Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Blessed Are Ye When Men Shall Revile Ye..." (Then Again, You Might Not Be)

Photo By John Hoff 

It's always a little bit exciting in an archaic way when a new edition of North Minneapolis "dead tree media" hits the streets, particularly Al McFarlane's "Insight News." I read Insight News twice as hard as I read most things, because I not only read what is written but I spend a considerable amount of time "reading between the lines."

The other day, I was driving around with a friend and we were all, like, LET'S GET SOMETHING TO DRINK. We were right near Mickey's Liquor. So, naturally, we drove by Mickey's Liquor and kept going. Duh. We weren't going to shop at Merwin's, either. Two words: BUTT FENCE.

We headed to Broadway Liquor Outlet (BLO) which I judge to be the "least bad" of all the places to buy liquor in North Minneapolis, and often enough a high-quality establishment with a good attitude about improving the neighborhood. Inside BLO, near a policeman keeping watch on the patrons, was a metal rack with copies of Insight News...

I grabbed a copy, saying, "Oh, look, it's the new edition." My friend said something like, "Oh, see if there's anything about Reverend Jerry McAffee in it!"

Why did my friend say this? Well, you'll just have to read between the lines here, too. Suffice to say sometimes I get my hands on information I can't confirm to a degree acceptable enough for the standard of this blog. I might spend a long time chasing this info, I may be tempted severely by its savory delicious exclusiveness...but, ultimately, I just can't nail the information down as anything other than a rumor.

Some rumors are harmless enough to print, but others...I won't touch them. I won't print such things until I have one person WITH A NAME who can confirm, creditably, in a FIRSTHAND way even if, ultimately, I won't reveal the source.


I flipped the paper over to the part "beneath the crease" and saw an article called "First person comments from Conversations with Al McFarlane--Leaders explain the nature of leadership." And, gee, there was a picture of Reverend Jerry McAfee. In the busy aisles of BLO, while trying to pick out a good quality yet affordable bottle of champagne, I began reading what McAfee was saying about leadership, trying to read intensely between the lines.

McAfee quoted the Gospel of Matthew, the part about "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake."

Oh, I thought, HOW INTERESTING! What would cause somebody like Reverend McAfee to bring up this passage about being reviled, about false things being said? McAfee went on to say, "What He (Jesus Christ) understood is anytime you are in the business of serving people, sometimes the very people that you serve will revile you..."

Wow, I thought, the plot between the lines thickens. It's not just one's enemies who may revile you, it's people you are trying to "serve" who may turn on you. Tell me more, I thought, give me more clues as to what's REALLY going on, here, because it's not obvious at the surface, but it's not JUST A SERMON, no, something is HAPPENING here but it's not being said directly. What further clues can I gather?

McAfee went on to talk about how "In the Old Testament, Nehemiah was harassed by weak men in the community who were always trying to stop Nehemiah from helping his own people. Now, what's interesting about the story is that one was kind of related to the Nehemiah's people. (sic) It means the adversary often has somebody on the inside. So they kept sending letters for Nehemiah to come down and deal with them and their criticisms. Nehemiah said, "I'm doing a great work, and I can't come down. Why should the work cease and I come down to you?"

McAfee then adds, "Don't come down. Stay where you are. We don't need to be spending time talking about somebody that makes no difference. Stay where you are. Do what you need to do. Folks in the community who have good sense know who's doing what."

So concludes the words of Rev. Jerry McAfee. Right away, thinking back to Sunday school--and, well, suffice to say I spent a lot of time in Sunday school--I remembered something like, "Nehemiah? Why does that name conjure up something about BUILDINGS AND LAND?" Why would McAfee invoke this particular Old Testament prophet when making his point? I consulted with the Scriptures (via Wikipedia, of course) and refreshed my recollections about Nehemiah.

Ah, yes, he was involved in the restoration of Jerusalem, which had fallen into a terrible state. So if McAfee sees himself as being like Nehemiah, (and the text seems to indicate he does) then Jerusalem would be...North Minneapolis? Yes, that would make sense.

So what is all this stuff about "stay where you are" and "don't talk" in the context of Nehemiah's restoration of Jerusalem, which appears to be just a metaphor for North Minneapolis?

Hmm. Very curious indeed! And even MORE curious in light of the fact Jerry McAfee appeared as a witness for Larry Maxwell, who went down hard on 18 felonies related to mortgage fraud. What is it the Book of Proverbs says about the consequences of bad companions?

Yes, sometimes men will revile you and say all manner of things about somebody because that person is trying to do GOOD. But, interestingly, often men will do the same thing because somebody is DOING BAD THINGS. And, as the Bible makes quite clear, even the Devil knows His scripture, and can quote it.

So here's a bit of scripture, and feel free to take it any way you like:

"By their works, ye shall know them."


Anonymous said...

Does any of this involve the church on Plymouth (between Queen & Russell), and the neighboring duplex, which faces on to Russell? NRRC had bought this property at an inflated price, I believe from McAffee's church, and then just let it all go to ruin for years and years because they had paid too much for it to be able to sell it without taking a huge loss. This was supposed to be the neighborhood's revitalization money, which NRRC threw into the toilet. There seemed to be something fishy--like NRRC had bought the property as a sweetheart deal for Rev. McAffee at a high price, and then let it depreciate. Fortunately, just recently a church bought the property and has been working on it (they even put in a garden in the backyard of the duplex). While NRRC owned it, a photo of the duplex actually appeared in North News as a poster child for problem properties.

