Pastor Tavner Smith also addressed allegations that in the past he had said the church was debt-free when in reality it had a mortgage. The pastor acknowledged that after a 2016 giving effort called the Promise Campaign, he had said from the stage that the church was debt-free. At that time, Venue had secured its present building, but was leasing it. Two years later, said Smith, Venue had the opportunity to purchase the building and additional property.
That was when the church took on debt, “but it’s been a good debt,” said Smith, adding that the debt has enabled the church to save money in order to give generously to meet people’s needs. “Your finances are cared for so much with the utmost integrity at this church,” he said.
Some former members, however, say they were unaware the church had any debt due to purchasing the building. The Daily Beast also reports that Venue Church is behind on its 2021 taxes and owes a water quality fee.
ChurchLeaders has reached out to Venue Church for comment and will update this article in the event of a reply.