Pastoral Love Offering to reduce debt on mortgage

by FP
(Virginia)

Is it legal for SOLICITED church members (not the entire congregation) to write a check to the church, then to have the church turn around and write a check to the new pastor to reduce the debt on his new mortgage? Is that money tax deductible from the people writing the checks to the church or is this money laundering? I'm presuming the money written from the church to the new pastor is taxable.

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