Scandals of the Prosperity and Success Gospel preachers


NOVEMBER 19, 2015

 

Scandals of the Prosperity and Success Gospel preachers

 

PASTOR PAUL THANGIAH, FULL GOSPEL ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, BANGALORE

 

Rev. Paul Thangiah, the founder and senior pastor of one of the largest “churches” in India, the Full Gospel Assemblies of God (FGAG) Worship Centre in Bangalore

 

Time bomb waiting to explode – Bangalore Pastor Paul Thankiah involved in sex & money scandal

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/bangalore-voters/Rn4uOJwDxSY

June 25, 2009

Subject: Pastor Paul Thankiah and Pastoramma Sheba Thankiah
Please pray for this couple who are about to divorce due to sex and money scandals. Pastor Paul has accused his wife Sheba of having an affair with a top company CEO who is a member of his church and also with his assistant pastor.

Sheba has accused Paul of beating and torturing her. She has been supported in her claim by her family. She has left Paul and is staying separately.

Sheba says her husband is jealous of her success as a preacher and her popularity with people.

The company CEO claims that Paul has stolen huge amounts from the church and its members. He also has stated that Paul has been “womanising” over the last 18 years.

What is true?  What is false?

Pastor D. Paul who is the overall head of the Assemblies of God church has failed to reconcile this couple. He says Sheba is happier outside the marriage and that Paul has insulted him by asking him not to interfere. He has returned to his base in Chennai in disgust.

Many church leaders are worried this bomb will explode and damage the church. They are trying to find a solution to the problem before it is exploited by the Hindutva forces.

All this information is gathered from Thankiah’s church members and family.  Please confirm this yourself before using it as outside elements could misuse the information.

Please pray for healing this rift and protect the body of Christ from injury and damage.
Pastor Sam Mathew

 

Pastor Dr. Thomas Mathai:
Beloved in the Lord,
Thanks for your kind mail which has been really prayerfully executed.

I have now discovered that the eminent business and corporate leader Mr. Sam Selva Kumar has been humiliated and mentally tortured by Pastor Thankiah who deserves to be punished by the entire Assemblies of God church for his ego, pride and arrogance. You know that Mr. Selva Kumar was his greatest supporter for many years and gave almost Rs. One crore to Thankiah to build his personal home and other secret causes.  One source told me that Selva Kumar has also sent money to build Thankiah’s home in Australia where he will eventually run away to.

 

 


Two pastors of the AG have confirmed to me that Pastor Thankiah has been cavorting both inside his Indiranagar office and in secret locations. You know the meaning of CAVORTING.
I do not want to insult you by underestimating your intelligence.
The Rev. Dr. Sheba Thankiah is a victim of dowry harassment and she has been tortured with mental cruelty and assaults for every day of the 18-year marriage. Her family has said so.  
I have told some pastors to set up a Pastor Sheba Defense Fund to protect her rights and to seek the protection of the women’s commission through women’s police stations etc.  
We urge her to file a case of torture and cruelty in the police dept. against Pastor Thankiah.
She does not want to return to Thankiah. Several people are reconciling including Pastor Paul Dhinakaran of Madras.  Pastor D. Mohan who is the supreme AG boss has tried and failed to reconcile the couple. He was insulted by Thankiah.
Thankiah is a greedy ambitious man who is illegally enrolling hundreds of church groups by buying the poor pastors with Rs1000 or 2000 so that they all vote for him and make him the Bangalore superintendent in the August elections.
Brother with tears in my eyes I have asked the Lord to reconvert Thankiah and bring him to the straight and narrow.  He has strayed.  I also would like Pastor Sheba who is great woman preacher to reconcile if possible.  
But is she involved romantically with Mr. Selva Kumar? They deny it but Thankiah has told everyone in his church that they are.  Who to believe?
I think Thankiah has made a mistake.  He thinks money can buy him happiness. He can buy fancy suits, cars, homes, gadgets, food, beautiful women — but he will be overwhelmed when he faces god who will spurn him if he does not turn away from evil things now.
Thankiah loves only rich men and women. He pretends to love the poor, but we know who these money bags are and what they will do to be treated importantly in the church and strut their vainglorious wealth. 
We have also got the names of Thankiah’s girlfriends but we do not want to reveal it for now.
You are right Sheba is a woman pastor and some churches do NOT encourage them to preach or be prominent. Like the Catholics. But the Anglicans now have women priests and bishops.
What is good for the AG church for its top leaders to act swiftly and cleanse the houses of God in Bangalore.
A full investigation into the affair is called for Chief Justice P D Dinakaran of Karnataka High Court or his nominee. Some prominent leaders have taken him into confidence already.
Money, sex and power form a devastating combination and leads to the downfall of the most powerful leaders.  We must know our limits.
Please pray for the AG church, its total Americanisation, its western mannerisms, its rock music, its dancing girls, its emotional blackmail, its pastors with feet of clay greedy for money, and its emphasis on public subservience to pastor personalities like Thankiah and not to God.
This is idol worship at its worst, Sir!
Brother Sam Mathew

 

Subject: The Paul Thangiah Problem

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/bangalore-voters/GsJqsZYQi0k

June 25, 2009

Pastor Paul Thangiah of the Full gospel AG Church, Indiranagar, Bangalore has been accused of:

1. regularly torturing his wife Sheba Thangiah and beating her up.

2. covering up the real reasons for Sheba’s departure from his house to her mother’s three weeks ago.  The real reasons are his serial womanizing with lady members of his church both inside his office (eyewitnesses have confirmed this it appears) and outside.

3. forcing Sheba into the arms of another man reputedly a top cell company honcho which he has denied.

4. falsely accusing his wife to be having an affair with an assistant pastor.

5. mismanaging and misappropriating huge amounts of church funds.

6. salting away money overseas for eventual migration to Australia.

7. jealously thwarting Sheba’s own pastoral ministry as she is known as the Joyce Meyer of Bangalore.

Where will this end?  With a bang not a whimper, that’s where! It is time bomb waiting to explode.

Francis D’Souza, Catholic Cause, Bombay

 

PASTOR DAVID (formerly PAUL) YONGGI CHO, YOIDO FULL GOSPEL CHURCH, ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, SEOUL


 

 

Signs of vulnerability for Korean megachurch

http://www.ucanindia.in/news/signs-of-vulnerability-for-korean-megachurch/30129/daily

September 16, 2015

Scandal, aging population test Yoido after years of explosive growth.

Seoul: It’s midnight on a recent Tuesday at Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, and though many seats are empty, 300 people still sing and wave their hands to a catchy gospel tune. A few in attendance — almost all look over 50 years old — remain asleep.
“Feel the Holy Spirit,” chants the pastor, his assistant performing a kind of gospel rap into a microphone.
Some 830,000 people are members of Yoido, making it the largest church congregation in the world. But scandal and changing lifestyles mean the church faces stagnation after unprecedented growth in recent decades.
In February last year, Yoido’s founder, Pastor David Yonggi Cho, 79, was found guilty of embezzling 13 billion won (US$12 million). He received a three-year term suspended for five years and a fine of nearly US$5 million. Oldest son Cho Hee-jun remains behind bars serving a three-year term after he sold shares to Yoido at inflated prices.
“God forbid, if God calls me back today, I will still be able to go to the Kingdom of God,” Cho said in his first Sunday service following the verdict.
After one of the church’s toughest years, a Yoido spokesman said the church had escaped a negative impact on its growth because Cho had already retired. In 2011, he resigned as Yoido’s chairman three years after stepping down as senior pastor in a deal that meant prosecutors would delay filing a case.
Cho was replaced by Pastor Young Hoon Lee, a fluent Japanese and English speaker who has led Yoido missions overseas.
“He is leading the church to elevate us to a higher level and is not bound by a 70-year-old’s mind — Pastor Cho’s generation — while keeping the main values of the church’s beliefs,” Yoido’s public relations department wrote in an emailed response. “So although we met an unexpected situation with Pastor Cho, the church is still solid and we expect more growth of the church in this decade.”


