Religious groups lose faith in Greater Cleveland Congregations over Q renovation debate

Posted at 12:08 PM, Jul 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-07 23:54:37-04

A rift over opposition to the Q deal has several Cleveland churches and synagogues saying they're "all out."

Leaders of four churches and synagogues around Cleveland announced Friday that they are discontinuing their association with Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC), a non-partisan coalition of faith-based organizations.

All year, GCC members have spoken out against plans to use more than $100 million in tax dollars to help pay for renovations at the Quicken Loans Arena. Members cited a lack of transparency in the budget and requested that an equal amount of money be set aside for failing neighborhoods throughout the city. 

RELATED: Local religious leaders speak out about plans for overhaul of Quicken Loans Arena

After a disagreement on the matter, four religious institutions have separated from GCC. 

The following institutions announced their separation: 

  • Antioch Baptist Church
  • Bethany Baptist Church 
  • The Temple-Tiferth Israel
  • The Park Synagogue 

In a statement, Todd Davidson, senior pastor of Antioch Baptist Church, said that the four organizations believe GCC has strayed from its initial mission. 

"GCC’s initial goals included a focus on education, jobs, healthcare, criminal justice, gun violence and sustainable food programs. The group’s early accomplishments were achieved by working collaboratively with Cleveland stakeholders, including the business community and elected officials. That approach changed when the GCC adopted the “Not All In – No Deal on the Q” campaign to oppose the proposal to upgrade the 23-year-old Quicken Loans Arena," Davidson said. 

RELATED: Cleveland City Council approves Quicken Loans Arena renovation deal with 12-5 vote

The "Not All In" campaign has caused the message of the GCC to be lost, Davidson said. 

On Friday, a GCC spokesperson declined News 5's request for an on camera interview.