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Friday, August 23 2019 @ 10:41 pm EDT

Quintin Sponagle - Your Loving Scumbag in Christ

Expat TalesBy DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - I received an email this afternoon from Tim Keim, the pastor of the Coronado Bible Church. He was basically concerned about the article I published on Friday about Quintin Sponagle and his relationship with their church. Tim wrote: "My name is Tim Keim and I am the pastor of Coronado Bible Church. Please check our church website (www.coronadobiblechurch.org.) Your article has factual errors which could greatly harm our church and my reputation. Will you please look into it and print a retraction? Please contact me if you need more information. I am also including a copy of an email I sent to our church body explaining these errors." Of course I immediately contacted Tim and spoke to him on the phone about the case and the article. Before I go into what we discussed, let me publish the email Tim sent to his congregation:
  • Friends,

  • It has come to our attention that Don Winner from Panama Guide has put some incorrect information on his blog. A word of background so you will understand how to respond in the community. Some of inaccuracies involve allegations involving a former family from our church whom we love which now makes this all the more painful to deal with in a public manner.

  • Quintin Sponagle who formerly attended here, has been accused of financial misdealings in Canada. There are lots of investigations going on, but to my knowledge no criminal convictions have taken place. Quintin maintains that the investigation has been very one sided and maintains his innocence of all charges. To my knowledge Quintin never approached anyone at our church about investments and chose to maintain a very low profile. I have prayed with Quintin about these matters. We love he and Shelley and wanted to respect their privacy while loving them and supporting them in their time of need. I apologize to them for having to publicly speak of this, but given the article have no other choice.

  • The article written by Don Winner assumes that the pastor of the church is Quintin Sponagle. There was a posting in playacommunity.com back in October with a headline of "Coronado Bible Church Calls New Pastor". Mr. Winner did not apparently bother to read the article because it clearly states that the church had called me to serve as your pastor. The article did, though, mention the list of upcoming speakers and mentioned that Quintin was planning to preach. Someone must have done a web search for Quintin's name and saw it under the headline of CBC calling a new pastor and made an incorrect assumption. As it turns out Quintin never did bring a message at our church and they haven't attended our church since November - although we continue to love them and hold them up in prayer.

  • Everyone loves a scandal and I imagine that the gossip will be going around Coronado about our church and pastor. This is an opportunity to be pro-active and tell everyone you know about our church and how God is doing mighty things. You can tell them that the article is inaccurate and point them to our church website where anyone wanting to do even basic research can see that the person Don Winner accues of wrongdoing is NOT the pastor.

  • If you choose to contact Mr. Winner or post a comment/response to the article on Panama Guide, PLEASE be respectful and loving. Speak the truth, but do so in love. People will judge our church by these types of comments. This is another opportunity to show our community how Christians are to respond when wrongly accused.

  • Finally, please lift up Quintin, Shelley and their family in prayer. This is frustrating for us, but I can't imagine how painful it must be for them.

  • Your loving pastor,

  • Tim Keim

Quintin Sponagle Never Actually Preached: For the record, in my article I never said that Quintin Sponagle is the new pastor at the church. If you click on the link to the article that appeared in the Playa Community website (which I did in fact read, several times) it clearly says " We are blessed to have Mr. Quintin Sponagle bringing the sermon on Sunday, November 8." When I spoke to Tim on the phone, he clarified for me that in fact Sponagle never gave that sermon. And of course the Pastor at the Coronado Bible Church is Tim, not Sponagle.

No Longer A Member: As it usually happens in these kinds of cases, the early information is somewhat incomplete and more accurate information emerges over time. I have since learned that Sponagle is no longer living in Gorgona and that he has since moved to Panama City. And, he no longer attends the Coronado Bible Church.

No Criminal Convictions: Tim wrote: "Quintin Sponagle who formerly attended here, has been accused of financial misdealings in Canada. There are lots of investigations going on, but to my knowledge no criminal convictions have taken place." Technically correct. From what I understand all of the court decisions against Quintin Sponagle are not criminal decisions, but rather civil decisions. To be clear, he did, in fact, steal the money in a Ponzi scheme. These are not just "allegations" but facts which have been proven in court. Sponagle was scheduled to appear in court in Nova Scotia, but rather than showing up to defend or explain his actions, he hopped on a plane for Panama. Most of the legal actions that have been taken against him have been directed towards recovering the $4 million dollars he stole from the members of this former church in Nova Scotia. As I explained to Tim, if a guy walks into a store, pulls a gun and steals $50 from the cash register then we know what to think about him. But what happens when a guy walks into a church, pulls out a bible, and steals $4 million dollars from the congregation. And this is a guy we "love?" There's not much doubt, that's what he did.

Truth and Accuracy: I wanted to print this clarification to make one thing perfectly clear - my intention was to warn the members of the church in Coronado. This Sponagle guy ripped off practically all of the members of his last church, and I was concerned that you guys might be next. I want to get the story right and to present the facts. I rechecked my original story and in fact I never did say Sponagle was the pastor in Coronado, but rather that he was scheduled to preach there. I made no assumptions, beyond thinking that Sponagle had, in fact, delivered the sermon as scheduled.

"Privacy" or "Hiding" Tim wrote: "We love he and Shelley and wanted to respect their privacy while loving them and supporting them in their time of need. I apologize to them for having to publicly speak of this, but given the article have no other choice." You might call it a respect for privacy, but I would call it trying to hide in Panama with the rest of the $4 million dollars that the courts in Nova Scotia have not been able to recover yet. Emphasis on the "yet."

Double Dip Dirt Bag: If someone steals $4 million dollars from anyone, that makes them a dirt bag. But, if you wrap yourself in the bible and steal $4 million dollars from your friends, family members, and congregation, then you qualify for the "double dip dirt bag" moniker. I know, it's the Christian thing to do - to hold his hand, lead him in prayer, and search for forgiveness. But why doesn't this guy just hop on a plane, fly back to Nova Scotia, and face the music? If he really is full of so much faith, then why is he hiding down here and working so hard to cover up all of his business activities in a complicated network of offshore Panamanian corporations? (Rhetorical question) Answer - Because he's really just a thief who found a flock of very gullible and very nice people who were willing to trust him. He abused that trust, ripped them off, and ran. DDDB.

My Apologies: To all of you nice people up there at the Coronado Bible Church, my apologies. I try to get the story right in these kinds of things, and of course new information is emerging on this situation rapidly. I never intended to in any way harm the reputation of your church or your pastor Tim, and only wanted to let you know that apparently there was a wolf in sheep's clothing among you. He had already victimized the members of one congregation, and I didn't want you guys to be next. Really, it's that simple. Sooner or later the truth and reality always catches up to people like Quintin Sponagle. It's just a matter of time.

Copyright 2010 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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