Growth and stagnation
Outside Yoido’s main church on the Han River island of the same name, there were few signs of discontent this month. A 50-year-old member who gave only her surname, Kim, said she joined six years ago and had no thought of leaving Yoido.
“Pastor Cho’s speech always makes me feel good,” she said, referring to Cho’s continued appearances at Sunday services following his retirement.
Even if church members remain loyal, statistics and projections by experts suggest Yoido may struggle to match the staggering growth of previous years.
Started in 1958, the church held its first service in a Seoul living room where Cho and a co-pastor claimed to have performed a miracle in curing a paralyzed woman.
As the congregation swelled, the church was forced to relocate to a tent. By 1961, a brick-and-mortar church had been built and opened in downtown Seoul.
A move to the capital’s Yoido Island in 1973 gave the church its current name and the impetus for growth that accelerated into the 1980s. By 1992, the Guinness Book of World Records confirmed Yoido’s claims to the world’s largest congregation with 700,000 members.
Yoido says the secret of its success has been a “cell system” whereby congregation networks brought in new members, and gently prod those who miss religious services too often.
The church has paired innovative micromanagement with a philosophy focusing on the grandiose. The main church building in Seoul holds 12,000 people with overflow in adjoining sanctuaries featuring large screens. Religious services — at least 25 every week, around the clock — are broadcast on TV channels in South Korea and overseas. The message is one of healing and helping ever larger numbers find the Holy Spirit.
“People experienced the power and grace of the Gospel in their real lives. Then they brought others,” said the Yoido spokesman.
The church has also been helped by circumstance. Seoul’s population has exploded amid rapid economic growth in recent decades — in 2012, the city area was home to nearly 26 million people, one of the world’s largest metropolitan areas in terms of population. South Korea’s capital boasts 17 mega-churches — defined as 2,000-plus attending each week. This is more than any city outside of the United States.
Another key factor aiding mega-church growth has been tax, or lack thereof. Government lobbying means South Korea’s powerful, and wealthy, religious groups have not been required to pay tax although some faiths — including the Catholic Church — have voluntarily done so in recent years.


Peaking
However, perceived greed has damaged the reputations of South Korean mega-churches, says Caleb Kwang-eun Shin, a lecturer at Korea Baptist Theological Seminary in Daejeon.
Pastor Cho’s conviction last year will not necessarily define Yoido’s future, he says. But whispers of impropriety have plagued Yoido and some other South Korean mega-churches for years, turning people off.
“The scandals of mega-church pastors are very important,” says Shin. “Korean Churches have lost their role models and orientation.”

 

 


Even before the scandals hit, signs suggested Yoido’s membership may have peaked. After reaching 1 million members by the late 1990s, numbers reportedly fell to 830,000 in 2007. Eight years on, Yoido has the same membership, the church spokesman said on Sept. 14.
Faithful are not necessarily changing values and switching teams. The main challenge has been replacing aging members, says Michael Begin, a professor of Global Studies at Busan National University.
South Korea registered the lowest fertility rate in the world last year at 1.1 births per woman, according to the World Health Organization.
“[This] points to a huge challenge for mega-churches to maintain replacement levels of recruitment,” says Begin.
Many South Korean mega-churches have ramped up expansion outside of Seoul to smaller cities and suburbs, and increasingly overseas, in a bid to turn the tide. Churches like Yoido may also have to revise what they preach to return to growth, says Scott Thumma, professor of sociology of religion at Hartford Institute of Religion Research.
“It will be interesting to watch and see if South Korean mega-churches moderate their theology as the society becomes increasingly postmodern and secular. And if they continue to be able to appeal to the newer generations of high-tech young adults,” he says.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Yonggi_Cho
EXTRACT

In September 2011, 29 church elders out of 1,500 elders filed lawsuit by Korean prosecutors. The Korean prosecutors have begun an investigation of Cho’s alleged embezzlement of 23 billion ($20 million USD) from the Yoido Full Gospel Church‘s funds. A national broadcaster, MBC, released a documentary that claimed the money had been used to buy properties for the Bethesda Christian university in California, United States.

In February 2014, he was convicted for tax evasion, given a 3-year suspended prison sentence, and fined the equivalent of almost US$5 million.

Distinctive teachings (emphases mine)

Good health: “The physical curse of illness and death which were handed down through generations after the first sin of Adam were cleansed whole with no trace. Now, we must base our lives on the redemption of Christ, and claim our right to health and divine healing. Also, Christians receive the seed of eternal life (I Corinthians 15:42-45).”

Prosperity: “We must rethink our misguided thoughts considering material wealth as being equated with sin. We must drive out our subconsciously rooted thoughts of poverty, condemnation and despair. God acts in concordance with our conscience; if our thoughts are filled with poverty and despair, God will not bless us with material blessing.”

 

David Yonggi Cho: Money, sex, power and the perils of church leadership

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/david.yonggi.cho.money.sex.power.and.the.perils.of.church.leadership/36083.htm

By David Baker, March 4, 2014

It doesn’t look like good news for the gospel when the senior pastor of one of the world’s largest Christian congregations is convicted of corruption.

As this website has reported, David Yonggi Cho, founder of the million-strong Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, has been found guilty of embezzling $12 million in church funds. He was sentenced to three years in prison – suspended for five years – and ordered to pay $4.67 million in fines.

As a report by the Gospel Herald put it, the news “spread like wildfire among global Christian communities, where followers of the disgraced South Korean mega-church pastor searched for an explanation of how their spiritual leader became entangled in the crime”.

Perhaps, however, we should not be so surprised. Christian leaders are no more immune from temptation than anyone else – and it is often money, sex or power which trips them up. Yet the New Testament sets a high standard for those who aspire to have oversight of congregations, declaring that they “must be blameless – not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, and not pursuing dishonest gain,” as Paul puts it in his Epistle to Titus. Rather, they must be “hospitable, love what is good… [and] self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined”. (Titus 1 v7-8)

Nonetheless, Paul himself was the first to admit that sin was an ongoing struggle for him: “I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out,” he laments in Romans 7. “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” Although some have argued he was speaking about his experience before becoming a Christian, the majority of Bible scholars – from Augustine through to the Reformation and beyond – agree that he was writing about his ongoing post-conversion struggle against sin. More recently, when Pope Francis was asked to define himself, he replied: “I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.”

Church leaders are not expected to be perfect – but they are expected to be living in daily repentance and faith. The problem for them comes when the daily battle against sin is abandoned, when it remains unconfessed to God, and when sin makes it impossible for them to discharge the duties of their ministry or brings the gospel into public disgrace.

In the case of David Yonggi Cho, one of his church elders has said: “Over the past 14 years, I have met with Rev Cho many times to try to persuade him to repent and return to being a great pastor, but the corruption has continued. That’s why I had no choice but to disclose it to the outside world.”

 

 

 

Sometimes, on the other hand, ministers are brought down by untrue accusations – or the misdeeds of others. Again, Paul wrote of experiencing “glory and dishonour, bad report and good report” and of his mission team being “genuine, yet regarded as impostors,” (2 Corinthians 6v7-9). In Cho’s case, one American minister and friend, Bob Rodgers, has suggested his downfall was at least in part due to naïvety in signing financial papers prepared by others without reading them properly.

Either way, the loneliness and lack of accountability which many church leaders experience makes them even more vulnerable to the temptations of Satan who is – after all – constantly seeking their downfall. Who are your church ministers? What could you pray for them each day? And what words of encouragement could you offer them today?

 

PASTOR KONG HEE, CITY HARVEST CHURCH, PENTECOSTAL, SINGAPORE


 

City Harvest trial: Kong Hee sentenced to 8 years in prison, 5 other church leaders get between 21 months and 6 years

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/courts-crime/city-harvest-trial-kong-hee-and-church-leaders-back-in-court-on-friday-for

November 20, 2015

Click on the above link to see related news stories, videos and documents -Michael
SINGAPORE – City Harvest Church (CHC) founder Kong Hee, 51, was sentenced to eight years’ jail on Friday (Nov 20). 

Former CHC fund manager Chew Eng Han, 55, received a six-year sentence, deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng, 43, got five-and-a-half years, and ex-finance manager Serina Wee, 38, got five years. 

Ex-CHC finance committee member John Lam, 47, and former finance manager Sharon Tan, 40, received lighter sentences. They got three years and 21 months respectively. 

All six accused had been found guilty on Oct 21 of misappropriating $24 million in church funds, funneling them into bogus investments that funded the singing career of Kong’s wife, Ms. Ho Yeow Sun. Later, a further $26 million was used to cover their tracks.

Judge See Kee Oon said he had agreed with the prosecution’s call for general deterrence, but he said he was mindful that did not mean “disproportionately crushing sentences”.

He also highlighted the unique nature of this case – those found guilty did not enjoy personal gain and believed that they were fulfilling the objective of the church. As Kong was the overall spiritual leader and prime mover and driver of the Crossover Project – the church’s attempt to use Ms. Ho’s pop career to evangelise – he should be held most culpable, the judge said.

