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Report: #348266

Complaint Review: First United Methodist Church, Hendersonsville NC - Hendersonville North Carolina

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Monroe North Carolina
  • First United Methodist Church, Hendersonsville NC 204 Sixth St Hendersonville, North Carolina U.S.A.
  • Phone: 828-693-4275
  • Web:
  • Category: Churches

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I contacted the First United Methodist Church in Hendersonville, North Carolina regarding having my daughter's wedding there. She wanted to have the wedding close to her college and where her friends are located. I was told by the church that only members are welcomed to have weddings at the church. This is not a friendly nor Christ-like attitude by a church that professes to welcome all to their congregation. I contacted 5 more churches in the area just to see what their policy was and all welcomed having the wedding there.

Clyde
Monroe, North Carolina
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/07/2008 11:52 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/first-united-methodist-church-hendersonsville-nc/hendersonville-north-carolina-28739/first-united-methodist-church-hendersonsville-nc-first-united-methodist-church-does-not-w-348266. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#8 Consumer Comment

Church Wedding Guidelines

AUTHOR: Jack Drawhorne - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Monday, August 03, 2009
Clyde, you were not ripped-off by the church. They did not take your money and then fail to deliver. You asked them a question (can we use the church) and they gave you one of the three standard answers any church might have given - Yes and follow these rules, No because of standing rules based on circumstances, or Maybe and we will have a church board meeting which may still say no buy might say yes.

Your most biting complaint was that this was an unwelcoming attitude - that is, not Christlike - "by a church that professes to welcome all to their congregation". But there is no indication that your daughter or the prospective groom was a member or attender of that congregation or indicating any desire to actually become a part of the congregation only that she desired to transact the business of renting facilities at a convenient and perhaps aesthetically pleasing location.

I understand very much the angst of the family that has been rejected for a wedding at a church facility that was conveniently located for their needs. It is something which I deal with on a regular basis. But there are several things the world simply does not understand about churches and weddings.

Even some congregations just don't get it either as a result they have become chapels for hire which is shameful.

You did not say WHY they had a policy that resulted in the turn down.

First of all, the people who establish and maintain the church do so for the spiritual needs of the local community and not the convenience of whoever might come along. Most who charge for the use of their facility have to do so to cover maintenance costs, cleaning bills, increased utilities and so forth. But that does not mean that they have established a plan to provide "on-demand" wedding or funeral chapel services to whomever might come along. Rather, it tends to be just for those who attend the regular services of that church and their immediate families. Some will also provide for others in the community who have a permanent residence there. Our church made the mistake of opening its doors to whomever wished to pay the "rent". The weddings were usually not too spiritually oriented (remember a church wedding is to symbolize the spiritual union of the two under the supervision of the Lord God, not a social occassion) and several times alcohol (ours is a dry community and our church has rules against alcohol) was served in violation of our printed rules - the bride and family insisted it was :"her wedding and she could do as she pleased" but it was not her facility or theirs. And then there was a family that deliberately lied to us and held a Buddhist ceremony in a Christian church. Someone who is ALREADY a member of the congregation is less likely to abuse the opportunity.

Secondly, many church insurance policies have become very stringent on the practices of the church when it comes to persons the policies define as "non-members of the congregation." The legal theory is that persons who have some kind of ongoing-relationship with the church will be less likely to sue of some small problem occurs. People twist ankles and break fingers and many other very unfortunate and painful things setting up and cleaning up. Its a part of real life. Liability policies are their to cover the costs of medical care and so forth. But the greater the exposure to risk, the greater the costs. Our own church operates with very little margin between offering donations and actual costs. And the costs keep going up even though the incomes of the families helping to pay the bills don't. We have to keep our insurance costs as low as possible on the liability side to make sure we can afford the insurance cost on the wind, fire and flood loss side.

Third, a church that has an open policy of facility rental on demand for the general public is violating its non-profit status. It has become a business for hire. This means that donations are no longer tax deductible, property tax (often very high on the small budget of a church) will have to be paid, and the spiritual practices of the church then become subject to modifications of the worldly law. Some churches do not believe in same-sex marriages. In some countries, to avoid the legal ramifications of refusing to have such, certain churches have discontinued having any wedding ceremonies except as part of their regular worship services between a man and woman who have both been long time members of the congregation and gone through extensive pastoral counseling. Many churches, ours included, require that same extensive pastoral counseling on a spiritual and practical level so that weddings do not become hasty decisions that might be regretted soon after. In a community situation in which same-sex marriage might be legal, if a church had a general public policy, it could not exclude based on gender beliefs.

Fourth, just because Johnny jumped off the bridge and does so every Saturday at 5 pm, does that mean Jimmy and Joe and Julia and Katie should jump as well. Perhaps Jimmy is afraid of heights, would you tease him for that fear? Maybe Joe can't swim, would you still expect him to jump anyway? It may be that Julia and Katie feel that jumping is unladylike. Should be we angry with them for maintaining standards that they feel are important for themselves. Neither of these four tried to stop Johnny, perhaps they should have, perhaps not. If you want to go jumping with Johnny - do so. But don't feel harsh toward the other four simply because for their reasons - whatever they might be, they do not jump. The moral of the story - you were turned down, get over it. There were other churches that do not care about the spiritual life of your daughter, just the color of your money. There were other churches that were not so concerned about the nature of the cermony, just the appearance of being busy as a marketing tool to the neighborhood. There were other churches that said Yes.

