Dr. Randy White, the powerhouse founder and Senior Pastor of Without Walls International Church (WWIC), suffered his first major setback after getting involved with deceiving and treacherous Pastor Karl Strader whose son is serving a 45 year jail sentence for crimes he committed with the help of his father. Calling it "very disappointing," officials of a large Pentecostal church in Tampa, Fla., said they have failed to reach a deal to buy what was once one of the largest churches in the world, reported Charisma News Services. Randy, who drives a Cadillac Escalade and the side is emblazoned with "Big Daddy," and friends had tried buying off the Straders with money collected from the offerings including about $12,000 of which they earmarked as gifts to Strader, but to no avail! Hence Without Walls International Church (WWIC), a 14,000-strong, nondenominational urban congregation, concluded a 10-month arrangement May 31 with Carpenter's Home Church (CHC), ending its Saturday night worship services and closing off negotiations to buy the 10,000-seat sanctuary, "The Lakeland Ledger" reported.
Located in suburban Lakeland, about 45 minutes east of Tampa, CHC is affiliated with the Assemblies of God. Failure to agree on a price nixed the sale. WWIC associate pastor Jennifer Mallan said the figures were confidential, but the two sides were "a couple of million dollars" apart, the newspaper reported.
"Everyone involved really tried to make it work," she said. "We don't fault anyone ... They had a price and they weren't going to lower it. We respect that ... but we are very disappointed. We felt it was a God thing."
South African Pentecostal Evangelist Rodney Howard-Browne who became a naturalized American and taught that "sheep needed to be fleeced or they would have too much hair and could not see where they are going. It was the pastor’s job to fleece the sheep “will hold a ten year revival reunion on November 22, 2003 at Carpenter’s Home Church, Lakeland, Florida! But Rodney is still leery of senior Pastor Karl Strader who according to former Pastor Jack Collins skimmed money from Rodney's offerings!
Dr. Rodney Howard- Browne had been credited with bringing the laughter revival to America. But from what really happened in Carpenter's Home Church in 1993 and 1994 and its devastating effect on the community including the robbing, raping and murdering of the sheep, was not much of a revival.
The leadership of the Assembly of God denomination both in Lakeland and Missouri also would not accept the testimony of one of its members Roy Aldrich that he was robbed and raped by money changers and wolves in sheep's clothing in Carpenter's Home Church during the so called "revival". But the State of Florida who cared about justice, righteousness and truth accepted the words and testimony of Roy Aldrich about the Straders.
The Florida State prosecutors proved their case and convinced the jurors that Dan Strader, the son of the senior pastor Karl Strader, devised an elaborate scheme to attract cash in the real-estate and mortgage investments. He was selling the securities without a license and that the securities were unregistered. This was done in an organized method amounting to Racketeer-Influence and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO Act.
Daniel, 37, was sentenced to 45 years in prison in August 1995. He was convicted of 238 felony counts for bilking 57 mostly elderly investors, some members of the church, out of $2.3 million by selling investments in properties that didn't exist or already had liens against them. Others who were involved along with Dan Strader were not pursed by the State of Florida as they felt that the conviction of Daniel Strader was a good example for others to take notice.
Dr Rodney Howard Browne used his influence and powers to raise money at Carpenter's Home Church to buy the senior pastor Karl Strader his much needed second Lincoln Town Car. But when Rodney was requested to use his influence and power to raise money for the unfortunate elderly victims of Dan's Strader, he refused.
The name Strader carries weight in charismatic circles. Strader, 72, has been pastor of Carpenters Home for 35 years and has ministered at various churches nationwide. A Pentecostal church under the Assemblies of God denomination, Carpenters Home has owned radio stations, hosted concerts and conferences featuring big names in Christianity, such as evangelist Rodney Howard-Browne, gospel singer CeCe Winans and Christian music artists Jars of Clay and Michael W. Smith reported the St. Petersburg Times.
But the past 15 years have also carried controversy. Some Assemblies of God leaders, including televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, have publicly questioned Strader's theological teachings, according to the Lakeland Ledger.
"We've been to hell and back," Strader said during a recent church service. About 800 of Strader's members left to form their own church in 1989, after a dispute over his leadership.
Then in 1994, Strader's son, Daniel, was arrested on fraud charges. He was convicted the next year and is serving a 45-year sentence in federal prison. A small number of fraud victims were members of the church, causing further tension. Strader said he believed his son was innocent and was treated unfairly by the system. But his son's appeals have been denied. Strader asked members of Without Walls to pray for his son's release, saying seven years behind bars was enough for a "white collar crime."
