Turmoil still imbedded at the PCRM

Recent days have seen the termination of Billy Fox as Director of the PCRM (currently operating as “Pathways Christian Recovery Mission” but soon back to the banner of “Panama City Rescue Mission” according to sources). With this change at the helm of day to day operations, the opportunity is there for the organization to return to being an organization that truly provides needed services for those in our community who need help but do so in a way that compliments our city, is respectful of our donation dollars and operates as good community neighbors. Although Mr. Fox was a key component in the direction and actions taken by the PCRM, keep in mind an organization that operates with multi-million dollar budgets and a less than transparent way regarding finances, there is often the opportunity for other encampments of deceit to take hold, leveraging assets and using funds to finance pet projects outside the main focus and direction of the organizations charter and so is the case with the PCRM. Mr. Thurman Chambers has taken the position of Director of the PCRM as of the first part of October but his arrival did not come without some soul searching on his part as to his ability to be effective in his leading role at the PCRM.

thurman chambers

THURMAN CHAMBERS

During a meeting on October 11th Mr. Chambers expressed great hesitation on his part to again participate with the PCRM as his “hands were being handcuffed by the board of directors” and specifically Rev Henry Hazard. Rev. Hazard as the president of the board of directors of the PCRM was the one who terminated Billy Fox due in large part to his inability to maintain and increase donation dollars into the organization. With revenues drastically down as our community has been able to see the PCRM more clearly and the problems associated with it, Billy Fox became a liability and unable to justify his and his wife’s salaries.

hazrd

Rev. Henry Hazard

It would seem there has been several power struggles within the walls of the PCRM upon Billy Fox’s removal. Hazard as previously noted was instrumental in Fox’s removal but Hazard himself offered his resignation to the board on October 21st. One can speculate that either Mr Chambers has uncovered enough information that puts further blemishes on the organization or other more responsible board members have come to their senses and have seen Rev. Hazard himself as a further handicap to the organization and have seized the reins to bring the organization back into being a respectable organization.

byrd

Rev. Cathy Byrd

But the power struggles are not limited to board members and director, key operational employees too have been hustling for position. The PCRM offers a variety of different programs in attempts to service different needs. Rev. Cathy Byrd who heads the womens programs has taken a confrontational and aggressive position against Rev. Joe Atkinson who heads the men’s programs. Apparently she has been successful in her efforts to remove him as he is no longer listed on the PCRM website directory.  In this official “Pathways Recovery Ministries” video notice the one thing missing almost completely from this video.  This the exception of just a few quick snippets there are no mentions of the Men’s program activities. This is quite by design.

https://vimeo.com/76039928

joe

Rev. Joe Atkinson

On Wed. October 2 the Mission held it’s monthly graduation ceremony at 609 Allen location. Noticibly absent from this graduation, unlike any previous awards programs, was any women from the Bethel program and none of the woman staff with the exception of Cathy Byrd, who consequently came to run the show because she saw yet another opportunity to publicly emasculate Reverend Atkinson who usually officiates at graduation. When one of the men students who was graduating asked why the women were not in attendance, Rev Cathy Byrd said that they were unable to attend due to having to work to get the new Bethel location up and running. As it turns out they were not in fact working to get the new location running, Cathy Byrd had held a private, separate graduation ceremony on September 25, 2013 at New Bethel for the women graduates (this has never been done before). No men were invited or even told about this change. In fact they were lied to. This is  tactic used by Cathy Byrd to separate her ministry from the rest of Pathways and exercise her need for control.

But past the basic issues of “power” is the one that “power=money”. The PCRM operates with hundreds of thousands of dollars each year with little to no public disclosure as to how funds are being used.  Within days of Mr. Fox’s removal due in large part to his inability  to maintain revenues and the organization reaching a  point of financial crisis, the PCRM conducted a book signing by author River Jordan coordinated by the director of development. This event was put together as warm and fuzzy feel good event but used PCRM donation dollars to pay for expenses. Here is the email offered by the director after the event:

Dear All,
Wow, what a day! The Lord is SO good. Good to us all!
It was a day filled with excitement and newness and togetherness and cooperation and messages and truth and love!
River Jordan was extraordinary! She was so refreshing! She made me laugh! Yet her message was so simple, so real. We are blessed to have her as our friend. She loves people, God, and our little mission with it’s big heart!