Get over it. I hope by now your daughter is having a happy and productive married life.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

Weddings

AUTHOR: Cat - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Friday, August 29, 2008
Many churches require pre-wedding counseling etc... before weddings. I am not sure that just because they declined your daughters wedding that it is a "rip off" because there are many good reasons for this. Have they met your daughter and or her future husband? Checked out divorce rates lately? Just because they declined does not mean it was a "rip off", a paragraph does not tell me much. What were there reasonings behind saying "no". Had they met you , your daughter? Any church can rent a hall, but that does nothing for the fact they might just want to know something about them, their future marraige and future children. Have they been thru pre marriage counseling? How long have they dated? A good church would want to know these things. Least I would hope so!
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#6 Consumer Comment

Think about this logically

AUTHOR: Sherrie - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Thursday, August 28, 2008
I am proud to have a personal relationship with this Jesus you speak of. I am a member of a very loving Baptist church not far from this church.

What would make you think that you should have open access to the house of God? What if you were....say...a Wiccan? A Satanist? An Athiest? Should we as Christians just allow you to use God's facilities at the drop of a hat? I don't think so.

We have a beautiful new fellowship at our church and it is open for the free usage of church members. It is not a community building, it is not a town hall, it is not an armory building. It is God's sacred house. The place we go to meet with Him and worship Him.

We love visitors and are thrilled to see folks come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. If this ever happens to you, I am sure you would understand why God's house is so precious!

God bless!!
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#5 Consumer Comment

Think about this logically

AUTHOR: Sherrie - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Thursday, August 28, 2008
I am proud to have a personal relationship with this Jesus you speak of. I am a member of a very loving Baptist church not far from this church.

What would make you think that you should have open access to the house of God? What if you were....say...a Wiccan? A Satanist? An Athiest? Should we as Christians just allow you to use God's facilities at the drop of a hat? I don't think so.

We have a beautiful new fellowship at our church and it is open for the free usage of church members. It is not a community building, it is not a town hall, it is not an armory building. It is God's sacred house. The place we go to meet with Him and worship Him.

We love visitors and are thrilled to see folks come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. If this ever happens to you, I am sure you would understand why God's house is so precious!

God bless!!
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#4 Consumer Comment

Think about this logically

AUTHOR: Sherrie - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Thursday, August 28, 2008
I am proud to have a personal relationship with this Jesus you speak of. I am a member of a very loving Baptist church not far from this church.

What would make you think that you should have open access to the house of God? What if you were....say...a Wiccan? A Satanist? An Athiest? Should we as Christians just allow you to use God's facilities at the drop of a hat? I don't think so.

We have a beautiful new fellowship at our church and it is open for the free usage of church members. It is not a community building, it is not a town hall, it is not an armory building. It is God's sacred house. The place we go to meet with Him and worship Him.

We love visitors and are thrilled to see folks come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. If this ever happens to you, I am sure you would understand why God's house is so precious!

God bless!!
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#3 Consumer Comment

I'm confused

AUTHOR: Northwest - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Your opening line is the church doesn't welcome visitor, but the body of the complaint is about not being able to use the facilities. I went on the web and found that church, and on-line they have a form for rental that covers members and non-members, but also states not all applications will be accepted. No reasons stated, but I can think of several that have nothing to do with being 'unfriendly'. I have this feeling that something is missing in your report, maybe not.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Where's the ripoff?

AUTHOR: Mlmguru - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Monday, July 07, 2008
How much money did you lose from this sale? Wheres the beef? It's my educated opinion and observation that most of these church going people are hypocrates. What is jebus gonna do?
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#1 Consumer Comment

Churches ARE Social Clubs Open Only to Their Members!

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Monday, July 07, 2008
Thank you for telling the world what I have known for years.

You don't just go to someone's country club and demand entry! Unless you are a member or a friend of a member, you are out of luck.

In your case, you wanted to have a memorable wedding experience for your daughter IN A CHURCH BUT apparently, you were NOT a member of their social club, you did not appear to be a proper candidate for membership and IT IS their social club and not yours.

Since they are a private, religious organization THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXCLUDE WHOMEVER THEY WANT TO FROM THEIR FACILITY.

So where is the rip-off here?

When I tried to find a place to worship, many places just flat out presented me with a request for a credit report statement and a bunch of other papers more suitable for a country club membership application than a church. I just left.
Many other times I tried to visit a church, synagogue, shul, Hindu temple, whatever and got cold, hard, alien stares __ WE DO NOT WANT OUTSIDERS IN HERE,FOOL! ---THAT SORT OF WELCOME.

The only people who did NOT reject me on sight were the Orthodox Chassidic Jews and the Catholics. Need less to say, I am down on charismatic, Protestants and other so-called Christians because their boy Jesus is NOWHERE to be seen in their practices. Read the book and see for yourself how Christiahs OUGHT to live and see what is REALLY going on in there --assuming they will let you sit and check it out from the vantage point of a back pew...

Even the Church I was baptized and confirmed in rejected me when I had no money or fine vehicle or deluxe neighborhood. I did not wear a tank top, cut-offs and thongs when I went for religious services. I wore the best I had which was slacks, longsleeved shirt, sport jacket and tie. I had a haircut and well-groomed and still no go.

You could have rented a hall to have your daughters' wedding celebrated in.

Why bother these people who have made their EXCLUSIVE little cliques and their pastors are comforting the comfortable...

YOU SHOULD HAVE RENTED A HALL SOMEWHERE.

If you had no church of your own to go to, you didn't need to rent a church.
These folks want REGULAR TITHERS -- that's 10 percent of your income for most people and 90 percent of your income to the televangelist crooks.

A Justice of the Peace wedding is just as legal and you won't be stuck with a bunch of bills and things until the first divorce.

STAY OUT OF THE CHURCH SOCIAL CLUBS!


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