As for Chew, Judge See said Tan Ye Peng, Wee and Lam all relied on him.

Their sentences will start on Jan 11 next year. 

Asked by reporters if he intended to appeal his sentence, Kong declined to comment. 

Speaking on behalf of Tan Ye Peng, lawyer N. Sreenivasan said: “This has been a very trying case. He needs to pray, reflect and discern, before deciding what to do.”

Wee’s husband, Kenny Low, would only say: “We are thankful that we are able to have some time to go back and settle our family and to (think) about what’s ahead.”

Sharon Tan’s lawyer, Mr. Paul Seah, said he would have a good chat with his client and look at the judge’s statement carefully before deciding on what to do next. 

Lam was also unsure if he would be appealing, and said he would have to speak to his lawyer first. “I’m just glad we have cleared this stage, at least the sentence has been passed and we know what we are in for. It’s obviously a very difficult time and we want to get the family ready. We have to prepare ahead,” he added. 

As for Chew, he told The Straits Times: “No comment, you already know I want to appeal.” When asked what his immediate plans were, he told The Straits Times he would be catching the new Hunger Games movie with his family tonight.

 

 

 

 

After the sentencing, the church’s senior leadership issued a statement on their website and on Facebook thanking the congregation for their support: “We want to thank each and every one of you, our church members, for demonstrating such strength and unity throughout all these years, and particularly in these last few extremely difficult months. We ask you to remember and hold close to your heart the call of God upon City Harvest Church.

“We have learned lately what it means to have faith, trust and rest in God—let us put what we have learned to practice. Let’s band together to fulfill the heavenly calling for us through CHC 2.0.”

The statement also asked supporters to pray for the six leaders who were sentenced. 

“Let us continue to pray for the six and their families as they prepare for this next step in the legal process. May God grant them grace and the peace that surpasses understanding,” the statement added.

Both the defence and prosecution of the case made their final arguments earlier in the morning, ahead of the sentencing of the six church leaders at 3pm.

The prosecution had earlier asked for stiff sentences for all of them.

It had recommended a jail sentence of 11 to 12 years each for Kong, Tan Ye Peng, Wee and Chew.

For Lam, the prosecution asked for a jail sentence of eight to nine years, and six years for Sharon Tan.

A maximum cumulative sentence of 20 years could have been imposed on the accused, in addition to a fine.

A queue of about 50 people formed overnight outside the State Courts – the first person had started queueing at 10.30pm on Thursday – as church members turned up in a show of support for their leaders. By 7am, there were about 66 people in the queue.

Production supervisor Sam Lew, a CHC member for the past 15 years, said he was not feeling nervous or worried about the sentencing as he had already prayed about it.

Said Mr. Lew, 37: “Of course we are disappointed by the verdict but we do respect the decision of the State Courts. But (I have never wavered) in my trust in the church leaders because I believe in what God is doing in our church.”

Chew and Lam were the first to arrive just after 9am. They were followed closely by the other four. Kong, usually accompanied by his wife, arrived alone.

The session began at 9.45am in a packed courtroom, with lawyers for each of the six church leaders taking turns to submit their clients’ final oral arguments. 

Kong’s lawyer Edwin Tong, who was the first to speak, said the sentence meted out to Kong must be appropriate and proportionate. The characteristics of the offender and circumstances surrounding him must be taken into account. 

Mr. Tong said Kong had shared with the church about the Crossover Project and its members expressed support. Kong’s wife, Ms. Ho, was also chosen not without their knowledge. He added that the project was without a doubt an integral aspect of the church’s evangelism. 

Emphasing that all six loved the church and meant no harm to it whatsoever, Mr. Tong argued that every cent which was drawn out went to the church and was supported by the church. None of the church leaders benefited from the funds used in a wrong manner. 

Mr. Tong concluded by claiming that Kong had demonstrated remorse. The length of the trial had taken a toll on Kong, who has aged parents and two deaf and mute siblings who rely on him for support. Kong’s 10-year-old son, who was five when the case first came to court, also suffered from the attention received, and had to be withdrawn from school after being evaluated by a psychiatrist, Mr. Tong said.

Mr. Tong also submitted a letter, signed by 173 of the church’s current executive members, pleading for leniency. 

An excerpt from the letter reads: “Sir, we are the ones who have given, through tithes, offerings and building funds. We are still here. And so are Pastor Kong Hee, Pastor Tan Ye Peng, John Lam, Serina Wee and Sharon Tan. Throughout these past five years, we see them still attending church. Still helping out. Still serving. We see them stand and worship God every weekend, many times with tears streaming down their faces. 

“In this whole matter, we believe they wanted to fulfill the Crossover mission and in their zeal, they overstepped certain boundaries. We sincerely ask for leniency on their sentencing. For the sake of their young children, we appeal for them to be spared jail terms.”

Mr. Kenneth Tan, lawyer for Lam, said his client’s involvement was not as extensive as the other five leaders. He was far less culpable as he was just a volunteer who failed to inquire about the questionable use of church funds because of ingrained and misplaced trust in Kong. 

Mr. Andre Maniam, Serina Wee’s lawyer, described his client as a follower who “started out as a girl doing accounts”. Wee was not entrusted with any funds and was not on the board at the time of the criminal breach of trust charge. She was also never a pastor, Mr. Maniam said. Wee’s role was to provide administrative support “with limited involvement”.

He added that the job in the church’s accounts department was Wee’s first job – she had no prior experience in the private sector. Church was Wee’s life – in terms of family job, and faith – at a point in time when she was relatively young and inexperienced. There was no evidence of wrongful gain and no permanent loss in funds was intended, Mr. Maniam said. Wee and the other five church leaders are not innately bad people, Mr. Maniam concluded as he pleaded for leniency on behalf of his client.

In response, Deputy Public Prosecutor Christopher Ong listed four aggravating factors in the case, chief among them the fact that CHC – as a large registry entrusted with millions in members’ donations – had betrayed public trust and the trust of its donors. 

The prosecution also found that the offences committed were “premeditated and carefully planned”, and they were subsequently covered up with numerous cunning deceptions to avoid detection. 

 

 

DPP Ong went on to refute the mitigating factors put forth by the defence, stating that the good character of the six accused was not relevant in this case given the seriousness of the offences.

“How much weight can the good character of a shepherd be given if he is also a wolf at the same time?” he said.

The argument that no personal gain was made and that the church did not suffer any losses also does not apply, he added. 

On Kong’s claim that he was remorseful, DPP Ong said Kong had not actually apologised for his role in the offences, and a confession letter he had tendered was filled with excuses in an attempt to shirk responsibility. 


In the weeks following the verdict on Oct 21, both the defence and prosecution have handed to the court their written submissions on sentencing.

The defence has told the court repeatedly that the church suffered no loss and the six had not profited from their crimes.

The church leaders have been out on bail and barred from travelling overseas.

Kong, Tan Ye Peng, Chew and Lam have each posted bail of $1 million. Wee and Sharon Tan have each posted a sum of $750,000.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kong_Hee
EXTRACT

Kong Hee (born 23 August 1964) is the founder and senior pastor of City Harvest Church in Singapore. He is married to pop music singer Sun Ho.

City Harvest Church has an average of 23,256 attendees as of December 2010 with 47 affiliate “Harvest” churches, as well as 29 affiliate churches and 6 Bible schools in Asia, namely, in Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan. Another 18 affiliate churches in the East and West Malaysia are under the Malaysian Harvest Fellowship which Kong Hee has co-founded.

In 2015, Kong was found guilty in court of three charges of criminal breach of trust, and sentenced to eight years jail, beginning in 2016. This was the result of a 2012 arrest and a trial beginning in 2013 into the allegations that Kong and five other church leaders illegally used $24 million of church funds to fund the music career of Sun Ho (who was not charged), and then misused another $26 million in a cover-up. Kong was also found by the judge to be the “key man” behind the scandal who had guided his five accomplices…

 

 

In March 2010, a blogger identified plagiarism on Kong Hee’s ‘Daily Devotionals’ as they were similar to writings to another publication, “The Leadership Bible” which was published 10 years ago. The copied text were published as physical copies into two books, “Renewing Your Spiritual Energy in 90 Days” without accreditation to the original authors.

Kong Hee’s daily devotionals were originally compiled from his personal reading notes and printed as supplementary reading for his members, free of charge. Some years later, due to popular demand overseas, a local publisher compiled and released foreign language translations of the devotional for sale.

Kong Hee posted a note on his website and explained that the devotion was “originally meant only for internal circulation among the members of my church. As such, there was an oversight in not quoting the sources of some portions that borrow from the writings of other Christian authors.” There was also an apology for the oversight.

