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April 18th, 2011
11:11 AM ET

Church gives away a house for Easter

CNN's TJ Holmes spoke with Pastor Tony Scott of the Church on Strayer in Toledo, Ohio. The Church on Strayer is giving away a house on Easter Sunday.

Scott said the motives behind the free home give away are in part to bring people in to hear the message of Easter.  The church has five Easter services.  To enter participants must come to one of the services and fill out an application.

The church will be building the home in the Toledo area and the winner won't be able to sell the house for five years.

Scott said a committee from the church and community members will screen every application to determine a winner.

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Content Partner • Holidays • Ohio • TV-CNN Newsroom • United States

soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Jx459

    For those that are interested in who won the house

    http://abclocal.go.com/wtvg/story?section=news%2Flocal&id=8134072

    May 18, 2011 at 7:20 am |
  2. Zach

    If you have a problem with someone giving away a house, with prerecs that include: make 12K or more a year, live in the state of Ohio for a year, have had a JOB for the last 12 months, and that you attend the service. Then you might be 1. Jealous or 2. ignorant. If you dont know, P.Tony's church is in the middle of a low income/ homeless area, so they reach out to the community to help them. The only reason that they put the prerecs on there is because they dont want the people that get the house to be worse off in debt after they get the house than they were before. And for those who say "its not what God has called us to do", I have one question, did Jesus not say that we would do greater things than he even did. Yes Jesus never gave away a house but you better believe if someone gave him one to give away... he would've. If you think he would not have, then maybe you need to go reread the bible and see what it all is really about.

    May 12, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  3. thaddeus

    Jesus fed 5000 and the 4000 people. Wow. That was amazing.
    This pastor is reflecting his Lord by dreaming big. My God is way bigger than a house, but this is pretty awesome was to show people the kingdom.

    April 21, 2011 at 8:11 pm |
  4. Patricia

    AMEN Anonymous - then of course you know most churches promote the "easter bunny" instead of Christ. What happens to those that do come and do not win – will they continue to come – what about the winner will this lead him to give his heart to the Lord. - The Word of God is what saves, heals, convicts. When I witness to someone – it takes the Holy Ghost to convict them and draw them to God. No man cometh to the Father but by me (Jesus) – winning a house will not get you to heaven – the devil is deceitful and cunning – many falling by the wayside – I've gone to that church when it was Cathedral of Praise – once when I first got saved (they were small then but on fire) and a few years later – no spirit – no anointing and they've pushed the older saint out – (as you've done unto the least – you've done unto Jesus)

    April 21, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • Jx459

      From your comments It sounds like you just have something against that church. No church is perfect because no person is perfect. We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
      And what is truth? What we perceive as "Truth" is affected by our experiences, past, pains, scars, and therefore is inherently flawed. Often what we perceive to be truth is wrong. Real Truth is reality as God sees it. There is no other truth. He sees the whole picture. He knows the hearts of the people who attend that church and whether their motives are pure. So why not leave them in his hands instead?

      April 24, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    It's quite sad and pathetic that a church has to resort to bribery in order to get people to attend a church service. What happened to befriending people and inviting them based on having them meet Jesus and saving their soul with no strings attached (ie. come to church, we'll reward you with such and such)? Is that no longer enough? How pathetic. And what will this say to those who don't win the house (and keep in mind, it did say the applications will be screened)...too bad, so sad, you weren't worthy enough to win in our eyes. They should stick with simply serving the poor with no stipulations if they want to follow Christ's teachings, no turn it into a lottery. : /

    April 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  6. Pacific Northwest

    this is a wonderful idea – though christ does not command us to "give away our home" he does ask us to consider and serve others. giving away a house is not a sin, especially if you want them to know christ. those that disagree with this – i am quite baffled way. i would suggest not worrying about what other believers are doing if they in fact are not sinning and trying to bring others to know christ.

    April 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  7. Rod

    Well done Pastor Tony. The church is a living example of the good news. By the way this church is known through out the area foe giving to the poor and meeting the needs of others. Thie house give away is just one
    Of many things they do for the community. Congrats to the church on strayer for a job well done.