I want to thank everyone. I mean everyone for having a hand in this fun and hopefully financially successful event.
Pastor hazard and all the BODs, thank you for your support especially over the last few weeks. Sometimes we overlook the difficult decisions you have to make for the best of all concerned. Especially thanks to Henry, Michelle, and Cathy for attending. It meant a lot to us.
Taylor, Regina, and Sabrina, thank you for all that you do daily but thank you for so much help you give me. You help me perform my job better and I am proud to work with you.
Cathy and Bill, thank you for accomplishing all that you do without hesitation. The video was wonderful! I know it was time consuming and last minute. Cathy, thank you for your part today in delivering the needed information to our guests. It was eloquent and direct. Thank you also for moving around schedules for the ladies so that many students and staff could attend. I hope they enjoyed being there as much as I enjoyed them being there! Please relay to all of them my thanks for lending a hand and smile!
*Ken, thank you to you, Chris and Beth for juggling funds to pay for this event. Although it may not show immediate results, I pray this type of event still proves to be worthwhile as it provides valuable first hand understanding to so many. Thank you also to you and Rick and Mike for helping provide the men students and staff. I, again, was pleased they could be apart of these very special occasions! Please tell them all many thanks.
Michael Sexton, thank you for your calming, take control attitude in getting things done. I appreciate you. Brother Joe, you were missed but I have a book for you!
My apologies to the many of us that went without lunch! We had an unexpected number of at the door guests. I will make it up somehow!!!!! Just one question to those who did eat…was the soup good? Sure hated missing that!!!! :o)
Thank you to all that weren’t there as they were holding down the fort!! If I missed thanking someone it is not intentional. Just tired!!! And if so, I am sure it will hit me in the middle of the night!!!

All in all, a good day! See you in the morning and get some rest. Good night and I am praying for you!!!

Did you catch the reference and thanks to Mr. Ken Owens? ” Thanks for juggling funds to pay for this event”? Seriously, this is how your donation dollars are being spent. They are being “juggled” to serve the personal agendas of employees  of a charitable organization who don’t have to answer to anyone. The PCRM is one half million dollars in debt with past due payments to vendors that provide resources to service those in need while moneys are being juggled around to pay for an authors appearance at a luncheon event. This is continuation of the mindset that has found the mission where they are today, apparently out of money and out of favor with the community who they ask donation dollars from.

ken

Ken Owens, Finance & Operations

Which takes us to Mr. Owens. The man with the check book. As the PCRM has methodically hidden from our community the facts about where money comes from  (yes, they used tax payer funds through third party sources) to how those funds are being used, it is often hard to pin point indiscretions.  Information from a variety of sources have left impressions that finances are as not being handled as respectful as they should be.  We here at MTM have committed to be as forthright and accurate in our reporting, not posting information that is not verified but we will go on record as saying information is mounting that paint a much less pleasant picture of the financial books  of the PCRM.

Our hopes are that Mr. Chambers has taken his role with the PCRM with a degree of seriousness to address real issues. The PCRM has the ability to be one party in conjunction with other organizations to offer solutions to our community. None of this will happen until top to bottom, board of directors, directors and staff set the appropriate tone and conduct themselves in a way that honors the charitable and giving  nature that our community offers.

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5 Comments

  1. Matt

     /  October 24, 2013

    You are still at it with your negative assault on the mission. Imagine if you will if the Rescue Mission had never been around to help people desperately in need? I went through the same assaults here in Port St Joe with radical people just like you. I take your negative rhetoric personal. I for one have lived on the streets. I know what it is like to be hungry and no place to call home. Thanks be to God for people that reached out of their way to help people like me. Even when it is not popular because of people like you with their own opinionated rhetoric. God has shown His power here to the radicals that came against the Hope Center here in St Joe and He can and will in Panama City. It is becoming evident with your following. Congratulations, you have almost nobody that even takes the time or effort to even follow your negativity anymore. By the way, the Hope Center has helped hundreds of needy adults and children here in St Joe. I will not even give one once of effort to even read or comment on your negative posts any more. The only way I will speak to you is face to face. You like to hide behind your P.C. I on the other hand will not… “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.” I will be happy to meet with your where ever you like. You know my name, what is yours?

    Reply
    • Matt, as board of directors member here are a couple of pieces of information that you need to understand. First off, if you bother to read the details of our blog you would know that we as citizens of Panama city who pay taxes, live in downtown, operate businesses downtown and raise our kids in our community are the first to support and advocate the need to help those in our community who truly need help. It is who we are as a community to be charitable. Even the most dyein the wool bah humbug could easily make the case that it is a responsible action to help those in need getting them off handouts and bringing them back to being contributing members of society much like what you have experienced. The issue is WHO is doing these things, HOW they are doing it and the OVERSIGHT that they are offering the community who is footing the bill and to this the board of directors and management of the PCRM have consistently received a failing grade.

