GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCBD) – Job Missionary Baptist Church was founded in 1977 by Naomi Smalls and her late husband. The church’s congregation is now fighting for a $70,000 insurance settlement they said they are owed.
“I made a promise to my husband that regardless if I am at the church or not at the church I am going to keep it as a church for the community and the people,” said Smalls.
In 2018, the church, affectionately nicknamed the ‘little church back in the woods’, suffered severe roof damage during a storm. Smalls hired pubic adjuster Michael Addison to help her navigate the insurance claim process.
“He told us that he could help us get the money to get the church fixed and that what we had to do was sign the church over to him as the caretaker of the church and that is what we did,” she said. “We entrusted him. He said we did not have to worry about anything from then on out.”
According to Smalls, Addison also said he would coordinate the repairs needed. Addison oversaw the placement of new sheetrock in parts of the sanctuary and construction of a supporting wall but nearly two years later repairs for the church are at a standstill.
“It still wasn’t moving. Things weren’t getting done so I realized that this man was probably scamming us and every time we call him now we still can’t get in touch with him. He always says he is busy or in a conference,” she said.
According to paperwork, Addison’s company, Aaron’s Public Adjustment, has collected upwards of $70,000 in insurance money. Smalls said the church hasn’t seen the money.
“I get upset, I get angry, I get frustrated, I get all of that because I know what my husband started here and I know he would not be pleased with what has happened,” she said. “We feel bad because we trusted this man to help us and he bewitched us,” she said.
Addison is running for U.S. House representing South Carolina’s sixth district. He previously ran for South Carolina Senate District 40.
“For him to say running for an office to say for the people. He is not for the people,” she said.
Addison’s business card lists several companies he owns including Asbestos Professional of QLC, Addison Chiropractic, Addison-Brevard Insurance Agency, Aaron’s Public Adjustment Inc., Addison Hayes Capital Group, and Dr. Michael’s Ministry Outreach Service.
News 2 spoke with Addison after several attempts to reach him via phone and e-mail. He said the project was ongoing and that he had not abandoned the work.
In response, Smalls said it has been three years of excuses and is hoping for the project to be resolved.
“We just want to get it built back so we can go on and continue on doing the will of God and helping out our community and keeping the livelihood of new job and my husband legacy to live on,” she said.
The Better Business Bureau’s website lists another complaint similar to Smalls.
News 2 notified the National Insurance Crime Bureau about Smalls’ case. An NICB agent passed the case to SLED. SLED confirms they are reviewing the case right now to see if there is enough evidence to warrant a criminal investigation.