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Angel Food closure hits affiliated business, church

By Shelia M. Poole

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The closure of Angel Food Ministries last month continues to send
ripples through Walton County.

A  transportation company owned by Angel Food Ministries and a
church started by Angel Food’s founders have either shut down or sharply
curtailed operations.

Steve Savage, a spokesman for the nonprofit, said Good Hope
Transportation “is no longer in business.” The trucking subsidiary of
Angel Food Ministries identifies Wesley Joseph Wingo as its CEO and his
wife, Linda H. Wingo, as its CFO. One of the couple’s sons, Jonathan
Wesley Wingo, is listed as the secretary, according to filings in the
Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

The company specialized in transporting food and agricultural
products. It’s unclear how many people it employed.

In addition, Savage said, Emmanuel Praise Church in Monroe, which was
formed by the Wingos, “has closed for services.” But he said Bible study
classes are still being held.

Angel Food Ministries announced in September that it was ceasing
operations after 17  years. It also said it had laid off its entire
full-time staff of 90 people and put its headquarters up for sale.

The nonprofit blamed the shutdown on the state of the economy,
including increasing costs for food, fuel and operations. But the
organization had other problems, including facing an ongoing federal
investigation, a past lawsuit filed by members of its own board and
heightened scrutiny about the pay given to members of the family that
founded it.

According to the nonprofit’s most recent 990 filing with the Internal
Revenue Service, Angel Food paid a total of $1.06 million in 2009 to
three members of the Wingo family. Wesley Joseph Wingo received
$697,037. Jonathan Wesley Wingo, as director of pastoral ministries and
chief information officer, received $265,195. And Linda Wingo, listed as
a director and corporate secretary, was paid $100,480.

In a previous statement, the nonprofit said a group of former
employees and food vendors “are working to find a better way of serving
those who have come to depend on Angel Food.