Recently a disgruntled member of Victory Galway made contact with DI. They wanted to express their concerns of the behaviour of some of the church members.
This person was a member of Abundant Life, the church that collapsed as a result of the massive debts occurred by Pastors Kevin and Heather Sanford. For those of you who do not recall, the Sanfords were sent to Ireland by Walter Hallam from Abundant Life in Texas to start a church.
They then spent the next ten years manipulating people and leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. The doors finally closed on Abundant Life when Kevin lost a High Court Case for unpaid debts believed to be in the region of €100,000. The bulk of this debt was for unpaid rent on a building used by the church.
Kevin and Heather finally threw in the towel and before they left they handed the church over to Brendan and Sheila Hade who themselves are awaiting a day in the High Court for a pending court case against them. Brendan Hade spoke very highly of the Sanfords until an exposé in a tabloid newspaper highlighted the level of abuse that had taken place at the hands of the Sanfords. Prior to the exposé, Brendan Hade had committed to travelling to Galway regularly to steer the ship on a steady course. Unbeknown to Kevin Sanford, Brendan Hade brought in Pastor Thomas Cooney from another ailing church in Galway called the ‘Living Word Church’.
It is understood that Kevin and Thomas Cooney would not have been the best of friends and Kevin may have felt betrayed by the actions of Brendan Hade.
Kevin explained he was heading home to take up a new challenge, leading a new church in El Paso, Texas. DI understands and Kevin has confirmed this in his recent blog that this plan is no longer happening and it is believed this is as a result of the a withdrawal of support from Walter Hallam.
So where does this all lead now? Well you would have thought that Kevin and Heather would have washed their hands of the Church in Ireland but rather the opposite. In fact the reason why we were contacted by the church member was because they were approached to make a contribution to a fund for ‘Fathers Day’ that would be presented to Kevin in the USA by a member of the Victory Church, Galway. In fact DI has learned of a number of visits from Victory Galway church members to the Sanfords in Texas. These are members who still see Kevin and Heather as their pastors and the disgruntled member contacted us because they believe such actions are destructive in any future that Victory Galway are to have in Ireland under the pastoral leadership of Thomas Cooney and Brendan Hade.
DI really has a few points or questions regarding this matter.
Is Thomas Cooney aware of the behaviour of some of his congregation as he tries to build and repair the damage caused over the years by the Sanfords?
If not, this means that Thomas Cooney who has been trying to raise much needed funds to address their own financial concerns is fighting a losing battle as the same people he has in leadership roles within the new church are actually acting and funding the Sanfords behind his back? So who really controls Victory Galway if this is happening? If so this means that Thomas Cooney and Brendan Hade are actually supporting the Sanfords financially by allowing church members to do so. Will they then look to pay the debts left behind by Kevin Sanford in the name of Abundant Life?
We would encourage people to log on to Kevin’s blog to have a read as we believe once this has been highlighted to him he is sure to edit or delete the postings as in previous cases.
Taken from July blog by Kevin referencing money from folks in Ireland.
‘’Something truly amazing happened on this trip, though. And I couldn’t wait to share this with you all. About an hour out of Alamogordo on the way back home, the engine light came on in the car. It was after midnight. I ran the little diagnostic button our car has and everything looked fine. I decided to keep going and get my family back to Joe and Alisa’s house for the night. It was uneventful. The next morning, however, as I was driving down into town, the engine light came back on… this time the temp gauge pegged HOT. I pulled over. Repeat. I inched our way into town and phoned AAA. They towed our car to mechanic. I got a free day rental and we continued our little holiday, having planned to spend a few days there anyway. Here’s where I get to tell you about God! When I got the bill for the car, it was a LOT of money. We were in the desert. We had no help but God! But God is a great Helper! The lady from Ireland brought over an envelope from the church folks and friends back there. It was an offering for Father’s Day! Guess what? It was just enough for the car! My point is that God met us in the desert! More than that, we left Texas with only $110 and $54 on a Wal-Mart card and God blessed us with the best family vacation, conference and ministry we have ever had! Ps 78:19 shows Israel questioning whether God could furnish a table in the wilderness. The answer is YES, He can! Yes, He did!
Further reference in May by Kevin on his blog that friends believed to be people in leadership roles of the new church had paid a visit to Texas.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
We hope that you have been blessed this Spring and that you are preparing for a Summer of harvesting the presence and the blessing of the Lord! We have been privileged to host some wonderful Irish folks here in Brownwood over the past month and have been so very happy to introduce them to a Central Texas.
Confirmation in March by Kevin that El Paso is not going ahead but stops short of explaining why…..
As many of you know, Heather and I were planning on going to El Paso to start a new work. Things haven’t quite worked out the way we anticipated, however we are not discouraged. We are confident that we are in the timing of God and are eager to see what He has for us. It was time to turn over the church in Ireland; so, though one door has closed we are confident He will open another. While remaining in Brownwood for the short-term, I will be itinerating on the weekends until we sense God’s direction for our next step. Please keep us in your prayers in the transition. We need to find a house, cars… everything. We also appreciate your continued support during these big changes as we look forward to all the good things that God has in store.
DI will of course correct any information in this post that turns out to be incorrect. We are more than willing to have further dialogue in order to establish further clarity if needed. Previous attempts to discuss this has led to the threat of legal action by Thomas Cooney who we have not heard from since. We welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues with all parties in the hope of finding a resolution for all involved.