— A nonprofit founded by a Baptist preacher and a Mormon Mormon who said he wanted to help the poor has closed after its board of directors said it couldn’t meet its fundraising goals.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) announced Thursday that the charity, Joliet Children’s Foundation, would no longer accept donations after the nonprofit’s executive director, David E. Sargent, said the nonprofit couldn’t fulfill its fundraising promises.
The announcement was made during a meeting of the Joliet Board of Directors on Thursday.
It said that while the nonprofit has raised more than $60 million, it has not made significant progress in its fundraising.
It added that its executive director has resigned.
The board also cited the organization’s lack of transparency, including in a recent fundraising report.
Joliet is the largest and most influential Christian charity in the U.S. It is run by the Church of Latter Day Saints and is the nation’s largest Baptist denomination, with more than 4 million members.
Sargeant is a Baptist minister who has lived in the area for 20 years and was raised in the Mormon church.
Sageron, a former member of the Utah-based Church of God, is a prominent member of a new generation of conservative evangelical Christians who believe that Jesus died for the sins of mankind.
He was arrested in 2016 on charges of sexual assault and battery of a child.
The church said it has been “extremely troubled by the events that unfolded over the past year.”
The board said Sagerons resignation had been approved in a meeting Thursday night, but that Sageronta had not yet agreed to take a leave of absence.
It noted that the board was seeking a new executive director.
Sargent had resigned from the board in March.
The charity’s website says it helps children in need and provides financial assistance to children.
It says it provides medical services, education, food, clothing, and shelter for children in their homes.
A statement released by the church said Sargen is a former church member who resigned in 2016.
He is no longer a member and the church did not immediately respond to requests for comment.