New loan to help buy out foreclosure Bridgeport Church and build affordable housing

BRIDGEPORT – Reverend Kenneth Moales Jr. was believed to have left his Union Avenue Cathedral on Friday.

On that date, a federal judge asked him to step down after his bank, Foundation Capital Resources, secured a strict foreclosure on the cathedral and 14 other properties Moales owns through his religious corporation, Prayer Tabernacle Church. of Love Inc.

But Moales said Friday afternoon he was not going anywhere.

“We’re definitely not moving today,” Moales said. He claimed they would be in federal court on Monday to provide evidence to support his position that he should not have been deported.

Last week, Moales announced that it had secured funding not only to buy back all of its properties, but also to build 64 affordable housing units on Stratford Avenue.

“I know time is running out, but we got a lender who is going to give us $ 18 million to buy our church and do a lot more for the community,” Moales said, standing in front of a large Christmas tree in the lobby. from his church, the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit.

Moales was unwilling to divulge the name of the lender, describing it only as a “legitimate business running billions”. But he said he had the full support of Mayor Joe Ganim and city officials not only to secure the loan, but also for the housing project.

He presented a letter that Ganim wrote which Moales said helped him get the loan as well as a letter from Thomas Gill, director of the city’s planning and economic development office, supporting Peggy’s project. Moales Commons – named after her mother – for the corner of Stratford and Central avenues.

Rowena White, spokesperson for Ganim, confirmed that the mayor and Gill had written letters of support.

“Please know that the city remains supportive of the proposal and is ready to remain engaged in a constructive partnership as you move the proposal forward towards the required approvals,” said Gill’s letter.

The housing project would be adjacent to the 35,000 square foot Honey Locust Square shopping center currently under construction on Stratford Avenue.

“The mayor is supporting projects for highly desirable areas of the city and it looks like a great revitalization project,” White said. She added that the mayor’s letter requesting financial support for Moales was written in April while Moales was still in foreclosure and is unrelated to Moales’s new loan application.

Moales, former chairman of the town’s Board of Education, is the senior pastor of the Tabernacle of Love Prayer Church, Cathedral of the Holy Spirit and CEO of CREAM Enterprises, a construction and management company.

In September 2017, according to court documents, after a more than four-year legal battle that initially began in state court, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Meyer issued a foreclosure order against Moales for non-payment of more than $ 12 million in debt to his bank. , Capital resources of the Foundation. That amount has since grown to over $ 15 million.

Following numerous hearings, the judge ordered on May 29, 2020 the eviction of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit on Union Avenue as well as of the Kingdom’s Little Ones daycare, of a summer camp, of the private school. Love Christian Academy, all at Union Avenue. – and other operations owned by Moales on Stratford and Central avenues. The judge refused Moales to stay the eviction pending his appeal to the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals, ordering him to vacate the properties by January 7.

Last week, Moales withdrew his appeal.

The attorney for Foundation Capital Resources did not return the emails for comment.

Last year, Foundation Capital Resources filed a separate lawsuit in federal court against nine tenants of the properties, including the operators of the school and daycare. The bank is seeking to eliminate the “alleged leasehold interests” of the nine defendants in the lawsuit. This trial is ongoing.

Moales previously accused Foundation Capital of engaging in fraud and abusive lending practices. However, in his ruling last year, the judge reiterated that he had assessed Moales’ testimony “in great detail and concluded that it was not credible or supported by the testimony of other witnesses or by all of the documentary evidence presented at trial “.

Jerry B. Hatch