Johnny Northside said...

Honestly, I don't know ANYTHING about that and what you're saying is news to me. But this is a useful forum to have these discussions--even anonymously--so with the understanding this is an unconfirmed and halfway anonymous discussion, and anybody is free to jump in and say, "No, that's not true"--let's continue to discuss, shall we?

Do you have the exact street addresses for these particular properties? And who was running NRRC at that time?

Anonymous said...

NRRC and McAffee have a long history of scratching each others back, and looking the other way.

Didn't a gang shooting occur at a NRRC owned apartment building, involving McAfee's son, and it was kept quiet and under the table as much as possible?

Johnny Northside said...

You tell me. I don't even know the name of his son. I don't know anything about that. Got any details? Links to an article? Anything?

That's all unconfirmed, unbelievable rumor as far as I'm concerned. Convince me.

Anonymous said...

I tried to clue you in to this stuff months ago, Johnny.
Yes, there is definitely something fishy going on there.

But I love Insight News! I play "see how many times a year Al can put his own picture on the cover". Great fun!

Speaking of Al, if you ever talk to him, ask him why he spells "Black people" with a capital "B", and "white people" with a lower case "w"?

Anonymous said...

church: 2309 Plymouth
duplex: 1254 Russell

Property ID: 20-029-24-11-0020
Address: 2309 PLYMOUTH AVE N
Taxpayer Name
& Address:

Most Current Sales Information
Sale Date: February, 2008
Sale Price: $250,000
Transaction Type: Sale Includes More than One Parcel

Property ID: 20-029-24-11-0040
Address: 1254 RUSSELL AVE N
Taxpayer Name
& Address:

Most Current Sales Information
Sale Date: September, 1985
Sale Price: $51,000
Transaction Type: Other - See Certificate of Real Estate Value (CRV)

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a birth date for Jerry McAfee? Son's name and birth date would be very helpful as well.

Donald W.R. Allen,II said...


Again you hit the nail on the head. The folks that appear to be beyond question often use the Bible (especially Preachers) in north Minneapolis when the word has gotten out that they have been up to some bad business.

In the Insight News about two weeks ago, Rev/Dr/Whatever, Alfred Babington-Johnson wrote a story titled "When Palin, Limbaugh are your heros,community truth and values are jettisoned" - referring to my YouTube Video call in to the Stairstep Foundation asking,"What do you do?"

This was also duplicated on Al McFar-away's Radio program on KFAI where Rev. McAffee quoted the Bible.

It went something like this..."“Conversations with Al McFarlane.” Reverend Jerry McAfee quoted scripture from the Bible. Rev. McAfee, quoted Matthew 5, verse 11: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12) Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

One thing missing from the fine reverend’s mini-sermon was in verse 11 he did not explain to the radio audience the information he referenced was not because Mr. Babington-Johnson and Mr. McFarlane follow God, but because of some really questionable business practices that continue to go questioned and unanswered. Hence, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” (It doesn't work for me, you can't use the Bible in defense of your obvious character defects.

How is any of this God’s work? This demagoguery is just played. I guess their word is gospel, and now I have sinned because I dared to question what their non-profit funding dollars are being spent. Again we have another example of pastors using Bible verses out of context to what the message is really about. Unless, Mr. McFarlane, Mr. Babington-Johnson or Reverend McAfee has become somebody or something that is treated like a deity, clearly this verse does not apply.

I’m okay with loving God. I just don’t dig poverty pimps. I thought we are to pray for the most vulnerable, not those at risk losing their funding. Again, proven using all outlets at their disposal to maintain power and keep exchanging money in the temple.


Anonymous said...

Revile...Rumor has it that Jerry Moore is working for the University of Minnesota UROC by studing and reporting on the Foreclosure Crisis effects on people in North Minneapolis.

Does anyone see something wrong with this picture???

Anonymous said...

Has McAfree been arrested? There's a state website (i think) that lists First/Middle/Last name and Date of Birth along with the arrest record. Johnny had someone posting detail like that in a previous post. What was McAffee's "core" role again?

Katie said...

For the state's arrest record..


The BCA maintains this. It's only a record of convictions, though. For a record of all arrests, you have to go to each city (controlling agency) individually.. like if you get cited for drugs, it won't show up on your conviction record. You need to be booked into jail for it to show up there..

Contact your local police department for full background checks. They're MORE than happy to do these!

Anonymous said...

cloweHello johnny,

If you, Donald Allen or anybody else would like to discuss anything about Jerry McAfee feel free to talk with me at 11:00 am tomorrow morning.

Thanks much!

Jordan Neighbor said...

So I'm thinking that comment above is supposed to be FROM Rev Jery MacAfee??

He left it on Saturday and is inviting you to service sunday morning at 11:00 am?

Boy, wouldn't THAT be interesting?? Johnny Northside walks into New Salem Baptist Church at 11am on a sunday, hair dissheveled, backpack over one shoulder, notebook in hand, pen behind the ear, music comes to a screeching halt.

Let me know the date that will happen so I can be there too!

Anonymous said...


Go to that link to watch MacAfee talk about his church in foreclosure.

I wonder if mentioned his huge McMansion house in the suburbs at all?

Anonymous said...

For Real? Do you people have nothing else to do other than to talk about a man that stands up for those that will NOT stand up for themselves?

Anonymous said...

The fact that the property is now owned by someone in Kansas City, KS may be a link to McAfee. Is this not where his people are from?