Monday, May 18, 2015

Adventures in Charismania: The Pastor/Realtor

It was the early 1990's. Carla and I (and our toddler son) were living in Denver and looking (on a very tight budget) to buy our first house. A pastor we knew was starting a church in a "marginal" neighborhood of Denver and some of our friends had moved into that neighborhood--which had beautiful but neglected old brick homes--to be part of the "church plant." We were intrigued and the pastor was interested in having us as members of his church, due in part to our usefulness as worship musicians. Additionally, the pastor was a licensed realtor--so we engaged him to help us find a house near the new church.

This was in the days before the Internet--back when real estate listings were in MLS books and classified newspaper ads and little newsstand catalogs with grainy pictures. It was in one such catalog which I had picked up at a supermarket that I found a house which looked very interesting and (amazingly) was in our price range and mere blocks from the new church. I called the pastor/realtor and gave him the address and we arranged for he and Carla to go look at the house while I was at work. If Carla liked it, I would come after work to see it and if I liked it too we would write up an offer.

They toured the stately old house and Carla really liked it, but as they walked out the front door the pastor/realtor turned to Carla and said, "I'm buying this house for myself." She was shocked, but he was insistent. When Carla got back to our apartment she called me (this was before cell phones) and told me what had happened. I called the pastor/realtor and he matter-of-factly said the house was perfect for him and he was already in the process of submitting an offer. My appeals to his sense of ethics fell on deaf ears and, as far as we know, he bought the house.

Needless to say, we found another realtor and another church.


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