Minister Andrea Simpson, spokeswoman for Word of Faith International Christian Center, tells the Detroit Free Press that opponents "characterize us as greedy and that is just not true." She says money could help reach more youth with summer programs, for example.
Officials haven't said how much money could come in from the Southfield project.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality holds a public meeting Wednesday night to seek comments on Traverse City-based Jordan Development's permit application. No immediate decision is expected.
The city opposes the drilling and passed a 180-day moratorium last year on oil and gas extractions due to environmental concerns.