Dave, Ward Lucas & C3 Balmain

Ps Ward Lucas
Ps Ward Lucas

Thanks to Dave for this link: http://sites.google.com/site/c3churchbalmainreviewpage/

Family friendly? Because of stinging public criticism by reviewers,C3 Church Balmain recently took down its Google page.

It is possible Google removed the page after complaints were made to them about the honesty and legality of the positive reviews on the page.

If the leaders of C3 Church Balmain had not put a lot of glowing reviews on their own page (one of them apparently wrote seven), the church would have averaged one and a half stars.The main complaints made by reviewers on C3 Church Balmain’s Google page were these, or at least were along these lines.
  • People who went to C3 Church Balmain and who had donated tens of thousands of dollars to the church were expelled straight after asking to see properly kept accounts.
  • This expulsion was carried out through the use of physical force organised by the leaders of C3 Church Balmain.
  • One of the victims of this disgraceful action was a pregnant woman who was not accused of any wrong other than trusting the church’s leaders, giving them large sums of money, and wanting to know how they had spent it.
  • Behaviour like this is highly suspicious.
  • One of the people who was expelled from C3 Church Balmain has been pursuing legal action in the Supreme Court for eighteen months. He wants to know what has happened to his and others’ money. Despite repeated claims by Mr Ward Lucas, the church’s senior pastor, that he and his leadership team are fully accountable the whereabouts of the large donations in question is still unknown.
  • None of the people who were expelled by force from the church knew what they were accused of; had a reasonable opportunity to defend themselves; or knew all of those who sat in judgement upon them.
  • Those who were expelled by force from C3 Church Balmain received no help subsequently from the church, nor any significant communication whatsoever from their former ‘friends’ there.
  • Almost the entire church community at C3 Church Balmain were witnesses to the forcible expulsion of the previously mentioned generous donors to the church–including to the expulsion of a pregnant woman. Not a single one did anything to stop it.
  • The fake reviews on C3 Church Balmain’s Google page made out that the church is family friendly, loving, generous, helpful and community-minded. These claims were nothing but meaningless advertising. The experience of those who were thrown out of the church by force was exactly the opposite.
  • True information surrounding the events leading to the expulsion by force of these generous donors to C3 Church Balmain was deliberately kept a secret by the church’s leaders. (For example in Mr Ward Lucas’s blog about conflict resolution, he does not reveal that he and the other leaders of C3 Church Balmain are willing to resort to the use of force when they are asked hard questions about the church’s administration and use of money).
  • When those who had been wronged appealed for help to Mr Ward Lucas’s superior in the C3 Church movement, they were at first told to submit to him. Then later one of them was threatened with legal action if he so much as revealed publicly the least part of the superior’s involvement in the situation.
  • Despite having raised large sums of money for its Rise and Build fund from those who were expelled from the church, C3 Church Balmain has no building of its own. Apparently it never will.


Really, it’s no wonder C3 Church Balmain’s leaders pulled their Google page. No-one would want this sort of information being spread around the local community by unhappy people who feel they have been robbed and cheated.
Links: For more relevant information see the following.



Generous donors thrown outby force
Asked to see accounts four weeks earlier
Wanted to know what their money had been spent on
No allegations made against them Church leaders in Supreme Court
Widespread community outcry”

Daves comments were as follows:

David says:

Hi, Specks,

What you say is right on the money.

Seven members of my family were expelled by force from C3 Balmain after asking to see properly kept accounts of the church’s Rise and Buile fund to which they had given more than $100,000.

The story is told on this web site:


It’s worth a look.

The church leaders are now in the Australian Supreme Court defending themselves against among others our Attorney General’s Department.

The money has vanished.

C3 Church Balmain is set up so that there is no independent oversight whatever of the use of funds donated to it.

What strikes me is that these guys convince you to give money to them by telling you if you give to God, you’ll prosper.

They are the ones who gain out of that arrangement.

The lawyers in my family’s case have found everywhere in the C3 movement dodgy private companies; dodgy incorporated associations; and church’s with massive assets that are not actually owned by the church community, but effectively by five or ten people–the Pringles of the world.

Keep protesting is all I can say!

David says:

G’day Specks.

The fault doesn’t lie in any particular company (as in say such and such company is alleged to be skimming money).

The problem lies in this (this is what has got the Attorney General interested).

If you’re a not-for-profit you’re supposed to be set up so that you have enough formal members to have an independent majority ensuring that you don’t misuse funds, and that you are looking after those regularly involved in your organisation.

C3 churches appear to set themselves up so that the legal entity behind them has a handful of members. In which case there is no independent majority overseeing the finances and protection of ordinary attendees as required under the Charitable Fundraising Act.

The short version!

At this stage white Horse hasn’t been mentioned, although I’ve read about it.

God speed one and all!

David says:


What this means of course is that unless you are a formal member of the association/company that is your C3 church’s legal entity, you in fact have no legal rights as an attendee of the church.

In addition it means that all the assets that look as though they’re owned by your church community (buildings/fittings/land) are effectively owned, not by the church community, but by the five or six formal members of the legal entity.

It also means that the handful of members of the legal entity have iron control of finances. If the majority of them gain financially from the spending of the church’s money (ie because they are employees of the legal entity as well as controlling it), then…?

Be it said significant breaches of the Charitable Fundraising Act make you liable to a jail sentence.