At one time membership rolls swelled to about 5,000. Strader and a jubilant congregation had the 10,000-seat auditorium built, believing that in time it would be filled to capacity. Instead, attendance dwindled. (Published the St. Petersburg Times August 12, 2002)
The problem with lying and thieving preachers in America is that they all preach to others but never listen to others. They are after all better than their sheep? Someone should tell some of these preachers who said I was demon possessed and needed to get a life because I don't do what they did, that robbing and raping the money and well being of the sheep under their care is not just a "white collar crime." They should read their own bible that they talk so much about and see what God said to Eli and his raping and thieving sons:
Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, "Thus says the LORD: 'Did I not clearly reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh's house? 'Did I not choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to offer upon My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod before Me? And did I not give to the house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire? 'Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?' "Therefore the LORD God of Israel says: 'I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.' But now the LORD says: 'Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed. 1 Samuel 2:27-30
Carpenter's Home Finances
In our local news recently is a report that the Carpenter's Home Church, under the leadership of Karl Strader, will be sold.
I wish The Ledger would investigate and publish the finances of this deal. The Carpenter's Home Church started out as an Assembly of God church before Karl Strader took control.
I have relatives who were members of that church since the 1940s, and they helped pay for it.
I have visited often in the past and heard many of Rev. Strader's sermons. I was puzzled why he often said in his sermons that anyone who disagreed with him should not make a fuss, just walk out the back door and leave.
His congregation has now dwindled down and he is left with a multimilliondollar facility.
My relatives left after Rev. Strader became a more-autocratic minister, there were questions about his family being given jobs at the church and his son was convicted of defrauding church members (mostly elderly ones) out of their life savings.
It seems to me part of the problem is that the Assembly of God denomination allows ministers to preside over board meetings instead of a church member, as in other more democratically operated Protestant churches.
Nonetheless, it was good Assembly of God people who paid for that Carpenter's Home Church property, and any benefits from the sale should go to the Assembly of God denomination.
The question before the public is, will it?
(Published The Ledger Saturday, August 31, 2002)
Daniel Strader's brother, Stephen Strader and his sisters, Karla and Dawn also wrote a letter which was also reprinted in the Ledger. The letter solicited funds for Strader's legal defense. Investigators were charging him with 259 felony counts and for scheming to defraud Central Florida's elderly residents. The letter didn't talk about the real victims of Dan's crimes but stated:
"Dan is facing bankruptcy and life imprisonment because of mistakes he made in his business. Because of these mistakes and the economy, some of Dan's business clients have suffered losses. While many of these good people have been willing to give Dan the opportunity to recovery financially, others have been unwilling or unable to give Dan more time to make things right.
The system which holds Dan's fate in its hands seems almost sinister in its inclination, conscious or not to damage Dad and the church. The press and some of Dan's investors have not hesitated to drag out Dad and the Church into the mire."
All we want for Danny is that he be treated fairly, and that he be given the opportunity to set things right. He has been faithful to the Church and to his small family [ whose electricity was cut off 14 times in one year because of non payment of bills by Dan ]. He loves God and feels the call of God on his life. He is seeking the Lord now more than ever in his 6 by 10 cell with only his Bible. Being human, Danny has made mistakes, but he is sincere in his desire to make things right. He wants all of his investors and business associates to be made whole."
Our reasons for contacting you is to let you know about this trouble, because we know that you will want to show your love and support to our parents. We also want you to know how critical this situation is. Dan has no money, and cannot afford to pay a qualified lawyer to defend himself. Our parents cannot afford to handle the expenses of Danny's defense by themselves."
Mary wrote a letter to the Editor titled "Strader gutless, selfish" which was printed in February, 1995, in the Ledger, concerning Daniel's decision to withdraw his guilty plea. For Strader was accused of soliciting investments in income producing properties and in his company and instead the money was converted to cash and deposited for his personal use and pleaded guilty. She stated: A truly revolting and shameful display. The Reverend Strader should be double ashamed - not only did he raise a criminal, he raised a gutless selfish whiner.
Later, we were to learn that Dan's parents, the Straders, lived in a debt free $400,000 home on a lake next to a golf course drove two luxury towncars and made a salary in the six figure bracket not including special perks. While other parents, who sold their homes and possessions to help one of their daughters or sons in their time of trouble, the Straders in their usual style asked others to contribute and made only small token contributions themselves. For their other children protested that dad was not to spend their inheritance in defending Dan.
If Dan was innocent as Pastor Karl Strader said many times, why didn't Karl Strader, as a concerned parent sell any of his assets, especially the luxury towncars to help him? This was something that haunted me and spoke loudly to me that something was really wrong in the pastor's behavior and actions as a Christian.
