March 7, 2003
To: The concerned members of Heights Presbyterian Church
Re: Response to Joe’s email of March 6, 2003
This is my response to an email that Joe sent to Arco who had sent an email to Joe asking if everything she was reading on the internet about him and Heights Presbyterian Church was true.
Joe wrote: Dear Arco
Thanks for your inquiry concerning the email you received from John WorldPeace. I will not attempt to go into great detail because you would be reading reams of pages. But here are the basics.
Our congregation owns two high rise apartment facilities for low income elderly and handicapped. We own these in cooperation with other local congregations, and they are run by a professional management company and are HUD facilities.
> One project is 200 yards from the church and the other is less than a mile. Both projects are almost 30 years old. One of the conspirators in this matter is the owner of the professional management company who does not have very positive reputation in the business community.
Since there is a long waiting list of up to three years, the Heights Housing Corporation decided to build a 3rd facility.
> There is always a long list of people who need low rent retirement facilities so this is meaningless.
Land was purchased in an area of Houston which is predominantly black, but upper middle class, but on a street which definitely needs upgrading, which we hope our facility will help to do.
> Houston is a very large city. This area is in a depressed Black area where prostitution is rampant. There have been several articles on the news lately about trying to stamp out this problem in this particular subdivision known as the Independence Heights. The problem is that there are no grocery stores, chain stores, movie theaters, parks or any other such facilities in this area. The seniors in this project will most likely be living behind fence and will not be able to leave unless they take a bus provided by the facility. They would not dare walk the streets in this area alone. And they would literally be taking their lives in their hands if they tried it at night.
Also the land, if it was bought, was bought for $220,000 when it was on the
tax rolls for $37,000.
A woman named Joyce Wolter
> This is my mother who is not only a sixty year member of the congregation but also a member of the session and also one of three trustees of the church.
vehemently disagreed with the project and stormed out of the Session meeting which approved the project.
> The project was never approved by the session. The session meeting that Joe says approved the Independence Heights Project was held a year after Joe made the commitment to the project. This meeting was on April 21, 2002, but the obligation was on May 18, 2001.
The next day, I was served with legal papers naming me in a lawsuit contending fraud.
> Not exactly. I set up a meeting with Joe and four others for April 19, 2002. I set this meeting up sometime around April 12, 2002. After I set up the meeting, Joe announced in the church bulletin on April 14, 2002, that there would be a special session meeting on April 21, 2002, to which only session members were invited. I met with Joe and company on April 19, 2002, and was told exactly what I was concerned about and that was that the church has an unlimited liability for 40 years to the HUD project. Of course these individuals said that the church would never have to pay any money. But HUD requires that a non-profit organization sponsor these projects and you know the sponsors must have the financial ability to cover the losses. You have to qualify to sponsor these projects.
I did not realize on the 19th that Joe had set up a meeting to try to go through with the project for the 21st. It was my understanding that he was going to supply all the documents regarding the project to me the following week so that I could report back to my mother, a trustee, and she could inform others who were looking to her for report. An illegal meeting of the session was held on April 21st and Joe alleges that meeting authorized the project. It did not. When I found out that Joe had blindsided me, I filed suit on April 22, 2002. I realized that the whole meeting on the 19th was a sham and that because I was closing in on his mischief, he had to move quickly to do his dirty work.
Her son is attorney John WorldPeace. He has been harassing me, and the other three members in the suit (he keeps adding names to the suit, the judge dropped charges on two out of the five he named.)
> That suit is being amended today and it is unlikely that those two
people will be dismissed from the lawsuit.
He at one point was a member of the congregation, but transferred his membership to St. Paul's U.M. Church in 1974, and from that time he appears nowhere on our roles.
> Joe has the church records at this home and it was convenient for him to destroy the records that showed that sometime in the 1980’s that I again became a member. I was baptized at Heights Church and my grandparents and other family members obligated themselves to build the sanctuary in 1952. My mother has been a member for 56 out of the last 60 years of her life.
He has sent numerous letters to the congregation in some of which he bluntly states his determination to remove me as the pastor.
> In court, Joe admitted that he was a liar and that he had tried to commit the church to the Independence Heights project without the approval of the session, the congregation or the Presbytery. Also, his salary exceeds the contributions coming into the church. He has also refused to minister the sick and dying at the church. Joe must go, that is true.
His mother got rid of my predecessor in a similar manner.
> The session voted the prior minister out after two years.
If four of us were to leave the church tomorrow, this suit would be ended.
> Not likely. There is a significant part of $700,000 that is unaccounted for over the last five years since Joe became the minister. I requested the court to appoint an auditor but the Presbytery stepped in and the court determined to give them time to check into matter.
In addition, a complaint has been filed with HUD and the Inspector General of the U S to investigate the project. It may take years, but there is a possibility that Joe and some of his company may be indicted.
It is Joe’s wishful thinking that all he has to do is leave HPC to end his
Because of the harassment and intimidation (Mr. WorldPeace tried to crash a Session meeting and tried to take over the pulpit during a Sunday service)
> True I did attend a session meeting in October 2002 to stop Joe from creating more mischief and after which the session began to meet off premises in people’s homes to prevent my attendance. The question is why all session meetings since April 2002, are now executive meetings where the congregation is barred.
