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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, July 01, 2013

NBC Casts Spotlight on Rock Church

Rock Church properties next to State Theatre
About this time last year, I posted a series of stories about Northampton County Prison Padre Chris Santos, whose Rock Church was getting paid $1,000 per month for his spiritual counseling to guests of the jail. Those payments stopped when it was discovered that Santos was not paying real estate taxes. Now Santos is a volunteer, and why not? His Jesus gig supplies a steady stream of tenants and workers for a string of flophouses that he and his Church own. Never mind that the homes are health hazards. Nobody cares about the lower rungs of society. If an inmate asks too many questions or complains, Santos can just pull a few strings and have the inmate sent back to the slammer.

Now NBC10 has cast a public spotlight on the Santos operation. Easton is apparently concerned that one of the buildings might collapse, and is waiting for yet another repair plan.

David Lea can tell you what things are like with Santos. An Air Force veteran, his real battle has been with alcohol, and his habitual offenses earned him a stint in our hoosegaw. He was recruited as a tenant by Santos. But he deeply resented the religious indoctrination, the two a day Bible studies, the 10% tithe on top of rent, the refusal to allow attendance at alternative religious services and the physical labor demanded at buildings nearing condemnation.

When Lea made those concerns known, Santos tried to get his probation violated. That's the hammer. What Santos did not know is that some other County officials, who learned of Lea's situation, found him housing somewhere else.
Even more troubling is that, despite his claims, Santos offers no real recovery plan for inmates. As Lea tells me, The leverage Santos has found is that you can take a man out of jail and put him in Cuba and they would call it community service as long as the city does not have to help the men reintegrate. There is no recovery operation there. If you want support for that claim just look into the overdose last year of Daniel Houser who almost died at Easton hospital. From there look into the explosion and fire of the meth lab in Bethlehem, courtesy of Jeff Caufield and Danial Houser a few months back. After that you can go to Express Times 2/25/2011 and read about the robberies committed by Elias Amaro and Phillip Trout. All products of the "recovery program" provided by Santos.
In the meantime, Northampton County Council unanimously re-appointed Santos to the Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board last week.

More tenants!

I did not speak out against this because it caught me by surprise, and I suspect most Council members had forgotten about him.

Blogger's Note: My previous Rock Church stories

There's Money in Jesus at Northampton County Jail

A Santos Success Story

A Real Journalist's Take on Santos' Sinners Program

NorCo Suspends Payments to Jail's Chaplain


Anonymous said...

Actually, blame Stoffa. The name would have never been submitted to county council if Stoffa had told him he would not be re-appointed.

Stoffa has done that to some people he didn't like over the past eight years. Why not Santos?

That should your question.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You blame everything on Stoffa.

Anonymous said...

Stoffa ask that he be re-appointed. It is as simple as that. Rather than focusing on county council, you ignore the real reason he is back.

You ignore Stoffa's mistakes'.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You blame everything on Stoffa.

Anonymous said...

You blame nothing on Stoffa.

Anonymous said...

i'm a fan of stoffas's....but isn't it his job to recommend folks to be be appointed to the board?

this looks to be the exec's gaffe.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, why would Stoffa present his name? Why didn't he call him last year and ask him to step down?

Anonymous said...

bo - u can run but u can not hide.

It is the execs job to nominate these people to various boards. Thus the problem started with the exec.

Then the apparently absent minded so called council voted the boy in.

folly completed. score Rock Church 1 - Norco 0

bottom line - Norco is a losing team and the local sheep keep paying the price

Anonymous said...

The problem started when Gregg Gabrieli allowed Pastor Santos access to the C.E.C. Program based on a personal friendship.

C.E.C willingly set their own Graduates up for failure.

Anonymous said...


If you think the local sheep are paying the price now for things under Stofa -wait-just wait and see what happens if Callahan gets elected. Taxes WILL rise and things will get worse than what you think is bad now.

Bob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Once Jim Gregory & Tricia Mezzacappa win their lawsuits with the County, Taxes will have to be raised to pay their Award.

Anonymous said...

Gregory is a buffoon, who will be the inmate favorite when he is sent to NCP. His bottle tan, petite build and Mediterranean features will make him the cell block darling.

Maybe he will work with Santos, they sound similar.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Bernie, know OT but this is just amazing even for an insane person. Gregory is still intimidating his old girlfriend on the WEF under the dog and pig entry. He is even intimidating other people.
It is about as clear as it can get. She would be crazy not to proceed with the hearing. She now really needs the protection of a judge, he is just way over the line.

I would never have believed he could go to jail for this but the level of his hate and intimidation of her and other people is scary.

You feel sorry for him but am convinced he is a danger and very unbalanced at this point. More so than Mezza!

If Callahan were not in a political race, he should file charges against him.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Much as I don't want to write about Gregory any more, I feel I have to note this.

Anonymous said...

When Jim Gregory gets his Permanent I.D. # from the County Prison, will someone please post it? Thank You.

Anonymous said...

Stop smoking meth

Peter J.Cochran said...

They own one of oldest buldings in this county it is at 5th and Northampton Street.They had an offer to buy it as I understand ,and they did not do the deal.This building should be preserved and owned by a TAX PAYER, sell it! Some of the folfs in his congregation are indeed ,very nice people but he has the HOBO group .at the "Men's House "on North 6 and they don't seem to exist here in record.

Anonymous said...

One person Chris Santos,or maybe two if you count lawyer brother Kevin Santos, has managed to hold the city of Easton hostage for over 35 years since the first property that family bought in 1978. They have 16 properties as a "non-profit" operation. County employee Becky Bradley states on the news "They have done so much for the community". There is not one shred of evidence to back up that claim. The church violates the constitutional rights of the residents there by taking away their freedom of religion saying they can only attend the crumbling Rock Church. Men dying of active addiction in the Rock Community are turned a blind eye as long as they can swing a hammer for the Rock buildings. Santos in clear violation of county statute, is allowed to work at the prison and make money even though They owe countless thousands of dollars in back taxes to the same county. People will not patronize Easton because of the deplorable first impression ghetto look it presents and it is costing the good citizens of Easton millions of dollars in lost tourist revenue. The Rock church is the number one cause of this facial crack in the reputation of a suffering community. Who in God's name is allowing this to happen. Why are the people in Easton allowing their local officials to let this go on. Someone needs to demand an answer to "who let Santos and the prison commit what amounts to damn near tax fraud" by funneling tax free money to his church for filling Joe Bucks position. Why does County probation or state parole never visit the Santos properties and drug test the men as they do everywhere else If jeff Caufield and Danny Houser would have been tested like all other supervised inmates, they would not have blown up a good piece of Bethlehem making more drugs to put on your streets. I mean for real. 35 years of thumbing your nose at the city. Why is it allowed to happen? Yes it made the news again. but you just watch, the soft belly of the Easton administation will turn up again, the people of Easton will be pushed aside again, more money spending tourists will line the pockets of Bethlehem in large because of what the Santos family is doing to you. People let the word CHURCH in their name scare them.They have done nothing to deserve that. Just remeber this- 989 people died to include 250 children at the hands of Jim Jone's community and David Koresh in Waco Texas and they called those "CHURCHS" also. Take the face of your city back from the Santos family. Your city officials owe you answers.