What a sad story to emerge from what, up to now, had appeared to be a successful and well-run Christian food aid program.
Georgia-based Angel Food Ministries, founded more than 10 years ago by the Rev. Joseph Wingo and his wife, may have fallen to the same temptation that has crept up on so many other well-meaning organizations and their founders. It stands to reason that if Mr. Do Good works hard all day, well, he ought to be able to relax in a big house and buy his wife some nice jewelry and give his kids and relatives entitlement jobs as well. And then when the law steps in, you end up with three possible explanations for what went wrong:
1) It’s a conspiracy. Doubtful since I’ve always maintained the average organization or government for that matter, is just not smart enough or organized enough to pull it off.
(2) These people are dumb as proverbial stumps who can’t learn from the downfall of the last public figure who felt donors wouldn’t mind funding their chamapagne and caviar lifestyle; or
(3) The perpetrators simply think they’re too smart to get caught. The Jim Bakers and the Benny Hinns all thought they could pull it off too. Yes, even the leaders of the Orthodox Church in America managed to hide their mismanagement pretty well. But time, office gossip and the moral conscience of a few good people always win in the end.
For years Angel Food Ministries’ reputation seemed impeccable, and the results of the ministry were to be seen in the thousands of people across the South and Southwest who managed to stretch their monthly meals with the quality foods distributed by hundreds of associated churches. My own parish believed in the Angel Food Ministry and we tried very hard last year to become a distributor, but were not accepted due to the close proximity of other church partners. There’d be a lot of panic right now if we had hungry people at the door and not a lot of answers for them.
Now it would seem that the sins of greed and inhumanity that placed so many people in the food lines to begin with are about to cut off this badly-needed source of aid. It’s unconscionable that a Christian minister’s sins hurt so many people who are hurting already. Spokemen for the ministry say the investigation will not stop food distribution but I just don’t see how they can make that claim. What wholesaler will sell to them now? How are the bills getting paid? And as the economy collapses, who is going to step up to feed all these people? This is a bad time for dishonesty and fraud, but bad times can bring out both the best and the worst in people. Shame on you Rev. Wingo and God bless those who keep fighting for the hungry in America.
I believe the vision of Angel Food Ministries is godly but the organization is going to have to face the music, and God willing it will come through better for it in the end. In all fairness though, please visit their website and make up your own mind.