A family member of Pastor Jerry Hanoum who committed suicide on May 4th has contacted us to set the record straight about him and the accusations against him. Were they valid? The answer is here. It is with permission that this email is published by me. Even though permssion was granted to use the name of that family member, we chose not to reveal it to prevent possible complications. The email sent is printed exactly as received, meaning no changes or edits. It is published in its entirety. This writer had also re-thought the newspaper's role in his suicide which was published before this email was received. See story: Rob Bell's No Hell Doesn't Jell.
Hello Reverend Miles,
Ive read with a heavy heart your postings about Pastor Jerry Hanoum… I noticed that the most recent postings appear to point the finger at the newspapers… That has prompted me to contact you as I understand all too well the hurt that you are feeling… I believe that Jerry would have me contact you to tell you to stop… No one but Jerry brought this on himself.
I was with Jerry in the beginning, in Vacaville from Oct 1984 thru the last days when he had to leave… there were always rumors swirling around Jerry, from the first day I met him to the last…but I ALWAYS ignored them and chalked them up to "never receive an accusation against an elder"....
He was dymanmic and he plundered the gates of hell…I expected the "rumors" from the unsaved. In 1990 the decline started…people that questioned his "money" dealings were suddenly "called" to leave…. Around 1992 the spirit at VacaValley really started to change…around that time he also took on the Napa Church….things got worse.
It was obvious that "the glory " had departed. As a chrisitan I am hoping that you understand what Im sharing. I took a job with a real estate offices that one of our deacons owned. As the office manager I was in charge of processing and organizing files. During that process I came accross a file…that blatantly showed Jerry appropriating church property, and selling it , and pocketing $500K! I was flabbergasted. ( I can explain totally and fully, along with confirming witness if you want to verify).
The person that had "donated" the property at a great discount for the church, was furious that Jerry took the money, and complained, but nothing ever came of it. During this time Jerry made an announcement that he was selling his VV home and giving the church the money.
The property was then listed with our firm, with the listing broker offering it charging NO commission. He spent thousands on advertising. Each time it came to showing the property, Jerry wouldnt allow it to be shown. I finally, as the office mgr, contacted him when an agent had made an appt 2 weeks in advance, was waiting for her client, and Jerry again called to cancel, stating he was going to have a "family" day and didnt want to show it
I confronted him and told him to pull the house off the market if he didnt want to sell it and quit telling from the pulpit that he was "donating" his house money if he indeed wasnt going to cooperate. Jerry apologized and did allow the person to see the property. Without going thru the entire thing here ( but will expand on this as well if you would like)...he entered into contract with the buyer, and then proceeded to rip him off to the tune of $15K.
I witnessed it from start to finish, and indeed this transaction is what made me know that Jerry had totally gone off the deepend. I had to deal with the buyer, crying at Jerry's mistreatment of him, and being devastated at Jerrys actions, because Jerry had become a "friend" to him during this time, and was now stealing his money.
I again tried to confront Jerry, first on the telephone, and when he wouldnt take my calls, I drove over to the church to see him face to face. He wouldnt see me, but had his wife "Yvonne" call me to explain, what she didnt understand about why Jerry had stolen the mans money. I ended up going, on behalf of the buyer ( and the truth) to arbitration in an attempt to get the money back.
But I can tell you that the buyer was more devastated that Jerry had betrayed him, than he was a not getting the house. It was very sad. When Jerry left the Vacaville church, there were others who came out of the woodwork that Jerry/using the Church had borrowed from and owed money.
Also there were numerous church members that he borrowed and owed money to… There was one young man who had repaired his hvac that had to chase him around to get paid. I am unsure whether the church made these loans good or not. I know that Tiechert Construction was ready to foreclose on the church if they didnt get paid, and that was a direct result of something that Jerry did.
The Vacaville and Napa churches that he was in charge of the funds for were behind in mortgage payments one 9 months, and one 14 months behind. For no good reason other than Jerry mishandling the funds….both churches had thousands of people in them but once Jerry got off.on his money tangents..things started going downhill… Bottom line of all of this is. Jerry had a demonic love of money. He was clearly disqualified to lead as a pastor, the bible says so(1 Timothy 3:3)...but still people followed him. He used people, I saw it. He used many people.
He had a great many talents and gifts…but he also had a love of money, and he would do anything to get it…anything. This closes the Vacaville chapter….he moved on, and I did too. Now fast forward to the Mountain View Chisitan Center years…. I heard that Jerry was back…and I thought changed. I was soooooo happy as I have always loved Pastor Jerry. I attended a few services…and it felt like the old days. God is a redeemer!
