Former Zion pastor had troubled history in Va.

Philadelphia Daily News

POSTED: Wednesday, July 30, 2014

THREE WEEKS before taking the helm of North Philadelphia’s Zion Baptist Church, the Rev. A. Carl Prince met with leaders of the small Virginia church he was leaving.

On Dec. 18, 2011, he and Mount Hope Baptist Church leaders signed an “Announcement of Retirement” that took effect at the end of that year.

Prince asked that “in the interest of the Church and Christian civility, that all litigation and investigations both civil and criminal, present and future, be ceased,” the statement said.

On Jan. 12, 2012, Prince officially started at Zion, at Broad and Venango streets, one of the city’s most prominent churches. For 38 years, it had been the church of the late human-rights and economic-development advocate Rev. Leon Sullivan, the “Lion of Zion.”

It seems that Prince, who was voted out as pastor of the Philly church this month, had left some problems behind at Mount Hope, in Prince George County, 30 miles from Richmond.

There were 400 members when Prince arrived, but just 20 when he left, former trustee John Allen said.

“He wrote new bylaws that made him both the CEO and CFO of the church,” Allen said.

“He had his name put on the church bank account and he tried to sell the church out from under the last 20 members.”

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