Head of mission turns down lottery-win donation

A pastor who runs a struggling Long Island soup kitchen declined to accept a generous donation from a church that received $3 million by a lottery winner. Pastor James Ryan, of Lighthouse Mission, admits

News 12 Staff

Sep 14, 2008, 5:57 PM

Updated 5,787 days ago

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A pastor who runs a struggling Long Island soup kitchen declined to accept a generous donation from a church that received $3 million by a lottery winner.
Pastor James Ryan, of Lighthouse Mission, admits that his organization desperately needs food, funding and volunteers, but he says he could not accept the $100,000 offered to him by True North Community Church in Port Jefferson because the mission counsels people with gambling addictions.
?We don't want them to stumble,? he says. ?We want to be able to show people that we don't need to put our faith in the lottery.?
Last month, an anonymous donor gave the church all $3 million he or she won from a lottery scratch-off ticket, and the pastor decided to share the windfall with several local charities, including Ryan?s organization.
Ryan says he is grateful to the Port Jefferson church, but adds that as much as his mission needs the money, he will not put his faith in a game of chance.
According to Ryan, the Lighthouse Mission will be forced to close its doors a few months from now, and the building will be knocked down and replaced by luxury town houses. As of now, the mission has no other place to go.
?We know that everything will work out because we trust in God, and we know that he is going to pull it all together,? he says.


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