- Has been a firm supporter of The Confessing Movement. Both senior pastor Ed Robb and associate pastor Rob Renfroe have served on the organization’s national board. Renfroe last year became president and publisher of Good News, the national umbrella group that includes The Confessing Movement and other right-wing religious organizations.
- Has been the host church for Texas Annual Conference, and has been paid tens of thousands of dollars by the conference for hosting. This will change in 2011, when the event moves to Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center.
- Has failed to pay 100 percent of its apportionments. Many folks have wondered why the Conference has continued to pay The Woodlands UMC for hosting Annual Conference when the church is not meeting its financial obligations to the conference and the denomination.
Now, the church faces an Internal Revenue Service investigation into possible violations of its tax-exempt status. Senior Pastor Ed Robb, you see, also is Candidate Ed Robb. Given some of his reported political activities within the church, the IRS investigation should be interesting.
Robb is running for re-election to The Woodlands Township board, the equivalent of a city council. Candidate Robb’s campaign used one of the church’s phone lines for robo-calls by a state senator urging voters to support Robb. This use of church property for political purposes resulted in a formal complaint to the IRS by one of the other three candidates for the seat Robb currently holds.
Also, Candidate Robb/Pastor Robb has addressed his congregation about his candidacy from the pulpit. He apparently has not offered the other candidates an opportunity to do the same. This, too, should draw the IRS’ scrutiny.
One final interesting note: Candidate Robb has raised more than $35,000 for his re-election campaign. This is far more than the amount raised by all three other candidates combined. And this has happened while his church has fallen so short on its fundraising that it has been unable, or unwilling, to pay its fair share towards the United Methodist Church.
We’ll keep you informed of further developments.