The publisher who is also a member of City Harvest Church, acknowledged that at the time of publication, both himself and Mr. Kong were aware that certain portions of the content were not original. The publisher of “Renewal” has since made amendments to the soft copies to include accreditation.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_Harvest_Church
EXTRACT

The church has been described by Charisma magazine as “one of the largest congregations in Asia.” It had a year-end service attendance of 17,364 attendees…

Views on wealth, freedom and success

Success and freedom, according to Tong’s study, are the two most outstanding values that are not merely “advocated to back up the church’s agenda” but are “presented as virtues in themselves”, often using quotations from Bible verses in the process. According to church doctrine, “God’s abundant love” has both material and spiritual payoffs. “Conspicuous success”, i.e. being prosperous, is presented as a desirable goal of the congregation. One informant who responded to Tong gave his explanation of church doctrine as follows:

God wants us all to be successful in all aspects of our lives … I don’t see [why] Christians should live a poor, pitiful, and suffered life … it is not victory that is questionable, but failure … success is good testimony. Of course people want to join successful people. Is it sensible to join a group of losers?

 

PASTOR BENNY HINN, TELEVANGELIST, WORLD HEALING CENTER CHURCH INC., NONDENOMINATIONAL, FORT WORTH, TEXAS, USA


Pastor Benny Hinn and Suzanne

 

Church Disassociates From Evangelist´s Prayer Meeting As Hindu Protests Mount

http://www.ucanews.com/story-archive/?post_name=/2005/01/21/church-disassociates-from-evangelists-prayer-meeting-as-hindu-protests-mount&post_id=25281
EXTRACT

January 21, 2005

Benny Hinn, based in the United States, produces a daily TV show called “This Is Your Day.” He is a proponent of what some call the “Prosperity Gospel” or the “Word-Faith Movement.” Prosperity Gospel supporters believe that faith helps them obtain anything they want, be it health, wealth or personal success.

 

Benny Hinn ‘Shocked’ by Divorce Papers

http://www.christianpost.com/news/benny-hinn-shocked-by-divorce-papers-43841/

By Audrey Barrick, Christian Post Reporter, February 19, 2010

After more than 30 years of marriage, faith healer Benny Hinn may be heading to divorce court.

Benny Hinn Ministries on Thursday confirmed that his wife, Suzanne Hinn, filed a petition for divorce in Orange County Superior Court on Feb. 1. She cited irreconcilable differences.

Though the couple separated on Jan. 26, according to court papers, the organization released a statement expressing shock.

“Pastor Benny Hinn and his immediate family were shocked and saddened to learn of this news without any previous notice,” said Don Price, longtime senior advisor to Benny Hinn Ministries. “Although Pastor Hinn has faithfully endeavored to bring healing to their relationship, those efforts failed and were met with the petition for divorce that was filed without notice.”

 

 

Just months before the petition, world renowned and controversial preacher Benny Hinn had come out to the public to answer his critics for the first time.

For years, Hinn has been a subject of scrutiny by the media and recently the government for the miraculous healings he claims to perform and the lavish lifestyle he leads. He travels to cities across the globe conducting “miracle crusades” and services. Reports from each event indicate that dozens are miraculously healed from a physical ailment, though Hinn admitted to ABC News recently that he doesn’t have medical verification of the healings

He also told ABC he has no misgivings about the comfortable lifestyle – a private jet, fancy hotel stays, and a multimillion-dollar home – he leads.

“Look, you know there’s this idea supposedly that we preachers are supposed to walk about with sandals and ride bicycles. That’s nonsense,” he said.

Hinn is currently under a Senate investigation for possible financial misconduct.

 

Benny Hinn Divorce: Wife Suzanne Hinn Files for Divorce from Televangelist

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/18/benny-hinn-divorce-wife-s_n_468296.html
EXTRACT
By Gillian Flaccus, AP, February 18, 2010
ORANGE, Calif. – The wife of televangelist Benny Hinn has filed for divorce from the high-profile pastor, whose reputation as an advocate of prosperity gospel has attracted millions of followers and criticism from lawmakers and watchdog groups over his lavish lifestyle.
Suzanne Hinn filed the papers in Orange County Superior Court on Feb. 1, citing irreconcilable differences, after more than 30 years of marriage. The papers note the two separated on Jan. 26 and that Hinn has been living in Dana Point, a wealthy coastal community in southern Orange County.
“Pastor Benny Hinn and his immediate family were shocked and saddened to learn of this news without any previous notice,” Benny Hinn Ministries said Thursday in a statement. “Although Pastor Hinn has faithfully endeavored to bring healing to their relationship, those efforts failed and were met with the petition for divorce that was filed without notice.”
Hinn is one of the best known advocates of the prosperity gospel, which teaches that Christians who are right with God will be rewarded with wealth and health in this lifetime. […]

J. Lee Grady, contributing editor of Charisma, a news magazine on the Pentecostal community, said Hinn’s divorce is the latest in a string of high-profile ministry divorces and moral failures among the Pentecostal leaders, beginning with Ted Haggard’s fall from grace in 2006.

Haggard, who is married and has five children, admitted to receiving a massage from a male prostitute and buying drugs from him, but denied allegations he paid the man for sex…

 

Divorce, Then Remarriage for Benny Hinn and Suzanne Harthern

http://www.divorcedebbie.com/benny-hinn-divorce-suzanne-harthern/
EXTRACT

Benny Hinn had married Suzanne Harthern first, in 1979. They couple went on to have four children.

Suzanne filed for divorce in 2010, citing ‘irreconcilable differences’; the couple had been living separately for nearly four years till the filing. Later that same very year news reports and an alleged photograph of Benny Hinn and another fellow evangelist Paula White holding hands, came out. Though, Benny admitted to a friendship between the two, both denied the alleged affair. In 2011, contrary to Benny’s claims of ‘no infidelity’, he was sued by the Christian publishing house Strang Communications that asserted that Benny Hinn and Paula White did have an affair and that he had violated the morality clause in his contract with the company.

Two reasons that Benny Hinn set out for his estrangement and divorce from his wife, Suzanne was that he had become too involved in his ministry work and had not paid enough attention to his wife and family, and the second reason he gave was of Suzanne’s dependency on prescription drugs and anti-depressants for nearly fifteen years and her erratic behavior that ensued, as a result. He blamed himself for not heeding her problems. According to Benny, her filing for divorce was a call for help and it also made him realize the importance of his wife and family.

After the divorce came through, Suzanne checked into the Betty Ford Clinic, in 2010 for chemical dependency problems. She came out free of her dependency issues, after nearly three and a half months of therapy.

In 2012, Benny Hinn announced that the two had started reconciliation process and in 2013, the two got married in the presence of a thousand people including their four children, four grandchildren and many important Christian ministers.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Hinn
EXTRACT

In November 2004, the CBC Television show The Fifth Estate did a special titled “Do You Believe in Miracles” on the apparent transgressions committed by Benny Hinn’s ministry.

With the aid of hidden cameras and crusade witnesses, the producers of the show demonstrated Hinn’s apparent misappropriation of funds, his fabrication of the truth, and the way in which his staff chose crusade audience members to come on stage to proclaim their miracle healings. In particular, the investigation highlighted the fact that the most desperate miracle seekers who attend a Hinn crusade—the quadriplegics, the brain-damaged, virtually anyone with a visibly obvious physical condition—are never allowed up on stage; those who attempt to get in the line of possible healings are intercepted and directed to return to their seats.

 

 

 

At one Canadian service, hidden cameras showed a mother who was carrying her Muscular Dystrophy-afflicted daughter, Grace, being stopped by two screeners when they attempted to get into the line for a possible blessing from Hinn. The screeners asked the mother if Grace had been healed, and when the mother replied in the negative, they were told to return to their seats; the pair got out of line, but Grace, wanting “Pastor Benny to pray for [her],” asked her mother to support her as she tried to walk as a show of “her faith in action,” according to the mother. After several unsuccessful attempts at walking, the pair left the arena in tears, both mother and daughter visibly upset at being turned aside and crying as they explained to the undercover reporters that all Grace had wanted was for Hinn to pray for her, but the staffers rushed them out of the line when they found out Grace had not been healed. A week later at a service in Toronto, Baptist evangelist Justin Peters, who wrote his Masters in Divinity thesis on Benny Hinn and has attended numerous Hinn crusades since 2000 as part of his research for his thesis and for a seminar he developed about the Word of Faith movement entitled A Call for Discernment, also demonstrated to the hidden cameras that “people who look like me”—Peters has cerebral palsy, walks with arm-crutches, and is obviously and visibly disabled—”are never allowed on stage […] it’s always somebody who has some disability or disease that cannot be readily seen.” Like Grace and her mother, Peters was quickly intercepted as he came out of the wheelchair section (there is one at every crusade, situated at the back of the audience, far away from the stage, and never filmed for Hinn’s TV show) in an attempt to join the line of those waiting to go onstage, and was told to take a seat.

