Warnock’s church reportedly pays for his rent while attempting to evict poor tenants: ‘They treat me like a piece s**t’

U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock’s Georgia church has some explaining to do after it was uncovered that it owns an apartment building where residents are being evicted onto the street while paying thousands a month for the pastor’s home.

The Washington Free Beacon published a bombshell story that highlights hypocrisy when it comes to the Ebenezer Baptist Church. The church is reportedly booting tenants for being in arrears for as little as $28.55 in past-due rent.

“Unemployment benefits have expired, rent is due today, and many Georgia families are at risk of eviction in the middle of a pandemic,” Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) wrote in a tweet in August 2020, accusing his Republican opponent of being “clearly only concerned with serving their own interests” at the time. Those chickens are now coming home to roost thanks to the Beacon’s in-depth reporting.

The leftist senator also serves as senior pastor at the church drawing a salary along with a lavish $7,417 monthly housing allowance.

The church owns 99 percent of the Columbia Tower at MLK Village in downtown Atlanta, according to documents obtained by The Washington Free Beacon. Those documents describe the building as a home for the “chronically homeless” and those with “mental disabilities.” And yet, they are being kicked out the door despite the church’s proclaimed Christian principles and its purported obeyance to Martin Luther King Jr.’s teachings.

During the pandemic, a dozen eviction lawsuits were reportedly filed against Columbia Tower residents. The total sum of the back rent sought in these proceedings was $4,900. Less than one month of Warnock’s housing allowance.

In a legalistic two-step, the church’s business partner, Columbia Residential, filed the lawsuits.

Warnock’s carefully crafted image of fighting for the downtrodden just took a massive hit with this unexpected revelation.

Financial statements indicate that the church closed out 2021 with cash and “cash equivalents” exceeding $1.2 million.

The Free Beacon interviewed some of the residents. They didn’t even realize that Ebenezer Baptist Church owns their building. They did, however, state that they live under landlords who are eviction-happy, even if they miss paying the rent by just a few days or are a bit short.

“They treat me like a piece of sh*t. They’re not compassionate at all,” Columbia Tower resident Phillip White, a 69-year-old African American proclaimed. He served in Vietnam.

White received an eviction notice on Sept. 20 for failure to meet a $192 rent payment. This is the second time they have tried to evict White, who received his first eviction notice in September 2021 for $179 in past-due rent. That case was eventually dropped after he paid his rent, plus an additional $325 in fees, according to the Free Beacon.

Other stories are very similar to White’s.

The report by the Free Beacon claims there are ties between Warnock and Columbia Residential, the property manager of the building. Columbia Residential founder and CEO Noel Khalil, who passed away in October 2021, donated $14,000 to Warnock’s 2020 Senate campaign, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Columbia Tower claims to be a landing spot for those who have fallen on hard times. A mural on the side of the building calls it a “Safe Haven.” The building has received over $15 million in federal and state funding to shelter the chronically homeless since 2005.

In late August, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R) awarded the church $5 million in leftover federal COVID funds to renovate all the apartment units in Columbia Tower.

Since the apartment complex is owned by a church, it pays almost no property taxes. The current market value of the property is $1.72 million. According to Fulton County tax records, Ebenezer and Columbia Residential have paid $77.77 in property tax over the past seven years.

“It’s disheartening. It’s horrible. It’s actually horrifying,” one resident told the Free Beacon. “We need the help. I understand churches take care of their pastors, but the excess, it’s not good. Not when you have people that need help here.”

“I put in the wrong card number. The money was in the bank but it didn’t go through. The next day I rectified the situation, but they still served papers,” the unidentified resident stated, adding that she ultimately paid more than $300 in court fees.

“It was devastating and surprising. I know they have the ability to be patient with me and let me pay my rent. And it was paid,” the resident commented. “I asked for patience, but I was totally ignored.”

Warnock is in the midst of a very tight Senate race against Republican nominee Herschel Walker. The race could potentially determine control of the Senate in 2023.

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