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Huntington flock, sister congregations take part in ceremony

A savings account dating to 1984 finally found its destination Jan. 21, as a state church official accepted an unclaimed property check of $73,498.35 from State Treasurer John Perdue. 

State Treasurer John Perdue and members of the Glorious Church of God in Christ enjoy the moment after presentation of a $73,000 unclaimed property check to the Huntington church and its sister congregations.

The ceremony took place in front of Huntington, Charleston and Mt. Hope congregations from the Glorious Church of God in Christ. The mood ran high and joyous at the small building on 10th Avenue, in the heart of Huntington’s Fairfield District.

“I believe this is all God’s will and that the Lord has reserved this for us at the proper time,” state Bishop Gary Brydie said before the ceremony. “Our motto for 2020 is ‘Moving Ahead with 20/20 Vision.’ We’re looking at doing some great things. This is a great boost, shot in the arm and motivator.”

Brydie, who oversees the church’s state diocese and pastors the Huntington church, said the funds consist of a benevolence account established 36 years ago under previous state Bishop Sidney Bass, who is now deceased. Over the years the money fell through the cracks and lay dormant. The bank in which it was deposited could not find church leaders.

After a specified dormancy period, the funds were reported to the Treasurer’s Office as unclaimed property. A specialist in the Unclaimed Property Division knew a Charleston pastor raised in Huntington. That connection led to a member of the Glorious Church in Huntington, who apprised Brydie of the money.  

Congregation members rejoiced Jan. 21 after hearing that the Glorious Church of God in Christ had received a $73,000 unclaimed property check.

Brydie quickly got in contact with the Treasurer’s Office and soon a claim was in the works. Brydie had high praise for the staff member and the entire Unclaimed Property Division.

“The representative was willing to go above and beyond the extra mile,” Brydie said. “It was like him taking on a personal mission. We are really indebted to him for his efforts.”

Treasurer Perdue said that type of service is what he has come to expect from his Unclaimed Property staff, which returned to rightful owners $15 million in fiscal 2019 and $18 million in 2018. The Treasurer’s Office has returned $216 million to rightful owners since the Treasurer took office in January 1997.

Unclaimed property is any asset from which an individual has become unintentionally separated. Examples include a forgotten utility deposit, abandoned safe deposit box contents, or in the case of the Glorious Church, unintentionally neglected bank accounts.

Treasurer Perdue stops to speak with Mother Robena Shelton.

“This is what we do,” Treasurer Perdue said. “Law maintains that the state attempt to reunite rightful owners with their assets and we take it seriously. Our representative saw a way to make a connection with Bishop Brydie, took action and here we are today. I’m very proud of that kind of effort, which is typical.”

Brydie said a church board of advisors has already decided that the three active churches in the diocese receive an equal third of a determined amount. The remainder will be set aside in a rainy day fund. The Huntington church maintains a 1995 van. Another church’s foundation is slipping.

“Bishop Bass was doing a ‘pay-it-forward’ thing,” Brydie said of the late bishop. “His idea was to bless the churches in the future, to be beneficial.”

Treasurer Perdue said he especially enjoys finding money for people and organizations who are doing good works.

“I’m thrilled that Bishop Brydie and the congregations he represents can now make improvements to facilities, vehicles and to any other area of their ministries to which they see fit. The Lord will guide their decisions.”

The Treasury does not collect state taxes. Visit the The West Virginia State Tax Department for assistance.

West Virginia State Treasurer's Office
1900 Kanawha Boulevard
Capitol Complex Building #1, Room E-145
Charleston, West Virginia 25305
304-558-5000 Toll Free: 800-422-7498
Hours: 8am-5pm (ET)

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