This segment was later edited with new footage and shown on Dateline: NBC in November 2005.

 

See plenty more:

Pastor Benny Hinn: Fraud, Scam & Divorce

http://www.blog.joelx.com/pastor-benny-hinn-fraud-scam-divorce/4863/
EXTRACT

August 2, 2010

Hinn flies around in a Gulfstream G4SP valued at $36,000,000 and costing $600,000 more per year to operate and maintain. He lives in a lavish multimillion dollar house in a very wealthy area of Dana Point (a beachfront property in Orange County). 

Like many scammy mega-church pastors, Benny Hinn pushes the Prosperity Gospel to get people to donate him more money. The Bible does not provide support for the doctrine of the Prosperity Gospel and serious theologians and real Christian oppose these sinful pastors. However, Benny Hinn uses it to convince healthy people to donate him more money by telling them that if they do so, God will give them huge amounts of money. Obviously Benny Hinn convinces the sick to donate to him so that they will be healed of their maladies.

 

“Raised From the Dead” by Reinhard Bonnke. Oh Really? 

http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/bonnke2.html
EXTRACT
By Sandy Simpson

Bonnke used this dead raising claim on the Benny Hinn show to validate both of their ministries, even though Bonnke was not even present when it allegedly happened. Also, it happened before ANYONE prayed for him except his Daniel’s wife.
The fact that Bonnke and Hinn were panned by HBO on their show “A Question Of Miracles” aired 4/15/01, exposing them as fraudulent “faith healers” has a lot to do with the fact that both of these guys were on Hinn’s show trying to vindicate themselves.  Bonnke, on the Hinn TV show stated that the “dead raising” was to God’s glory, yet he also held up the following newspaper article that claimed Bonnke raised Daniel from the dead.

 

Benny Hinn admits his relationship with Paula White

http://apprising.org/2010/08/10/benny-hinn-admits-his-relationship-with-paula-white/

By Ken Silva, Pastor, August 10, 2010

 

 

After a report of an alleged affair between top-level Word Faith heretics Benny Hinn and Paula White surfaced in The National Enquirer, in posts such as Paula White: Is She, Or Isn’t She? And Benny Hinn And Paula White Side By Side here at Apprising Ministries, I’ve been doing what I can to point you to the facts; as obscure as they appear to be.

In order for you to be able to evaluate this issue for yourself, just the other day AM correspondent Chrystal Whitt of Slaughter of the Sheep posted the videos of Hinn’s “defense” of his relationship with pastrix White in Benny Hinn Defends Himself Against National Enquirer. And now Charisma, flagship magazine for the charismatic movement, has today released Benny Hinn Admits ‘Friendship’ With Paula White but Tells TV Audience It’s Over.

After the Enquirer “pictured them holding hands in Rome on July 13” Charisma reporter Adrienne S. Gaines informs us that at a “crusade in Oakland, Calif.” Benny Hinn “admitted” to his “having a ‘friendship’ with fellow” Word Faith mogul Paula White “while he’s still married”. Gaines then explains that Benny Hinn “says the relationship is over” and continues:

“A friendship did develop,” Hinn said of White in Oakland on July 30. “Hear this: No immorality whatsoever. These people out there are making it sound like we had an affair. That’s a lie.” Hinn invited his daughters Natasha and Eleasha on stage in Oakland on July 30 and asked the crowd to pray for him, his estranged wife, Suzanne, and their four children. He said he and his wife had problems in their marriage for years and “could no longer exist in the same house.”

Hinn’s wife, Suzanne, filed for divorce in February after the couple had been separated for four years, but it has not been finalized. Hinn aired segments from the Oakland crusade and made additional personal comments on his This Is Your Day program on TBN Aug. 5, the day after his 31st wedding anniversary. A ministry executive said the program will air on other networks this week, including on Daystar Friday.

Hinn told the crowd in Oakland that the Vatican made him a Patron of the Arts and invited him to visit Rome. He said patrons are asked to find donors to help maintain the Vatican’s art collections, and he wanted White to become a donor. “I let her come with me to Rome so she can donate money,” Hinn said. “That was stupid on my part. And for that I do ask forgiveness.”

The National Enquirer published photos in its Aug. 2 issue of Hinn walking hand-in-hand with White in Rome. The article, which released July 23, claimed the two spent three nights in a five-star hotel Hinn booked under a false name… (Online source)

You can read the rest of Gaines’ report concerning an alleged affair between Benny Hinn and Paula White right here.

HT: Christian Research Service

 

Uganda Pastors Expose Pastor Benny Hinn’s Sodomy escapades with Top Kampala Pastor. Tabloid insists that this is the cause of Marriage break

http://watchmanafrica.blogspot.in/2010/02/uganda-pastors-expose-pastor-benny.html
EXTRACT

http://www.redpepper.ug/details.php?item=3187&PHPSESSID=2953fc7e54a40c5b7fcba9c46f55d305

February 24, 2010

When celebrated international pastor Benny Hinn visited Uganda last year, the media dutifully reported that the “lame walked, the blind had their eyes opened, the deaf heard and the sick recovered”. However, there are certain things the media did not capture. It has been revealed that while in Kampala, Hinn sodomised a senior male pastor.

DIVORCE PAPERS

According to the divorce papers filed by Suzanne Hinn, wife to the renowned preacher, evangelist and healer, he sodomised a prominent Kampala pastor while on the Ugandan trip.

Hinn was first in Uganda with Suzanne in 2007 from June 4 to June 6, for the ‘Fire Conference’ at the invitation of Pastor Robert Kayanja of Miracle Centre, Rubaga. Last year he came back, again at Kayanja’s invite for another conference but this time without her. Participants had to pay USD50 (Shs100, 000), unlike the previous time, to take part in the conference. According to the documents Suzanne filed in a Los Angeles Court, during this second conference, Hinn had ‘an affair’ with a Ugandan male pastor at his home in a Kampala suburb.

Prosperity gospel televangelist and faith-healing-cum-artist Benny Hinn has failed to heal the desire of his wife to get away from him. The internationally acclaimed televangelist’s wife filed for divorce early this month because of “irreconcilable differences” pointing to his obsession … with young boys, among other reasons…

COUPLE SEPARATES

Suzanne cited irreconcilable differences which critics reveal are related to his obsession for …, after more than 30 years in marriage.

The Court papers note that the couple separated on January 26 after Suzanne learnt about the Kampala debacle, and that Hinn has been living in Dana Point, a wealthy coastal community in southern Orange County, spanking and bonking young boys.

Sources close to Suzanne reveal that she was tired of living with a ‘ghost’ Hinn who was always either in East Africa or Asia seeing boys and male pastors.

See also
http://www.redpepper.ug/details.php?item=3204&PHPSESSID=a3e3be994e576775dad5fb9f3da50938

 

PAUL & JAN CROUCH, TELEVANGELISTS, TRINITY BROADCASTING NETWORK (TBN)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Crouch
EXTRACT

Paul Franklin Crouch (March 30, 1934 – November 30, 2013) was an American Christian broadcaster. Crouch, along with his wife Jan, and televangelist Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Bakker, founded the Trinity Broadcasting Network in 1973 (TBN).

 

 

 

http://watchmanafrica.blogspot.in/2010/02/uganda-pastors-expose-pastor-benny.html
EXTRACT

February 24, 2010

TBN co-founder, Paul Crouch has also been mired in controversies. In September 2004, he paid a former employee, a USD 425,000 formal settlement to end a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Lonnie Ford alleged that he was forced to have a homosexual encounter with Crouch under threats of job termination at a network-owned cabin at Lake Arrowhead in 1996. TBN officials acknowledge the settlement.