Dan Strader, who earned in prison in Florida a Master's degree in Theology and plans to co-author a book with his father, his silent thieving partner, also wrote a letter that stated:
Why Hasn't God Answered My Prayer?
God has really missed some great opportunities to rescue me from my present circumstances. Have you ever felt that way? I certainly have. Many times. Shortly after being sent to prison, I tried to disentangle my negative circumstances. I was hoping to make some sense out of the erroneous outcome.
Less than 5% of those incarcerated have actually taken their cases to trial. I am one of them. However, I learned quickly that the criminal justice system isn't just about guilt or innocence: for it rarely sticks with the rule of law or fairness. It seemingly deteriorates into a contest between officers of the court who are primarily concerned with winning at any cost. Consequently, if you happen to be the accused facing an unscrupulous adversary, your chances of acquittal are minimal.
With so much injustice being done concerning my case, I reasoned, surely God will rescue me . . . immediately! Nothing happened. Moreover, my inability to change the continual negative circumstances has often left me feeling angry and frustrated. Why hasn't God answered my prayers? Is it a lack of faith?
Fortunately, Jesus addresses this human disposition in two parables: The Importunate Friend (Luke 11:5-13) and The Unjust Judge (Luke 18:1-8). Both of these stories contain invaluable lessons to getting our prayers answered. I can particularly identify with the widow as she pleads her case before the unjust judge: "Avenge me of mine adversary" she cries. Undoubtedly, circumstances necessitated her repeated visits to attain relief. Her request, however, was being denied. The prayers were going unanswered. The judge's indifference to her case is evident by his thoughts. "Though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me." Jesus then says, "Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily."
Dan Strader even though he is the son of a preacher and earned a master degree in Theology doesn't know what he is talking about in Luke 18. Dan is in prison because his victims prayed for avengement just like Jesus told them too.
Dan cannot accept the fact of his guilt in real crimes of praying with and preying on the members of his father's church with the help of his father. Deceived Dan doesn't understand that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble for Roy Aldrich, a retired school teacher, died prematurely at the age 65, as a direct result of the stress and betrayal by his friend and pastor, Karl Strader, and the deeds and actions of his son, Daniel Strader. Roy wrote the following:
Dan Strader was convicted of stealing our life savings of $ 100,000.00 by using lies and deceit and since your question about the effect on our lives is probably the must important factor to you and the Parole Commission, let me simply repeat the words of Jerry Hill, state attorney of Polk County: "The crimes of Dan Strader have done more damage to more elderly people than any homicide that I have prosecuted "
Dan's thefts have forced us to sell our house and most of our personal possessions and move into a trailer. He has shown absolutely no remorse and Judge Robert Doyel who presided over this case stated: "The first step toward rehabilitation is admission of wrong doing, and therefore I feel that Dan Strader will never be rehabilitated."
What Mr. Strader did was calculated and carefully planned with a willful disregard for the lives of others to such an unbelievable degree of extremity that my wife and I still cannot understand why anyone would try to destroy us in this fashion, especially since we had given faithful service to the Carpenter's Church in Lakeland pastored by Karl Strader, Dan's Father.
The leadership of the Assembly of God denomination both in Lakeland and Missouri would not accept the testimony of Roy Aldrich that he was robbed and raped by money changers and wolves in sheep's clothing in the house of God. But the State of Florida who cared about justice, righteousness and truth accepted the words and testimony of Roy Aldrich about the Strader's.
The State prosecutors proved their case and convinced the jurors that Dan Strader devised an elaborate scheme to attract cash in the real-estate and mortgage investments. He was selling the securities without a license and that the securities were unregistered. This was done in an organized method amounting to Racketeer-Influence and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO Act.
As a result Daniel Strader, 37, was sentenced to 45 years in prison in August 1995. He was convicted of 238 felony counts for bilking 57 mostly elderly investors, some members of the church, out of $2.3 million by selling investments in properties that didn't exist or already had liens against them.
Roy and Patricia Aldrich of Lakeland, a wonderful couple, were among the elderly who were members of the Assembly of God and Carpenter's Home Church, Lakeland, Florida who were deeply hurt. Roy had written to important and influential people at AG, including District Superintendent Don Lunsford and General Superintendent Thomas Trask, requesting their help concerning Pastor Karl Strader. But they didn't get true justice!