      Secondly, as far as “nobody even takes the time to read or even follow the negativity”your point is just a wild stab in the dark and shows the mindset by which you and your fellow board members make decisions. As I am sure you are aware, technology is such that we can easily monitor and track responses to overall traffic and individual postings. As of ten minutes ago, our blog has reach a level of just over 89,000 page views, with an average daily traffic of over 200 page views. That sounds like a pretty robust level of readership for a blog that was started out of frustration of local media channels ignoring the facts. The 200 of people each and every day who visit or blog are the same folks you asking donation dollars from. Our blogs gives them the facts on what kind of organization they are sending checks to.

      Lastly, emails riddled with biblical terms and phrases quite frankly are insulting and reflect nothing more than a smoke and mirrors attitude that has plagued your organization. When presented with real issues, you conveniently want to hide behind the banner of Christianity. The problem for you is that it isnt working anymore. We have pastors sending us emails with information complaining about your organization, we have people who have volunteered at your facility who send us emails. We even have several of your employees who send us information and the reason for that is simple, your organization has lost its way and people are tired of the slimy, ugly way the organization is being run. The information that we have posted on our blog really is only the tip of the iceberg. We have a number of leads that we are following that we are unable to post because it is unverifiable.

      My advice to you is instead of throwing rocks at us, listen to the complaints and fix them. Getting rid of Billy Fox was the step in the right direction. Now with Henry Hazard out of the picture also, the heads of the snake has been cut off. I am not familiar with Mr. Chambers and am willing to give him the due consideration that he has come with the best intentions for not only your organization but our community at large but we will be watching. What are YOU going to do to fix the problems?

      Reply
  2. David Agosta

     /  January 29, 2014

    As you know, I posted on here last year, about ending my volunteering at PCMI; after four weeks. This was because some of the volunteers and a staff member had a problem with me being pro-Catholic. (Since then, I returned to the Catholic Church, so they’ll feel worst toward me). I got some positive feedback from some, saying my “pro-Catholic” views, were no threat, if I didn’t cram it down their throats. Well, the staff member who had a problem with me, was Joe Atkinson. I don’t hate him, but I don’t respect him or cry over his leaving the Mission.

    When he questioned my views, I brought up Biblical support for the RNC and he kept coming up with counterpoints. Also, he kept bringing up, “God is not the author of confusion,” when it came to my ordination; as a Protestant evangelist. When I emailed him last year, for an clearer explanation, he gave me a run around story. He said, I said, I was a lifelong Catholic, who was called into a Protestant ministry. That wasn’t what I told him, in our first meeting.

    I was raised in the Assemblies of God and attended and A/G church, most of my life. I got my last two years of college, through Global University of the Assemblies of God (first two years from Gulf Coast Community College). But, I couldn’t get credentials to preach in the A/G district, due to their politics and (later) marrying a divorced woman. I was ordained independently, through a local United Methodist Church. Yet, Bro. Joe questioned my ordination, based on personal views of ordination and my pro-Catholic views.

    Going back to my first meeting with him, what I thought was a healthy debate, on why I changed my views of the Roman Catholic Church, became a game of “Gotcha” or “Tit-For-Tat”, with Bro. Joe. I left that meeting with him, (he said we would resume our talk next week), feeling uncomfortable. I didn’t like the way it went and it didn’t feel like two Christians putting Jesus first. I prayed about it for three days and told the Mission, including seeing Brother Joe at my full time job, I wasn’t returning.

    In the time I talked with him (2013), I watched him change his story with me again, about his questioning. I emailed him back and told him what I thought of his response. I bluntly told him, “I CAN NOT AND WILL NOT AGREE WITH YOUR VIEWS.”

    Maybe I was wrong to take that approach, but his actions to me, weren’t Christlike nor truthful. Now that I know he’s gone from the Mission, I can now say he was the staff member, whose actions showed he was anti-Catholic.

    David Agosta
    Callaway, Fl

    Reply
  3. David Agosta

     /  January 29, 2014

    P.S. The initials RNC, should be RCC. Sorry for the confusion.

    Reply
  4. David Agosta

     /  January 29, 2014

    PPS. Also, PCMI should be PCRM. Sorry again.

    Reply

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