 





Paul Crouch, Paul Crouch Jr., and Jan Crouch with and without her wig

 

“Held at gunpoint”: Scandal rocks biggest Christian network

http://www.wnd.com/2015/02/held-at-gunpoint-scandal-rocks-biggest-christian-network/

February 24, 2015

The former chief financial officer of Trinity Broadcasting, the nation’s largest Christian broadcasting network, has filed a lawsuit against her former company and its top bosses for allegedly threatening her with a loaded gun when she objected to “unlawful distributions” of $100 million to themselves and others.
The lawsuit was filed Jan. 29 by Brittany Koper, the granddaughter of TBN founder Paul Crouch Sr., who died last year, and her husband, Michael Koper, against Trinity Christian Center, International Christian Broadcasting, Matthew Crouch, Janice Crouch and John Casoria.

Brittany Koper was TBN’s CFO and treasurer until she was fired in 2011, about the same time her husband, who also worked at the network, was dismissed, the case claims.

Trinity Christian Center, based in Santa Ana, California, operates as Trinity Broadcasting Network, and Janice Crouch, a TBN senior vice president, is the widow of the founder. Her son, Matthew Crouch, is a TBN vice president. Casoria is TBN’s lawyer and Janice Crouch’s nephew.

The case, filed in U.S. District Court for the southern division of California, alleges Brittany Koper was wrongfully dismissed “in violation of the public policies of the state of California and of the United States of America.”

“Plaintiffs allege that such terminations were in retaliation for (a) plaintiffs’ refusal to participate in conduct within defendant Trinity Broadcasting made unlawful by the laws of California and the United States and (b) reporting such unlawful conduct to defendant Trinity Broadcasting’s president, board of directors, to senior executive defendant John Casoria, and to defendant Trinity Broadcasting’s IRS auditor.”

The filing alleges Brittany Koper was told she would need to participate “in numerous illegal schemes” that “involved the systematic diversion of defendant Trinity Broadcasting’s charitable assets through unlawful distributions to defendant Trinity Broadcasting’s directors through numerous channels.”

The complaint claims the amount of money involved “is on the order of $100 million.”

The Kopers allege they were threatened with arrest and prosecution if they tried to report their claims.

“When questioned about the termination, defendant Matthew Crouch began tapping the firearm he had brought to the meeting and asked plaintiff Brittany Koper what she thought would happen when she wrote a memo to the board critical of defendant Matthew Crouch’s financial improprieties. Defendant Matthew Crouch continued tapping the gun he was holding to ensure that plaintiff Brittany Koper recognized the lethal threat being made,” the lawsuit alleges.

The complaint says that in a meeting “in the secure and locked president’s conference room of TBN located in Tustin, Calif.,” the Kopers “were threatened with criminal prosecution, numerous civil lawsuits, and a loaded gun, all of which caused them to remain in the president’s conference room against their will.”

The Kopers “were fearful of these threats by defendants and did not feel they could leave the president’s conference room. In addition, defendant Matthew Crouch threatening plaintiff Michael Koper and plaintiff Brittany Koper with a loaded gun put them in fear that defendant Matthew Crouch would physically harm them.”

The lawsuit charges the Kopers were victims of “assault and false imprisonment.”

It also alleges conspiracy and seeks damages and attorneys’ fees.

An accompanying demand for a jury trial in which the details would be publicly revealed, was signed Jan. 29.

In an undated statement posted on the TBN website, the organization responded to “a recent round of news articles detailing accusations by former employees that TBN’s officers participated in financial misappropriation and extravagant living at the expense of the network’s donors.”

 

 

In the statement, TBN spokesman Colby May said the reports were based on discredited sources.

“The soundness and veracity of these stories are completely undermined when you realize that they depend almost exclusively upon accusations from individuals who admitted they had embezzled and misappropriated over $1 million from the network, and its companion ministry, International Christian Broadcasting,” May’s statement said. “And the most heartbreaking fact is that the wife of one of the central figures in that misappropriation is the granddaughter of TBN’s founders, Paul and Jan Crouch.”

The statement identifies that person as Brittany Koper, “who for a short time served as the head of TBN’s finance department, until she and husband Michael Koper, who had been in charge of TBN’s airtime sales, were fired after their embezzlement and financial misappropriation were discovered.”

The statement continued: “What the bulk of media stories don’t explain is that these individuals used lawsuits to contrive absurd allegations that trusted TBN officials had illegally funneled millions of dollars for their own use. Add to that the fabrications that Dr. and Mrs. Crouch were using ministry funds to buy jewelry, jets, mansions, and mobile homes for dogs, and you have all the ammunition for a stereotypical attack against an esteemed media ministry.”

May’s statement said the organization as “a nearly 40-year track record of sound financial and personal integrity by TBN and its founders.”

A report by CourthouseNews also notes there are allegations that Casoria is the senior manager of a company called Redemption Strategies, which “was formed for the sole purpose of maliciously prosecuting, and intimidating plaintiff Michael Koper and plaintiff Brittany Koper (as well as members of plaintiff Michael Koper’s family) in retaliation after the Kopers reported illegal conduct within defendant Trinity Broadcasting, including unlawful distributions.”

Top TBN officials, including Paul and Matthew Crouch, have publicly stated that God removes people who oppose TBN.

In a 2012 video, Matthew stated, “There have been a few attempts in the TBN history to upset TBN, to stop TBN. There have been a few fools in the 38, 39-year history coming up on 40 years, and you know what? Any attempt at stopping TBN, they have no idea who they’re actually pushing into the corner. You and mom get pushed in a corner, God help you. That’s a lesson I’ve learned from you.”

Paul added: “God help anyone who would try to get in the way of TBN, which was God’s plan. I have attended the funerals of at least two people who tried.”

The New York Times in 2012 reported the Kopers’ accusations and presented a look inside the “lavish TV ministry.”

“Mr. and Mrs. [Paul and Janice] Crouch have his-and-her mansions one street apart in a gated community here [Newport Beach, Calif.], provided by the network using viewer donations and tax-free earnings. But Mrs. Crouch, 74, rarely sleeps in the $5.6 million house with tennis court and pool. She mostly lives in a large company house near Orlando, Fla., where she runs a side business, the Holy Land Experience theme park. Mr. Crouch, 78, has an adjacent home there, too, but rarely visits. Its occupant is often a security guard who doubles as Mrs. Crouch’s chauffeur,” the report said.

“The twin sets of luxury homes only hint at the high living enjoyed by the Crouches, inspirational television personalities whose multitudes of stations and satellite signals reach millions of worshipers across the globe. Almost since they started in the 1970s, the couple have been criticized for secrecy about their use of donations, which totaled $93 million in 2010.”

The report said there are additional homes in Texas and Tennessee as well as corporate jets and “thousand dollar dinners with fine wines, paid with tax-exempt money.”

At the time, Brittany Koper said, “My job … was to find ways to label extravagant personal spending as ministry expenses.”

The report said there were allegations the senior Crouches “traveled in a chauffeured Bentley.”

The report pointedly noted that at the time the Kopers were living in the basement of his father’s home on Long Island, while Paul Crouch, an assistant, Matthew Crouch, and two pilots were nearing “the end of a six-week world tour in the largest company jet, visiting affiliates, taping programs and scouting new territory for evangelism in Rome, Dubai, Israel, Hong Kong and Hawaii.”

Some 10 years earlier, there were reports of attempted extortion and litigation over a claim of a homosexual affair involving Paul Crouch.

The story exploded into headlines when allegations were made that the second party in the alleged activity wrote about it and then said TBN could keep it from the public by buying the rights for $10 million.

TBN said then that Crouch denied all the claims.


The world’s largest Christian network has a lot to hide

http://www.vice.com/read/a-visit-to-the-worlds-largest-christian-tv-network
EXTRACT

By Jamie Lee Curtis Taete, April 2, 2014

According to the suit, Paul and Jan made multiple lavish purchases for themselves using money that their viewers thought was going to God.

These purchases included rarely used his-and-hers mansions in Florida and California, private jets, personal chauffeurs, gold-plated bathrooms, and offices fitted with saunas and wet bars. 

Jan has also been accused of using company money to purchase a $100,000 air-conditioned mobile home to be used exclusively by her two pet dogs—which is actually kinda awesome. 

The mishandling of finances is so extensive that Wall Watchers, a group that monitors the transparency of how ministries spend donated money, has given TBN an “F” rating, and added the network to its list of “30 worst ministries.” 

TBN denies the accusations. […]

 

 

Paul Crouch said on air that God kills anyone who tries to get in the way of TBN. Speaking on the network’s Behind the Scenes show in 2012, Paul said, “God help anyone who would try to get in the way of TBN.”

He went on to imply that God had already taken out some of the network’s enemies. “I have attended the funeral of at least two people who have tried,” he said. 