And the bigger question is if this is such a simple matter, then why hasn’t Joe just told everyone the truth. The interesting thing is that Joe has said more in this email than he has told the congregation in the last two years.
I did step up to the pulpit about two months ago and rebuked Joe when he told the congregation that he was prohibiting their meeting after worship service to discuss his bad acts. I stepped up, said my piece and sat down. The informal meeting proceeded and about five other meetings were held after service subsequent to that one. By the way, that meeting was held when Joe canceled the annual congregation meeting. Two Sundays were skipped to allow the administrative commission to talk to the members of the congregation. The administrative commission delivered their interim report last Sunday and there will be another informal meeting this Sunday because it has become obvious that the administrative commission is simply there to endorse Joe‘s bad acts.
the Presbytery Of New Covenant elected an administrative commission to replace the Session.
> The administrative commission was illegally formed after Joe secretly took 13 of his disciples to a Presbytery meeting and lied about the happenings at HPC. The administrative commission has no mandate and per the Book of Order no authority to take over the session at this time.
In his most recent letter, Mr. WorldPeace is now threatening to sue the chair of the administrative commission.
> The chair will be added to the lawsuit today because he is presiding
over an illegal administrative commission. Like Joe, the administrative
commission has not presented their mandate to the congregation because they have
none. Like Joe, the administrative commission only gives lip service to the Book
The only thing which is true in all the information is that I did sign papers and did testify in court that I had signed documents for the new facility prior to its approval by Session.
> A year prior to be exact. And Joe is not a trustee of the church and had no authority to sign off on the project which he admitted in court. Per the Book of Order, only a trustee can sign off on such a project.
My attorney has said that is not really a problem because I am by virtue of my terms of call a member of the Houston Heights Housing Corporation Board Of Directors, and can sign such documents as a member of that body.
> In other words, Joe considers himself above the law. From a legal perspective of an attorney trying to defend the action of a corrupt minister, I can see that argument. But the fact is that for two years Joe lied to the congregation about what was going on with the project and that is another matter. Until I got involved, no one knew that Joe was obligating the church to this project. Only when I finally got him into court under oath did the truth begin to come out.
The administrative commission at its last meeting requested me not to sign anymore documents concerning the project, and I have not done so, although my attorney says I can do so.
> Well that is the only positive thing I have seen regarding the administrative commission if it is true. But you cannot believe anything that Joe says. Especially when you consider that a week after Joe committed HPC to the project in January 2003 (even amid all the turmoil) he resigned as office of Independence Heights, Inc. He committed the church to the project and then backed out. After that, the administrative commission stepped in.
The reality seems to be that Joe’s had some personal financial obligations
he had to meet and that is why he signed off on the project.
This has been a year long nightmare.
> And we have not even gotten started. The nightmare is because Joe has refused to speak straight to the congregation regarding what is going on with the Independence Heights Project. He failed to mention how he and others set up the Independence Heights, Inc in March 2002, prior to a vote by the session. My web site has many of these details. I will probably post the amended petition in the lawsuit today which should give a lot more of the details.
Mr. WorldPeace has nowhere near the number of followers he claims. At most there are about 20 or so
> Actually there were 24 members who sent official complaints up to Presbytery about a month ago. There are another fifteen that are definitely against Joe who for one reason or another did not file an official complaint. Some of the members have come from churches that have been disbanded by the Presbytery and do not have the inclination to fight them again. We are talking about a congregation whose membership includes a large number of senior citizens.
(out of a membership of 176)
> Here is the breakdown on this. There are 114 active members who attend church regularly. There are an additional 25 who live out of town or reside in nursing homes or retirement facilities or who are incoherent. There are another 29 who need to be moved to the inactive role. But to do this would show that the membership has dwindled since Joe came five years ago. Joe boasts that he has increased the membership but that is only because the rolls have not been purged. That leaves about 18 unaccounted members to get to Joe’s number. As they say, “Figures do not lie, but liars figure.”
who listen to what he says. He holds "rump" meetings each Sunday following worship in the sanctuary, which have never been approved by our Session or the administrative commission.
> There are about 30 members who attend these informal meetings of the
concerned members of the congregation. These members collectively have over 1000
years of invested in the church. The active members are split almost evenly
between those for and against Joe. This is not a minor rebellion of a few
people. Certainly, it is significant enough to have gotten the attention of
Thanks for your interest, I covet your prayers.
> I find the word “covet” to be interesting. It shows a greedy personality to use that word. I think a less greedy liar would use a word like “cherish” or “appreciate“.
If you need to know more I will be happy to respond. Because of the litigation, I cannot comment on the lawsuit, but can converse with you in general about this situation.
> If all this was so simple, then there would be no problem. What is
tragic is that a full year before the lawsuit, Joe and company were illegally
and secretly trying to obligate the church to the Independence Heights Project.
And until January 9, 2003, when Joe testified in open court (with about
twenty-five members of the congregation present) only a few people knew that Joe
had been proceeding with his corruption behind the backs of the congregation. He
was saying one thing to the congregation from the pulpit and doing something
else behind the congregation’s back.
In the end, know that these dirty deeds which are an abomination to Christ will be exposed and justice will be done both on earth and in Heaven.
In Jesus’ name,
How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?
The WorldPeace Sign
To the John WorldPeace Galleries Page
To the WorldPeace Peace Page