(Originally from thread: https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2010/06/23/c3-%E2%80%98vision-builders%E2%80%99-pamphlet-for-%E2%80%98rise-build%E2%80%99/#comment-13216)

12 thoughts on “Dave, Ward Lucas & C3 Balmain

  1. Couldn’t help but notice this on their ‘What We Believe’ page:

    “We believe in tithing. The word tithe means the giving of 10% of our income to the Lord. We believe it is a biblical principle and encourage it in church. God does not cheat us by asking us to give, but opens a way for financial blessing. The word give appears in the bible three times more than the word love. We will never become like Jesus Christ until we learn generosity toward God and man.”


  2. I’ve also obtained in my inbox a damning letter from a C3 Leadership insider. I’ll need to check up on it to see if it’s safe to post up on Signposts02.

    It’s quite disturbing what is revealed within the hierarchy and the direction C3 has taken financially. It also discusses why it invested into the schooling system across the road from it’s main church and how Connect Groups, (bible studies), are run.

  3. Be careful, S&P, only because there is a court case involved here, and I’m not sure where the boundaries are about what you can say or publish at such times without getting into trouble.

    My only comment is that Ps Lucas was trained at C3 under PP years ago, and of course would have the support of leadership there. In most cases like this, the oversight will back up the existing leadership, unless you have any actual evidence of theft or misappropriation that you can show them. Lucas will reflect the culture he has absorbed, plus with his own personality added to the mix, whatever that is.

    The only surprise here, is that a member is actively asking questions for some reason, and that the situation became one of far greater conflict than normal and apparently, surprisingly fast. Most of the time, the questioner will just leave.

    Board structures, headed by the senior pastor as CEO, seem to be the preferred structure for C3 churches, large or small. There is a huge amount of business culture there, and has always been, given PP’s interest in it.

    Whatever has been done with any amounts of money, these structures and hierarchies are fairly normal. The lack of accountability to the congregation is inherent, but not admitted. Despite this, there is a general belief that we should all be accountable, but in an upward direction. This is a recipe for problems.

    David, I don’t know what you believe about doctrines such as covering, apostleship, tithing etc, but it’s all entwined. Now that you’ve left, the next part might be to take a look at what you’ve accepted as true over the years. Many doctrines are really only there to support these structures and have little scriptural support once you look into it. While you are getting rid of your particular church, you might as well also rid yourself of any other lies you might have inadvertently absorbed in your time there. Though perhaps you already have. God bless.

  4. “The lack of accountability to the congregation is inherent, but not admitted. ” – RP

    I have to say – there are some exceptions to this. Those churches that freely publish their accounts or detail them publically to their congregation, are doing a good job at making an effort to be accountable. My ex C3 did do this, and there would have been no problem if anyone asked about any of it. Hopefully, more C3 churches will make sure they do this regularly and in as much detail as needed.

  5. David, I saw a comment from you that somehow ended up in spam. Seems like you know what to expect from an association. Would you like the comment reposted here?

  6. Interesting series of posts Specks. Firstly, let me state a conflict of interest here – I know Ward and his wife, but I have not spoken to them in over eight years. This article is the first time I have heard these accusations, therefore I have no inside knowledge. I am also not here to try and defend C3 Balmain. However, from my extensive experience in counselling people who have been used and abused by church leaders and ministries, as well as seeing many people with an axe to grind make public accusations, I am noticing some familiar themes.

    Unfortunately, as tragic as Dave story appears, from my experience I can almost guarantee that there will be many things that he is not sharing with us. If you would allow me therefore to ask Dave a few questions:

    You say “People who went to C3 Church Balmain and who had donated tens of thousands of dollars to the church were expelled straight after asking to see properly kept accounts.” I assume that you are referring to yourself here. May I ask what kind of attitude did you display when asking for the church’s financial details? Was the request made in anger or with accusations, or was it made civilly and cordially?

    Did you or any others make any verbal threats towards Ward and others that could perhaps cause the church to resort to using “security guards” to “expel” you and the others you mention from the church.

    Were these “security guards” in uniform, or were they members of the church?

    When you say “This expulsion was carried out through the use of physical force organised by the leaders of C3 Church Balmain”, are you able to elaborate? Were you and the others actually physically manhandled, or were you simply led out?

    Did the “expulsion” occur during a church service?

    Could you concede that perhaps the “expulsion” was deemed by them as necessary because you refused to leave and were causing a scene and perhaps distressing other church members?

    Was the issue of their lack of accountability regarding the financial reports the only problem that you had with Ward and C3, or were there other issues that you had, and if so, were you vocal about these other issues?

    By what means did you express these issues? Did you meet with Ward privately, or did you express them publicly or by “confiding” with individuals in the church?

    When you say “What this means of course is that unless you are a formal member of the association/company that is your C3 church’s legal entity, you in fact have no legal rights as an attendee of the church.” it makes me wonder whether you have ever been a member of any other Incorporated Association. Under the Incorporated Association Act 1984 membership qualifications the main requirement is the person has been nominated and approved for membership in accordance with the procedure set out in the Associations constitution. Ward and C3 are acting well within the requirements for membership of the association. Unfortunately Dave it appears you are confusing membership of the church with membership of the association. They are entirely different things.

  7. Sorry, my dog just jumped on my lap and accidentally hit the “submit comment” button before I had finished my previous post!

    I just wanted to close my comments with this:

    Dave, I am not asking these questions with an agenda, or in blind defence of C3 or Ward. I am genuinely interested in your thoughts and what has led you to this point. As a pastor myself I believe it is important for me to know how things can get to this point and how best to make sure that my own congregation is informed of everything that happens behind the scenes so that issues such as this don’t occur.

    If you would like to contact me privately that would be fine.

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