Click on the link to view pictures of the ostentatious display of “wealth” (thanks to your donations) -Michael

 

Former TBN Employee Alleges Gay Tryst with Paul Crouch

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/septemberweb-only/9-13-11.0.html

Compiled by Ted Olsen, September 1, 2004

TBN boss paid $425,000 to silence claims, but accuser now wants $10 million.

How big a televangelist scandal?
When Rick Jones, an ordained minister and former cop, heard his boss talking about another minister’s homosexual activity with an employee, he “got up and walked away,” the Los Angeles Times reported on its 
front page yesterday. “I didn’t want to hear gossip.” {See
http://articles.latimes.com/2004/sep/12/local/me-lonnie12}

But his boss was televangelist Benny Hinn, a staple on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. And Hinn was talking about TBN founder and president Paul Crouch. And Los Angeles Times reports that it’s no longer just gossip—it’s a tale of attempted extortion, litigation, and tragedy.

For all the details, you’ll have to read William Lobdell’s extensively reported, 1,900-word article. But here are a few observations.

First, extortion seems like the only word to describe what Enoch Lonnie Ford, the former TBN employee who says he and Crouch had extramarital sex in 1996, attempted. Crouch paid him a $425,000 settlement in 1998 after Ford accused the global network of wrongful termination. Key to the settlement, of course, was a secrecy agreement. Last April, however, Ford handed Crouch an autobiographical manuscript detailing his claims of a sexual encounter. TheTimes reports:

Ford’s lawyer later told ministry officials that they could keep the work out of public view by buying the rights. After some discussion, he suggested that $10 million might be a reasonable price. … Ford’s attorney, Eugene Zech, said [TBN attorney Dennis G. Brewer Sr.] called him the next business day [after Ford gave Crouch the manuscript]. In court papers, Zech said that Brewer asked “if Ford might be willing to accept $1 million in exchange for the manuscript.” Zech said in the court filing that he suggested $10 million.

$10 million! Simon & Schuster paid Hillary Clinton only $8 million for her memoir, Living History. GE chairman Jack Welch got $7 million for Straight from the Gut. That number isn’t about a book—it’s about keeping Ford’s story “out of the public view”—something Crouch had already paid $425,000 expressly to do.

TBN yesterday issued a statement explaining the settlement. It says, in part:

In an effort to address this matter in 1997, Dr. Crouch sought the advice and counsel of some trusted advisers, attorneys and spiritual leaders. The consensus viewpoint was that it would be better for TBN and Dr. Crouch to reach a financial settlement rather than to fight the accuser in court. This course of action was deemed less expensive and would avoid the bad publicity, time and effort that it would take to fight the false claims. Dr. Crouch reluctantly agreed to this advice with the understanding that the accuser would go away and leave both he and TBN alone forever. The importance of the settlement does not rest on the money paid, but rather on Dr. Crouch’s vehement denial of the allegations made against him as well as the agreement of the accuser to keep confidential and refrain from repeating his false claims and accusations. Most importantly, at no time were ministry funds used in any portion of this settlement.

Second, it’s clear that this story isn’t yet to the level of the Jim Bakker or Jimmy Swaggart scandals of the 1980s. Both of those men were accused of breaking the law—Bakker for fraud related to time-shares, and Swaggart for prostitution. If the Crouch story is true (and the Times reports much evidence that it may be), the TBN head is guilty of having consensual sex with an employee. That’s immoral and unethical, but not criminal—especially in post-Monica America.

 

Benny Hinn was closely associated with and defended by Paul Crouch and TBN.

Benny Hinn claimed that the dead would one day be raised by watching TBN from inside their coffins” 

The Dead Resurrected By TVs Tuned To TBN!

http://biblelight.net/Hinn-Dead-Raised.htm

What follows is a transcript from the Praise The Lord program broadcast on TBN, October 19, 1999 – Watch the video clip (Real Video). It is black and white, and the video freezes just before the audio ends.

Benny Hinn:  But here’s first what I see for TBN. You’re going to have people raised from the dead watching this – network. 

Paul Crouch: Benny!

Benny Hinn: You’re gonna have people raised from the dead watching TBN! …

 

Deleted: Programs, just plain programs, programs that haven’t done much when it comes to supernatural manifestations, teaching programs – it’s not gonna be me saying ‘stretch your hands!’ – It’s going to be your average teaching program, your normal Christian program that’s blessing the Church.  They’ll be such power on these programs people will be raised from the dead.  I’m telling you, I see this in the Spirit.  It’s gonna be so awesome – Jesus I give you praise for this! – that people around the world, maybe not so much in America.

 

 

 

Benny Hinn: People around the world, who will lose loved ones, will say to undertakers, ah, not yet. I want to take my dead loved one, and place them in front of that TV set for twenty-four hours.

Paul Crouch: Benny Hinn!

Benny Hinn: I’m telling you.

Paul Crouch: Jesus!

Benny Hinn: People will be, people, I’m telling you I feel the anointing talking here!

Paul Crouch: Dear Jesus!

Benny Hinn: People are going to be canceling funeral services, and bringing their dead in their caskets, placing them – my God I feel the anointing here!

Paul Crouch: Benny Hinn!

Benny Hinn: – Placing them before a television set – waiting for God’s power to come through and touch them. …

 

Deleted: It’s gonna happen time and time – so much it’s gonna spread – you’re gonna hear it from Kenya, to Mexico, to Europe, to South America where people will be raised from the — so much so that the word will spread that if some dead person be put in front of this TV screen, they will be raised from the dead, and they will be, by the thousands, you wait! Now the lord just told me, and I don’t know whether this is true or not – as I’m saying this the Lord said he gave you this word many, many years ago!?

Paul Crouch: I have said that, yes.

Benny Hinn: Now I don’t remember you saying that to me ever.

Paul Crouch: No. I didn’t.

Benny Hinn: Now, the Lord just said to me, ‘I’ve told him this already.’

Paul Crouch: Yeah, the Lord spoke that to me in the very beginning of TBN, and I didn’t really—

Benny Hinn: You had a dream?

Paul Crouch: (To Jan) Tell him about that dream.

Jan Crouch: It’s just a dream that people will be raised from the dead.

Paul Crouch: Yeah.  Oh, it’s on tape – I said, ‘The day is coming.’

Benny Hinn: But, I see –

 

Benny Hinn: I see, quite something amazing.  I see rows of um, of caskets, lining up, in front of this TV set, and I see them bringing them closer to the TV set.  And as people are coming closer I see, uh – actually, loved ones picking up the hands of the dead and letting them touch the screen.  And people are getting – getting raised as their hands are touching that screen…

 

Deleted: with this program.  I’m not talking about my program! I’m talking about programs – plain programs – aired. The glory of God will be so on TBN that there’s going to be divine resurrection happening as people bring their loved ones to the TV set.

Paul Crouch: Just because it’s His time.

Benny Hinn: It’s His time!

 
 

See also Benny Hinn Claims Dead Will Live … Just Place Them next To the TV Set

http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/deadwilllive.html

The Calvary Contender, December 1999

 

Benny Hinn’s false prophecies

http://www.equip.org/hank_speaks_out/benny-hinns-false-prophecies/

By Christian Research Institute

Over the past 15 years Benny Hinn, along with a lot of other Faith teachers, have continued to add to a list of spurious prophecies and pronouncements, Benny Hinn in particular. On October 19, 1999 he predicted that instead of burying the dead people around the world were going to line up caskets around television sets, place their hands on the dead, take those hands of the dead, place them on TV screens and then marvel as their loved ones arose from the dead. Here’s how Hinn put it:

“But here’s first what I see for TBN. You’re going to have people raised from the dead watching this network. You’re going to have people raised from the dead watching TBN….I’m telling you, I see this in the Spirit. It’s going to be so awesome – Jesus I give you praise for this – that people around the world – maybe not so much in America – people around the world who will lose loved ones, will say to undertakers ‘Not yet. I want to take my dead loved one and place him in front of that TV set for 24 hours’….I see rows of caskets lining up in front of this TV set and I see them bringing them closer to the TV set and as people are coming closer I see actual loved ones picking up the hands of the dead and letting them touch the screen and people are getting raised as their hands are touching that screen.”

 

 

 

He made this prophecy back in 1999. This is rows of caskets, all kinds of people being raised from the dead, and to date there is not a single credible testimony of a single person watching the Trinity Broadcasting Network being raised from the dead. They might have died watching the program, but there’s no evidence that they were raised from the dead.