Well..he found out what I was working in…( Loans and real estate) and he started pursing me. He literally stepped down from preaching to seek me out for one of his "deals"..which was what turned into the "Hanoum estate"...took me on a tour..and promised a 50% return in just 3 years!
Well, I was skeptical and disheartend. It appeared that the same ole Jerry was back, not a new version. But I determined to listen and evaluate before I reacted. Once he filled me in on all his ideas I requested the paperwork to review. He stated to me he "owned" the Knarlwood property. I was suspect as I didnt believe he had the credit or money to purchase such a home. I checked my databases , and sure enough he didnt own it.
I was very diappointed that he had lied to me. I pondered what to do with the information. When he contacted me again, I confronted him, or should I say corrected him when he stated he "owned" the property.. I told him I knew he didnt own it..so what was the deal. Without skipping a beat he said he had a lease option. I requested copies of everything.. He sent me paperwork, that was missing items he didnt want me to see..
Remember , I work in the field, so I knew he was holding back. He then sent me more…but still not all. A false appraisal, outdated lease paperwork etc. It was at that time ( 2006) that I made my final appointment to again confront him with this behaviour. He originally made an appointment, but as usual cancelled when he realized the subject matter.
I finally had no alternative but to email him with what I knew, and a warning, and a plea to once and for all quit with the illegal, immoral and against faith in God behaviour. I told him to think about all the people he had already devastated with his behaviour and to please not destroy the ministry at MVCC as well.
You see Rev. Miles, EVERY SINGLE MINISTRY, he has been involved with has gone the same way. Build it up, rip it off, and resign and move on. No exceptions. We all want Pastor Jerry to be different than he was. But he wasnt different. He did lie, cheat and steal. I can love him and say that, as I truly love him, warts and all..and I pray and believe he is in heaven.
BUT God says he will shout your sins from the mountaintops…Luke 12:2&3.. The newspapers are Gods chosen voice as Jerry didnt listen. God says "To whom much is given, much is required"..Jerry was given great gifts, and he used them to abuse the sheep. Yes he did. I saw it first hand. We as christians must be able to see the truth. The world sees nothing when we insist on covering these things which are easy to see up.
I was very disappointed in Pastor Jerry's funeral. I actually thought he could be honored for the good things he did, but the truth could still be told. Instead I saw more of the same fantasyland behaviour continued that actually put him in his grave. And make no mistake, the other christians were more responsible than the newspapers for letting Jerry go so long, and refuse to deal with his behaviour, for killing him.
Im sure you were there, they made a joke about his competitiveness. That in part killed him. Always wanting the biggest and the best, and being willing to lie cheat and steal to get it. That killed him. Not the newspapers reporting it. God used them, as Jerry didnt listed to those that truly loved him, and repent of his behavior. If Jerry had been exposed he may have repented when the sins were not so bad that the police had to get involved.
Lastly, I view your blogging and anger at the newspapers as satan still getting his licks in. It was known in my family ( and my uncle is his cousin) that Jerry's next ministry was going to be prison. What he approached me with was fraud…and his actions showed me he was willing to lie and manipulate…so I believe it will be shown he also forged documents to get at the money he was able to get at…there was no way he wasnt going to jail. And he should have. He was dangerous. Is there anything more offensive to God that stealing from a widow in his flock? I cant think of one, except leading a child astray…
God had enough Rev. Miles…Jerry had to be stopped. NOT thru suicide, God no…but Jerry didnt want to answer the call to prison ministry. Which may have been his greatest ministry, as it would have seperated him from that which always sidetracked him, money.
I hope this helps you…as I can feel your pain, and I believe there was enough good in the Pastor Jerry that he wouldnt want you to feel bitter towards the newspapers or their journalists…they too are loved by God..and have a job to do. Jerry had his chances to be turned by his brothers…he ignored them. Lets honor his memory and the soul winning side of him but learning to tell and face the truth.
We're all just sinful flesh saved by grace, and when we get away from doing things Gods way we are capable of anything. Isnt that what God says???? I close with these verses: 1 Timothy 6:9-10 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs….......
Your sister in Christ, and a true lover of Jerry Hanoum….(signed with name, phone number and her place of employment.)
(Note: To see your Blog Host's rethinking of the area newspapers whose stories drove him to suicide, see story, "Rob Belll's No Hell Doesn't Jell" on this website.)