financially. Say the authors, “The Church’s financial statements reflect that its cash balance dropped from $9 million in October 2020 to $6 million in December 2020, then to $2 million in March/April 2021. Weems never had a grasp of where the money went and would oscillate between negligent attention to financial details and aggressive demands for voluminous information.”

For a long time, Celebration Church enjoyed $2 million in credit from a bank with which it had a longstanding relationship. But Weems’ mismanagement led to the bank eventually denying the church any credit at all, and another bank will now offer the church only $70,000 in credit.

The report concludes that Weems brought Celebration Church to the edge of bankruptcy and that it is only thanks to the leadership of the church’s board and current senior pastor, Tim Timberlake, that the church has survived. “Spiritually, the Weemses have acted with arrogance, pride, deception, manipulation, selfishness, dishonesty, greed, entitlement, conceit, and unrepentance,” the authors write.

The report also notes the Weemses’ unwillingness to acknowledge either the wrongness of their behavior or the damage they have caused others, stating, “Through their actions, Stovall and Kerri Weems have disqualified themselves from pastoral leadership.”

ChurchLeaders has reached out to Stovall and Kerri Weems for comment, but has not yet received a reply. In a statement to News 4 Jax, Stovall Weems says the report is entirely false:

This report is completely concocted by the Trustees and their lawyer as a character assassination without real basis. The “charges” are as they always were – untrue and without a hard basis in fact, as a thoughtful investigation would show…As I have said all along, I have nothing to hide. That has not changed. I shall continue a righteous path with a new ministry despite these shameful efforts.

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Jessica is a content editor for ChurchLeaders.com and the producer of The Stetzer ChurchLeaders Podcast. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing professionally for the past five years. When Jessica isn't writing, she enjoys West Coast Swing dancing, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.