    April 20, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  8. Patricia

    If they earn $12,000 and the HUD FY 2010 income limits – I just called the church and the person will be responsible for keeping up the light, gas, taxes, etc. – doesn't seem that $12,000 a year will be enough to cover everything – not to mention groceries, gas, clothing

    April 20, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  9. doctore0

    This just shows Christianity is dying; The fake bribes of the bible work no more... so they go for lottery

    April 20, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  10. 2fish

    Where do some of the posters get the idea that the recipient of this house must be well off? The church's website clearly indicates that the successful applicant must earn betwen $12,000 and the HUD FY 2010 income limits. This is not going to be a wealthy family.

    Also, what would be the point of giving a home to someone that cannot afford to keep it? Congrats to the recipient whomever they may be.

    April 20, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  11. Shane on you

    Giving a house to a specific, non-needy, employed, well-off financially, local resident who can prove they've lived there at least one year, have worked at the same job for at least one year, and who comes to the easter service or is already a member, is not charity, is not being "christian" about it, is not doing anything particularly admirable or ethical or selfless or worthy of mention in anything but a scam-artist newsletter.
    They should give up their faith in evil and quit doing stupid things and join the community they have been excluding ever since they opened the doors. Why not do good things like helping the poor instead? Some say they do that already but what do we see? Nothing but an attempt to evade tax laws and bribery. Criminal organizations need to be shut down.
    If you are a member of this religion, get out as soon as you can!
    These cults will ruin your life and swindle you out of your money.

    April 20, 2011 at 2:32 am |
    • Steve (the real one)

      You can make the rules to any house you give away!

      April 20, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • Tom

      LOL I will pray for you. You couldn't be any further from the truth.

      September 28, 2011 at 9:10 pm |
  12. Patricia

    It's not bashing – it's telling the truth. I have been ministering at a nursing home for about 2 years – one resident is 84 yrs old and the pastor of the church she attended faithfully giving her money to – he has been to visit her once in the 9 yrs. Why not build a nursing homr for the elderly in your congregation

    April 19, 2011 at 9:55 pm |
    • Steve (the real one)

      Nowhere is it fair to judge this church by the poor response of one pastor! Are they not free and have the liberty to do this? They more than me and you know the needs for their community. Nursing ministry is an excellent ministry. I am not trying to be harsh but I see the atheists jump on this band wagon to bash this church. We Christians should not follow that lead. May God bless you as you serve him and our elder brothers and sisters. That nursing home is a great idea but I don't know what God placed into the hearts of this church and their pastor!

      April 19, 2011 at 10:13 pm |
  13. Steve (the real one)

    People often bash churches for taking. Now a church gives and guess what? More bashing. While you may not approve of the method, stop judging the hearts of these people. Feel free you use what ever method you chose when you decide to give a house away!

    Patricia is correct when she said: Giving away a house is NOT what Christ commanded us to do. I just have not read where He commanded us to bash those who do decide to give away a house! Nor Did he command us to judge the heart of an entire congregation just because you do not approve!

    April 19, 2011 at 9:31 pm |
  14. Patricia

    This is a shame and a reproach to the Gospel of Christ. Giving away a house is NOT what Christ commanded us to do. Yeah, it probably packed the church and raised more money than a regular Sunday. How dare we as Christians try to exploit the Gospel. I'm sure there is someone in the congregation, a faithful member who would have appreciated having a house. Jesus said "Go ye into the highway and compel men to come in that my house might be full." not use gimicks - What is Pastor Scott's true motive

    April 19, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
  15. RonJon

    Interesting how non- belivers always seem to be drawn to religion based sites just to be haters. Be careful that you are not drawn into Satan's web of death & destruction. Who cares what the motives are when someone or some organization wants to be a blessing to others. Do you really think that those that are hungry, in need of shelter, clothes, shoes or whatever are worried about the motives. Be glad that you are so blessed that you have not only the free will to question your creators existance, but also a computer and access to the web to do so. I hope you do not remain in the darkness all your life and that by the grace of GOD you will someday become aware of what JESUS has done for everyone of us. One day every knee will bow and confess the name of the LORD. Like the saying goes.....don't wait for the hurse to take you to church. Way to go Pastor Tony Scott and The Church on Strayer Family you are a shining light and an example of GODS love in action.

    April 19, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
    • Scat

      So you approve of them giving a house to a rich person? What a jerk.
      I'll bet you're a Republican, too. Those millionaires need more money!

      April 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.