Opening the Chest of Joash

(Special thanks to a reader for tip and some links)

A couple of weeks ago, WorldNetDaily reported on an interesting religious charitable effort post-Katrina:

The charitable arm of a Louisiana pastors’ council is moving at full tilt in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, providing everything from physical and spiritual sustenance to chainsaw crews to help in clean-up efforts.

PRC Compassion is a division of the Pastor’s Resource Council, a coalition of Louisiana churches and pastors formed several years ago to provide for community needs.

…Gene Mills of the Louisiana Family Forum is on the group’s pastoral committee. Yesterday, he posted a message stressing the need for continued assistance in the state.

“The local churches in the state are supporting 10,000 people who lost everything,” Mills wrote. “At this point, there is no help from the federal government – Tony [Perkins of Family Research Council] has made every effort to get assistance from folks in the faith-based office at the White House to no avail.

The PRC itself is low-profile, and has no pre-Katrina web presence. However, the Louisiana Family Forum (LFF) gives a bit of detail about the “community needs” the PRC is addressing:

Because LFF refuses to remain silent in this culture war, we want to provide an opportunity for pastors to arm themselves against the attack on the institution of marriage and other attacks on family values. This is the Pastors Resource Council.

We’ve identified 400 churches across the State who have joined the PRC and are committed to uniting and working together. We’re asking pastors to commit to four simple “Action Items.” Click the “Pastors Resource Council” title above to learn more!

Then, weirdly:

Many pastors have requested Adolf Hitler’s quote regarding his assessment of the pre-war church. Here it is.

The “Action Items” consist of: opposition to same-sex marriage; distribution of LFF materials; help with a voter registration push; and donation of cash to LFF. The Statewide Director is Rev. Mark Stermer of Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge. There is also a vaguely sinister logo that manages to make a Bible in silhouette look like a gun (see below). Can’t think why the “folks in the faith-based office” are dragging their heels…

The Beauregard Daily News gives further information:

The Pastors Resource Council (PRC) is a network of pastors and churches throughout the state. For the duration of the present relief effort, the PRC will include the Family Resource Council under the direction of Louisianian Tony Perkins and Louisiana Congressman Bobby Jindal. The effort itself is being headed-up by Executive director of the Louisiana Family Forum Gene Mills with great help from Paster Dino Rizzo of Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge.

But there’s also someone else involved, keeping a low profile. Back to the LFF website, where the section on its board includes a profile of a certain Lee Domingue:

Lee is an independent business owner and founder and operator of The Lazard Group (named in honor of his grandfather). Along with their four sons, Lee and Laura have lived in Baton Rouge for over seven years and attend Healing Place Church.

The Lazard Group was founded in 1997, and is also known as Lazard Sterling. It is a conglomerate working in many areas, and earlier this month Domingue and two other Lazard executives, S. Chris Herndon and Riley Hagan III (profiles can be seen here), filed a new organisation with the Louisiana Secretary of State. This was Chest of Joash, Inc. Returning to the PRC Compassion website, we find at the base of the page:

© 2005 Chest of Joash, Inc. All Rights Reserved. PRC Compassion is a division of Chest of Joash, Inc.

The “Chest of Joash” is a reference to a Biblical story, found in 2 Chronicles 24:

And the king [Joash] called for Jehoiada the chief, and said unto him, Why hast thou not required of the Levites to bring in out of Judah and out of Jerusalem the collection, according to the commandment of Moses the servant of the LORD, and of the congregation of Israel, for the tabernacle of witness? And at the king’s commandment they made a chest, and set it without at the gate of the house of the LORD…And all the princes and all the people rejoiced, and brought in, and cast into the chest, until they had made an end.

Domingue’s company profile notes that he “serves on the boards of numerous faith-based organizations.” A Biblical tale of tax money going to religious enterprises might therefore have special appeal.



PS: One other link that may be interesting is that Chris Herndon of Lazard/Chest of Joash used to be CEO of The Mattress Firm; here he worked with Greg Feste, who is deeply involved with the charismatic grouping known as Every Nation (see blog Christian Dem for more details on Feste). Every Nation has been the subject of this blog several times before; EN is also involved with PRC Compassion.

4 Responses

  1. Trying to figure out the point of all this information given.

    What’s the deal? What are you implying?

  2. I’m not implying anything, and I respect the efforts of those, such as yourself, who are actually doing stuff in the afflicted areas. But any group that wants faith-based funding ought to be looked at in the round; and the creation of a large post-hurricane church coalition that places a central emphasis on anti-homosexuality and “culture war” is an interesting development in itself. Any further information you might have would be gratefully received.

  3. […] churches in Louisiana (although Jernigan and Bayou La Batre are in Alabama). As I blogged just recently, PRC is a division of the Pastors Resource Council, which was set up by the Louisiana Family Forum […]

  4. […] Resource Council (sic for apostrophe) set up PRC Compassion to dispense aid post-Katrina. See here and […]

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