'Scam' Alert from Evangelist's Organization

The Nicky Cruz Outreach organization is warning Baptist churches to beware of a con artist claiming to be affiliated with their organization and asking for money. Churches in California, Arizona, Florida and other states have been ripped off by a man who claims to be Jesse or Jerry Cruz, always saying that he is the related to Evangelist Nicky Cruz. The real Cruz is known for his affiliation with David Wilkerson, author of The Cross and the Switchblade.

The fraudulent Cruz usually tells the story that he has been on a trip with students from Columbia University in New York, but when they wanted to party and he did not join them, he was left behind. He claims to need money either for an Amtrak ticket or his hotel room and offers First Baptist Church in New York City as a contact number. One church reported to the Executive Committee that the con artist probably has an accomplice because, when allowed to use the phone, he called someone who verified his story. Church personnel allowed the young man to dial the number and then hand the phone over to them — so they realized later he could have been calling anyone, not First Baptist in New York, to "verify" his story.

This con artist has no affiliation or relation with Nicky Cruz or First Baptist New York. For further information, contact Patrick Dow of Nicky Cruz Outreach at 719-598-2600.



Helping Pastors in Crisis
by Charles Willis

LeaderCare, a strategy to provide a network of help for pastors and staff in crisis is now available through the Baptist Sunday School Board. LeaderCare will provide resources and a network for help in personal crisis prevention, intervention and restoration for pastors, other church staff and their families. "We do not envision ourselves as doing this ministry alone," said BSSB President James T. Draper Jr. "Wherever there may be resources, we see ourselves as partners. … We're going to have to tap every resource we have in the Southern Baptist Convention." Draper said the SBC needs to find ways to prevent situations in which pastors "hit the wall from being fired or from ethical or moral breakdown. We are a Convention of discouraged ministers." Approximately 135 pastors are fired each month in the SBC, according to BSSB reports. For information regarding LeaderCare, call 1-888-789-1911.

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