SWFL water activist claims of raising money for church disputed by pastor
The Pastor of a Southwest Florida church that water activist, John Heim claimed to be raising money for says they have no knowledge of Mr. Heim raising on on behalf of the church.
Pastor Shawn Critser, of Beach Baptist Church says he knows who John Heim is, but has not seen him at the church in over a year. He says he was caught off guard when he saw he was claiming to raise money on behalf of his church.
“We’re very cautious about how money is handled around here we’re very transparent about it and we don’t let anybody else control that,” said Pastor Critser.
“We’re either self-funded through our choice market program to help feed our community or we do periodically take in private donations of money to buy food or food itself.”
Critser reached out to Lee County Sheriff’s Office about Heim’s post and filed a report, saying Heim nor the SWFL water movement never reached out to him about raising money for the church.
“It definitely added to my uneasiness,” said Critser.
He says it’s hard to trust Heim with so many unanswered questions about past fundraisers and what happened to the thousands of dollars he collected in donations.
“It would impact had a community saw us because if there was any sort of wrongdoing in funds drawing then we wouldn’t be able to feed people legitimately like we are,” Critser said.
WINK News, again asked Heim for proof on how he spends your donations but he refused to show any. We asked Lee County’s Sheriff’s Office about this incident and they said we do not comment on active investigations.
As for the church, Critser said there is a strong need to fill their food pantry and anyone can drop off unopened food at any time.
Heim took down the fundraising post within hours after quick backlash.
He refused to do an interview but did tell WINK News off camera he just wanted to help people in need and he made a mistake not directly linking it to the church .
Critser says he does want to believe Heim:
“Probably at heart he thought he could do some good I choose to believe that was what he was doing because that need is there it was just the mechanism of the logistics and how you went about it that’s not cool,” said Critser.