Pastor speaks on financial freedom at church conference

Pastor speaks on financial freedom at church conference
March 29
04:00 2018

Last week Union Baptist Church held their annual Renew Church Leaders and Laity Conference.  The purpose of the conference is to provide opportunities for ministers, church leaders and laymen to convene for worship, inspiration, information and vision.

One of the components discussed was financial freedom.  Rev. Dr. DeForest Soaries of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in New Jersey spoke on the subject last Wednesday morning at the church.

Dr. Soaries is best known for being featured by CNN for their Black in America series hosted by Soledad O’Brian.  Soaries’ dfree financial freedom movement is a transformational, lifestyle movement that promotes financial freedom through value based principles and practical approaches to financial management. 

“The delimma is that we are not broke, but we are broke,” said Soaries.  “The black middle class has grown exponentially, but they’re broke living paycheck to paycheck and poor people are still poor despite all of the gains we have made.”

His financial freedom movement has empowered churches and individuals to pay down millions in debt to improve the quality of their lives.  His Billion Dollar Challenge is facilitating the African-American community to pay down $1 million in debt by the year 2020.

“I decided to go after this in 2005 and I realized on a strategic level the only reasonable place to start was with debt,” he said.  “On a practical level you can’t save if you’re in debt and you can’t invest if you’re in debt so debt became the major barrier I decided to go after.”

Soaries said he knew if he started a program that was aimed at debt no one would come.  He says at his church, hypocrisy is an acceptable form of behavior.

“We did some market research by asking questions and we realized that if we could brand the strategy and lean it towards the positive instead of the negative, meaning putting the emphasis not on the problem but on the goal we were able to get people to come,” he continued.

His program focuses on debt, delinquency and defecit as a means to allow people to become financially free, hence the name dfree. 

Since 2005 his program has taken off through the religious community and his church along with others who have followed his program are thriving.  That success has spawned a book written by Soaries called Say yes to no debt which came out in 2011.

Soaries spoke to the conference Wednesday, March 21, about applying biblical stories into his strategy of becoming financially free. 

“My job is to motivate and teach the leadership that it is possible to be free and they in turn teach their congregations how to execute the strategy,” said Soaries.  “I have the message and my team has the tactics.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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