Money Management: Ministers Of Finance

More churches are teaching money management. But is the Rev. Jesse Jackson the right pitchman?

On a gritty block in St. Louis, Mo., the Williams Temple Church of God opens for business each Wednesday with morning Bible study and closes with an evening seminar on debt management. "Satan likes to isolate you," intones the Rev. Maurice Bembry, who teaches the personal-finance class. "He likes to make you feel like you're the only one in debt."

Seated with Bembry are a couple of dozen congregants, most of whom are middle-aged, middle-income African-American women with big credit-card bills and little or no savings. One by one they rise and recite their goals: to buy a home, start a...

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