A Message From The Board of Directors
The Gathering Oasis Church
Department of Administrative Offices
4480 – H South Cobb Dr. Ste 391
Smyrna, GA 30080
September 24, 2020
Greetings Members of The Gathering Oasis Church Family:
We, the Board of Directors of The Gathering Oasis Church, trust that you and your loved ones are safe and well. We understand that several months of social distancing, changes to your daily routines, as well as the interruptions with work, school, and church, have not lent itself to create the easiest of times. However, we believe none of this catches God by surprise; and we speak His peace over you and your families. Even though we haven’t been able to gather as we are accustomed to, we have not diminished our mission as a church: to honor Christ our King; encouraging one another, as iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17); and to using our gifts to advance the kingdom.
Earlier this year, there were serious allegations for misconduct brought upon The Gathering Oasis Church, as well as Pastor Cornelius Lindsey. Some of those accusations included tax evasion, misuse of church funds, and spiritual misconduct. The duty of the Board of Directors is to uphold and maintain the integrity of the church as it pertains to leadership performance, legal compliance, financial oversight and stewardship, as well as the interest of the people that make up the church. As such, and in response to the allegations, we hired an Atlanta-based accounting firm to conduct a full financial audit of The Gathering Oasis Church. The goal was to confirm that the church is operating within all laws and regulations according to the IRS and state governing laws. We also sought independent spiritual counsel to ascertain the alleged spiritual misconduct.
The purpose of this letter is to inform you of the findings from the audit in addition to conclusions pertaining to allegations of spiritual misconduct. As of September 5, 2020, the audit results from the private independent accounting firm were returned to the Board of Directors and Pastor Cornelius Lindsey with no clear evidence of misappropriation. The findings did include, however, a recommendation that The Gathering Oasis Church continues to work with a third-party accounting firm to manage our books to ensure that our records remain accurate and structured appropriately.
As it pertained to the specific allegation of fraud and/or co-mingling of funds, in relation to Mrs. Heather Lindsey and the Singles retreat hosted in 2016; the audit findings revealed that reimbursement was necessary. As it pertained to the specific allegation of fraud and/or co-mingling of funds in relation to Pastor Cornelius Lindsey, The Gathering Oasis Church, and the purchase of a vehicle belonging to Pastor & Mrs. Lindsey in 2015; the audit findings revealed that there were no illegal transactions or co-mingling of funds. Although this transaction began with a legal sale from the Lindsey’s to the church, it ended with a final transfer to a private third party. This transaction was verified in the audit findings, as well.
As it pertained to the specific allegation of spiritual misconduct, in relation to Pastor Cornelius Lindsey; we, the Board of Directors, due to the sensitive nature of these allegations and in keeping with our duty to uphold and maintain the integrity of the church in the area of leadership performance; recommended a sabbatical for Pastor Cornelius Lindsey, for a period of 6 weeks, or until the investigations were concluded. Furthermore, during this time, we required Pastor Cornelius Lindsey to undergo a spiritual restoration program to be administered and conducted by a member of the Spiritual Advisory Board, as well as weekly therapy sessions with a private therapist. Except for a few services, Pastor Cornelius agreed to the Board of Director’s recommendation. After conducting numerous interviews, we, the Board of Directors, were not able to substantiate the allegations. Pastor Cornelius Lindsey has since been restored to his pastoral duties.
Together, we strive to stand as a church that is not perfect, but one that becomes stronger as a result of those invested in the call to find God, gather together, grow in purpose and go and make a difference in their spheres of influence. We petition your prayers during this time for wisdom, healing, and the overall continued health of our church community, The Gathering Oasis Church, Pastor Cornelius Lindsey, and his family. We thank you for your continued love and support.
The Board of Directors
The Gathering Oasis Church
cc: Cornelius Lindsey