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Potter’s Field Ministries Pays Backlogged Checks to Former Workers

Ministries agreed to pay $121,690 to former employees following a labor department wage claim investigation

By Maggie Dresser
A Mudman Burgers stand, run by Potter’s Field Ministries, as seen off of US Highway 93 south Whitefish, Montana on July 23, 2019. The ministry and its popular burger chain closed its doors over allegations of abuse by ministry leaders against its workers. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Whitefish-based Potter’s Field Ministries has paid $121,690 in backlogged checks to former MudMan Burgers workers after the restaurant chain broke federal labor laws in 2019, according to Montana Department of Labor and Industry officials.

State officials confirmed that all payments have been sent to workers.

MudMan Burgers was staffed by participants in the IGNITE missionary program. The Department of Labor and Industry conducted a wage claim investigation after several allegations of 60-hour workweeks, low pay and verbal abuse by the ministries’ founders, Mike and Pam Rozell.

Several former employees filed wage claims in 2019 and following a request to respond to allegations, Potter’s Field officials said individuals “voluntarily signed up to be an intern as part of their IGNITE 2.0 program … generally a one-year commitment serving 60 plus hours per week,” according to the report.

Potter’s Field also “asserted (individuals) donated (their) time and energies to serve God as an act of sacrifice and worship, in the same way (they) would worship through the givings of tithes and offerings,” according to the report.

After closing down all of its locations in 2019, MudMan Burgers has reopened its Kalispell and Columbia Falls restaurants, now operating as a for-profit entity instead of a nonprofit. It is currently listed as a limited liability company in “good active standing,” according to the Montana Secretary of State’s Office.

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