But the evil and wicked deeds of Dan Strader and his 238 counts of theft, fraud and racketeering will continue to haunt Carpenter's Home Church in Lakeland. Although Dan appealed his conviction the 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld the conviction and sentence in 1996. In 1999, Strader began a new appeal, contending he didn't get adequate representation from his lawyer, Jack Edmund of Bartow, during the 1995 trial. Strader alleged that his accomplice Pernice lied in his testimony during the trial at the prompting of prosecutors.
On April 1, 2002 Attorneys for Dan Strader have taken their case to federal court. They filed a motion in the Middle District of Florida in Tampa to have the court review the process of the state proceedings in the trial against Strader. Attorneys had appealed the case to the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Lakeland after Circuit Judge Donald Jacobsen turned down their post-conviction relief petition. Jacobsen was not the judge at Strader's trial, but in 2001 he ruled against Strader's request for a new trial. A three-judge panel from the appeal court upheld Jacobsen's ruling without comment in a decision released March 11, 2002.
The Lakeland Ledger reported that April was a bittersweet month for Strader. On Easter Sunday, he marked his 35th anniversary as pastor of Carpenter's Home Church. A week earlier, the latest appeal by his convicted son, Daniel, was denied. In the twilight of his career, Karl David Strader is a living alloy of tradition and progress, success and loss.
In one generation, he has seen his Pentecostal tradition grow in numbers and in acceptance. And by most accounts, he has been an innovator, freely associating with faith groups outside Pentecostalism and borrowing ideas from them. He built an empire at Carpenter's Home in North Lakeland that has at times included a 10,000-seat sanctuary, a national TV audience, a private school and a retirement home. But his innovations were not appreciated by everyone, and 11 years ago, strife decimated Carpenter's Home. Today, the cavernous sanctuary is perhaps a quarter full on Sundays, and the TV broadcasts have been cut way back.
Strader bears an even deeper wound. Those who know him say the scandal surrounding his son's arrest and 1995 conviction on fraud charges have affected him more deeply than any other setback. Yet at 72, Strader soldiers on, preaching and laying hands on people who come forward in hopes of a healing touch. He says he will remain as pastor of Carpenter's Home as long as his health is good. He tells his congregation, "I'm past the age scripture tells me is given to us of three score and 10. But God has given me a wonderful life of health and strength. I'm shooting for 100."
But the Ledger also reported recently that the Carpenter's Home Church, under the leadership of Karl Strader, will be sold. It doesn't profit to be a thief and to raise up a thief! Yes, crime doesn't pay.
Dan was not an entrepreneur, he was a first class con artist who used religious words, quoted the Bible, prayed with and preyed on his victims. He modeled himself after his protégé and hero-his Dad, and did the things that the Senior Pastor and the Strader family did in Carpenter's Home Church continually. Unfortunately, there are others in the Assembly of God who do the same things, even pastors and superintendents.
The facts would later show the Straders for what they are and how they:
· Ignored the plight of the elderly victims and raise tens of thousands of dollars for Dan.
· Ignored moral discrepancies in Dan's multiple admission of lying and guilt, and declare victory over their enemies, which never came.
· Identified the forces of darkness as anyone who would question their views and positions on matters, especially in regards to Dan's crimes.
· Ridiculed and lampooned Dan's victims, by deriding them for testifying against Dan.
· Arrogantly refused to admit doing any significant wrong and say it was the fault of others a conspiracy out to get them, because of who they are, high profile Christians.
· Repeatedly used the pulpit of Carpenter's Home church to issue misleading statements about Dan and others such as "we are being crucified by the press" and using lies and deceptions.
· Issued unbelievable hate and slander from a public pulpit, on three investors or victims, who were embezzled by a con artist.
· Used people and things in Carpenter's Home Church for their own hidden agendas. Jim, who was used by the Straders for his considerable talent, and to do the punishing work of building Carpenter's Home Church, then threw him out like a gum wrapper. Jim believed in checks and balances, and this was something that Karl and Dan Strader didn't do or practice. Therefore, they hated Jim for loving the truth, and sought a means, at all costs, even at the price of splitting the church, to see him removed from his position.
· Denied members and staff members access to elected deacons, and used others on staff as Roy Aldrich had written to work them over with "a rubber hose" for not submitting to their demands and wishes.
· Ensured that their salaries were confidential and their positions were maintained at all costs, while others less fortunate and more talented had to leave, even though they had given their best and expected a degree of respect for their loyalty and hard work. It wasn't what you did but who you know, and the same is true in churches today.
So it safe to assume that Dan Strader is not getting out of prison soon because the God who put him there is not stupid and neither are others?
1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,
1:8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,
1:9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
1:10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision,
1:11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.
1:12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, "Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons."
1:13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, (Titus)