Clothing Controversy Confuses Donors

SPOKANE — Every spring, a group of missionaries have been spotted in Spokane, soliciting donations for their church. But the uniforms the missionaries wear are confusing drivers, who think they’re representing a local charity.

For several hours, drivers stopped at the intersection of Mission and Division, reaching into their pockets to hand over donations.

The missionaries were camped out at the intersection waving, smiling, and collecting cash or change.

The group says they’re raising money on behalf of the Missionary Church of the Disciples of Jesus Christ, a religious group based out of California. Both men manning the corner said they live in Pasco.

But the white uniforms the pair were dressed in caused a little confusion, they’re similar to the uniforms worn by Salvation Army personnel.

The Salvation Army has received lots of calls from concerned drivers who say the missionaries are misrepresenting the organization.

“There’s a huge difference,” said Sheila Geraghty with the Salvation Army. “The Salvation Army wears a dark navy uniform with epaulets that have a Salvation Army “S” on them and these gentleman are wearing a white uniform with a red shield that says disciple on the shield.”

Despite the clothing controversy, the Salvation Army says these men are doing nothing wrong.

“We do know they’re not representing the Salvation Army, they’re not claiming to,” said Geraghty.

The Missionary Church of the Disciples of Jesus Christ is registered with Washington’s Secretary of State.

One of the missionaries was wearing a solicitation permit from the City of Spokane. The city’s Taxes and Licenses Division says a group called the Missionary Church has a permit valid through this July.