Grammy-winning gospel singer Marvin Winans and the Perfecting Church in Detroit, Michigan, are facing a lawsuit from a former housekeeper who claims she was fired for refusing to pay tithes from her $18,000 a year salary.
Winans wasn’t immediately available for comment when contacted by The Christian Post Friday but the lawsuit cited by the Detroit Free Press names the housekeeper as Lakaiya Harris.
Harris was employed by Perfecting Church from March 2012 until January 2017. Winans is the founder and president of Perfecting Church, which owns at least 90 commercial and residential properties in Detroit. Harris was among about 40 workers hired to clean and maintain them.
She alleges in the lawsuit that she spent the first several weeks on the job cleaning the Marvin L. Winans Academy of Performing Arts, an elementary and middle school led by Winans. She was later transferred to Perfecting Church’s main campus in Detroit’s east side.
During a staff meeting in 2016, Harris, according to the Free Press, complained openly about not being paid. In October that year, Winans allegedly called Harris to his office to find out why she had not been attending church. She said she told him she was struggling with exhaustion and not being paid. She said her job had also been threatened for not contributing money to buy gifts for church supervisors.
A Click On Detroit report further noted that Harris lived in a home owned by the church and she paid $500 a month in rent plus $250 for utilities. The church also deducted annual “kitchen dues” for using a church kitchen. Harris claims that with all her expenses, she was just not able to pay tithes or make the donations the church wanted from her.
Harris claims she was fired after refusing a demand from Winans to have her salary docked when it was discovered that she wasn’t paying her tithes.
Winans is alleged to have confronted her about her tithing during a meeting in 2017 when he noted “that it had come to his attention” that she earned $18,000 the year before.
“‘So you owe us $1,800,'” Winans allegedly told Harris, according to the lawsuit. “When she stated that she didn’t have the money, he offered to deduct the $1,800 directly from her biweekly paychecks.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair