Members of New Hope speak up about lawsuit against the church

Published  9:22 PM HST Aug 18, 2013
HONOLULU -

Members of New Hope Ministries are speaking up after their church is accused of underpaying to use public school facilities.

Out of  five churches being sued, three are New Hope ministries: New Hope Oahu, Hawaii Kai, and Kapolei.

"Have no fear, to think that someone out there is against New Hope. New Hope stands in the right way. We know that when we try to seek God more in our life the temptation is always there against us. I know we are going to win the victory," said Dmercy Barcelona, a member of the church.

The lawsuit claims the churches filed false statements, under-representing their use of state facilities. New Hope used Farrington High School's auditorium for its weekend services before moving to its Sand Island location after the auditorium's roof caved in last fall. The lawsuit accuses the churches of not paying $5.6 million to the state.

"We've volunteered a number of times at Farrington after-school activities and things to beautify the school so in a way we feel like we are giving back to the community," said New Hope member Joe Keller.

"I hope it's not true. I hope it can be proven that they have been doing what they say they are going to do," said member Talita Stevao.

In a statement, New Hope pastor Wayne Cordeiro said, "... Our churches have always honored all agreements made with the Department of Education and its authorized agents for the use of public school facilities."

The other two churches being sued are Calvery Chapel Oahu, which rents Kaimuki High School, and One Love Ministries, which rents Mililani High School.

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