(Daily Caller News Foundation) — Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Democratic Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock is senior pastor, moved to evict poor, low-income tenants from a building it owns while Warnock publicly railed against evictions, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
Columbia Tower at MLK Village in downtown Atlanta, of which the church is 99% owner, is a 501(c)3) non-profit intended to house the mentally disabled and chronically homeless, according to a grant application. However, the church’s business partner Columbia Residential filed a dozen eviction lawsuits against low-income residents throughout the pandemic over past-due rent amounts as low as $28.55 and successfully evicted two tenants, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
“They treat me like a piece of shit. They’re not compassionate at all,” Columbia Tower resident Phillip White, a 69-year-old African American, told The Washington Free Beacon. He received an eviction notice Sept. 20 for failing to pay $192 in rent; the building previously tried to evict him over $179 in past-due rent in 2021.
Past-due rent for the dozen eviction lawsuits totaled only $4,900, according to The Washington Free Beacon; for comparison, Warnock brings in a $7,417 monthly housing allowance from the church on top of his salary.
Unemployment benefits have expired, rent is due today, and many Georgia families are at risk of eviction in the middle of a pandemic.
My opponents are supposed to be serving the people in Washington, but they're clearly only concerned with serving their own interests
— Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) August 1, 2020
As Ebenezer Baptist Church pushed to evict residents over these small debts, its head pastor, Warnock, publicly railed against evictions, even voicing support for the federal eviction moratorium on numerous occasions throughout the pandemic.
“Unemployment benefits have expired, rent is due today, and many Georgia families are at risk of eviction in the middle of a pandemic,” he wrote Aug. 1, 2020. “My opponents are supposed to be serving the people in Washington, but they’re clearly only concerned with serving their own interests.”
It is unclear whether Warnock was aware of the evictions.
Warnock and Ebenezer Baptist Church did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.