Forgive Us Our Debts

The news just keeps getting worse for investors in the Baptist Foundation of Arizona

"There still seems to be a strong interest in class action going forward," he says.


It's all very confusing and demoralizing for investors like George Bradley, a retired postal worker who lives in Safford and invested $144,000 with BFA. Bradley's wife, Dean, 64, a retired bank clerk, invested her retirement funds, about $100,000, with BFA.
Mark Lang

The Bradleys don't know which option to choose.

"We don't know what to do or what decision to make yet," Bradley says. "I do know that I have a real problem being a Southern Baptist.

"I'm still trying to understand what that letter says.

"I don't understand it all. I just flat don't understand it."

Bradley says the options detailed in the letter seem to offer investors "practically nothing."

"If I accept 20 cents on the dollar, I would get $28,000 for my $144,000, and there is no guarantee I'll get it, because there is a $40 million cap. And 13,000 people will try to get at that $40 million as fast as they can. It ain't gonna go around," he says.

"The other thing is the issue of stock in some new company. I'm not into the stock market. I am not ready to accept learning about stocks. But I guess if we hold it, perhaps we might be able to sell it."

Bradley, who is in poor health, says he has been "devastated" that a foundation affiliated with his Southern Baptist religion would squander his life savings. He likens BFA's current board to the Clinton administration.

"They know they've done wrong and they are going to say anything to save their hide," says Bradley.

"I figure if this keeps eating away at me, I won't be around to collect anything anyway," says Bradley.

To see an archive of the previously published "MoneyChangers" series, visit the New Times Web site at http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/1998/121098/baptist.html

Contact Terry Greene Sterling at 602-229-8437 or at her online address: tgreene@newtimes.com

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