Then on January 1st, 1990 Hinn attempted to delude his devotees into believing that God spoke to him and revealed the fate of Fidel Castro in Cuba as well as homosexuals in America. This is what he had to say about Fidel Castro:

The Spirit tells me Fidel Castro will die in the ’90s. Oh, my! Some will try to kill him and they will not succeed, but there will come a change in his physical health and he will not stay in power and Cuba will be visited of God.

So we have three prophecies in the space of two sentences in terms of what is going to happen with Fidel Castro and what is going to happen in Cuba. What’s particularly chilling about this – and this is what I want you to catch as you’re listening to these clips – is Benny Hinn is not saying “This is my opinion.” He is attributing this go God Himself. Remember, he started by saying “The Spirit has revealed to me.” Not only did the Holy Spirit reveal to Benny Hinn that Castro would die in the 90s – which, of course, hasn’t happened – but he also said that Almighty God revealed to him both the timing and the method through which homosexuals in America would be destroyed.

The Lord also tells me to tell you in the mid-90’s, about ’94, ’95, no later than that, God will destroy the homosexual community of America. [Round of applause] But He will not destroy it with what many minds have thought Him to be. He will destroy it with fire, and many will turn and be saved, and many will rebel and be destroyed.

Again, Benny Hinn says “The Lord also tells me.” In other words, God revealed this to him. Now, what I don’t understand about that particular clip is the audience listening to Benny Hinn applauding when Benny Hinn says that God said that homosexuals would be destroyed. Why would you applaud that? Do we as Christians really want homosexuals to be destroyed? Is that what Christianity is all about? Or is Christianity about reaching people no matter what condition they are in?

In 1993 Hinn pontificated that because Jesus promised that He would return within a generation of Israel’s restoration in 1948, and because a generation in his view was 51.4 years, only six years remained before Christ would come back to rapture the saints. Seven years later, on March 29th, 2000 he began predicting that Jesus would appear physically in his crusades. Again, according to Hinn, the Lord spoke to him. In fact, the Lord spoke to Hinn audibly, and the Word of the Lord came to him saying “Tell Benny I’m going to appear physically on the platform in his meetings.”

What is particularly noteworthy about this prophecy is that Hinn here was prophesying that Jesus, God’s Son, was about to appear physically in meetings and that the supernatural appearances would take place in Nairobi, Kenya.

I believe – hear this, hear this – I believe that Jesus, God’s Son, is about to appear physically in meetings and to believers around the world to wake us up. He appeared after His resurrection and He’s about to appear before His second coming. You know, a prophetess sent me a word through my wife right here, and she said “Tell your husband that Jesus is going to physically appear in his meetings.” I’m expecting to see – I’m telling you, I feel it’s going to happen. I’m careful in how I’m saying it now, because I know that people in Kenya are listening. I know deep in my soul something supernatural is going to happen in Nairobi, Kenya. I feel that. I may very well come back – and you and Jan are coming. Paul and Jan are coming to Nairobi with me – But Paul, we may very well come back with footage of Jesus on the platform….Now hear this – I’m prophesying this: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is about to appear physically in some churches and some meetings and to many of His people, for one reason – to tell you He’s about to show up.

Now why did I say that this is worthy of particular note? It’s because scarcely weeks before Hinn’s prophecy a Florida newspaper drew attention to New Age guru Benjamin Crème’s prediction that the second coming of Christ had taken place in Nairobi, Kenya. Florida Today reported that in a photograph utilized by Crème, this dark-skinned, heavily bearded man in a white headdress and a white robe seemed to float above a crowd of worshippers at a healing service in Nairobi, Kenya. Florida Today not only noted the mass healings that allegedly took place but reported that even though Christians present firmly believe that Jesus Christ appeared to them that day, Crème held that Maitreya, the fifth and final incarnation of the Buddha, had materialized. Interesting.

In any case another eight years has gone since the prophet Hinn predicted that Jesus would appear physically in churches and crusades. We’re now in 2008 and his prophecy remains unfulfilled.

One thing does not remain unfulfilled: the Apostle Peter predicted two thousand years ago “Jesus must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything.”

Another thing that is being fulfilled today is that we are having a proliferation of false prophets like Benny Hinn with mega-platforms around the world seducing people with prophecies that fail. I just gave you half a dozen or so prophecies. They’ve all proven false. They’re all sensationalistic. People fall for them because they don’t know the Scriptures. They cannot discern between wheat and chaff and heat and light.

I want to underscore once again that this is why we exist as an organization. It is to make you so familiar with truth that when counterfeits loom on the horizon you’ll know it instantaneously.

 

3 false prophecies by Benny Hinn that never came to pass, proving he is a false prophet and we should not listen to him

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcZlyECHP_M
4:24

December 19, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

JIM BAKKER, TELEVANGELIST, PRAISE THE LORD CLUB, ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, USA

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Bakker EXTRACT

James Orsen “Jim” Bakker (pronounced “Baker”; born January 2, 1940) is an American televangelist, a former Assemblies of God minister and a former host (with his then-wife Tammy Faye Bakker) of The PTL Club, a popular evangelical Christian television program.

A sex scandal led to his resignation from the ministry. Subsequent revelations of accounting fraud brought about his imprisonment and divorce. He later remarried and returned to televangelism.

The PTL Club’s fund-raising activities between 1984–1987 underwent scrutiny by The Charlotte Observer newspaper, eventually leading to criminal charges against Jim Bakker. From 1984 to 1987, Bakker and his PTL associates sold $1,000 “lifetime memberships”, which entitled buyers to a three-night stay annually at a luxury hotel at Heritage USA. According to the prosecution at Bakker’s later fraud trial, tens of thousands of memberships had been sold, but only one 500-room hotel was ever completed. Bakker sold more “exclusive partnerships” than could be accommodated, while raising more than twice the money needed to build the actual hotel. A good deal of the money went into Heritage USA’s operating expenses, and Bakker kept $3.4 million in bonuses for himself. A $279,000 pay-off for the silence of Jessica Hahn, who was introduced to Bakker by the evangelist John Wesley Fletcher, was paid with PTL’s funds to Hahn through Bakker associate Roe Messner, who later married Tammy Fay Bakker. Bakker, who apparently made all of the financial decisions for the PTL organization, allegedly kept two sets of books to conceal the accounting irregularities. Reporters from The Charlotte Observer, led by Charles Shepard, investigated and published a series of articles regarding the PTL organization’s finances.

On March 19, 1987, following the revelation of a pay-off to Hahn to keep secret her allegation that Bakker and Fletcher had raped her, Bakker resigned from PTL. Bakker acknowledges he met Hahn at a hotel room in Clearwater, Florida, but denies raping her. Following Bakker’s resignation as PTL head, he was succeeded in late March, 1987, by Jerry Falwell. Later that summer, as donations sharply declined in the wake of Bakker’s resignation and the end of the Bakkers’ popular PTL Club TV show, Falwell raised $20 million to help keep the Heritage USA Theme Park solvent, including a well-publicized waterslide plunge there. Falwell called Bakker a liar, an embezzler, a sexual deviant, and “the greatest scab and cancer on the face of Christianity in 2,000 years of church history”. In 1988, Falwell said that the Bakker scandal had “strengthened broadcast evangelism and made Christianity stronger, more mature and more committed.” Bakker’s son, Jay, wrote in 2001 that the Bakkers felt betrayed by Falwell, who they thought, at the time of Bakker’s resignation, intended to help in Bakker’s eventual restoration as head of the PTL ministry organization.

 


 

Following a 16-month Federal grand jury probe, Bakker was indicted in 1988 on eight counts of mail fraud, 15 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy. In 1989, after a five-week trial which began on August 28 in Charlotte, the jury found him guilty on all 24 counts, and Judge Robert Daniel Potter sentenced him to 45 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine. He served time in the Federal Medical Center, Rochester, in Rochester, Minnesota.

In February 1991, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld Bakker’s conviction on the fraud and conspiracy charges, but voided Bakker’s 45-year sentence, as well as the $500,000 fine, and ordered that a new sentencing hearing be held. The court held that Potter’s statement at sentencing that Bakker’s actions resulted in “those of us who do have a religion” being lampooned as “saps from money-grubbing preachers or priests” was evidence that he had injected his own religious beliefs into considering Bakker’s sentence.

Jim and Tammy Bakker were divorced on March 13, 1992.

Bakker has renounced his past teachings on prosperity theology, saying they were wrong.

In his 1996 book, I Was Wrong, he admitted that the first time he actually read the Bible all the way through was while he was in prison, and that it made him realize he had taken certain passages out of context — passages which he had used as “proof texts” to back up his prosperity teachings. He wrote:

The more I studied the Bible, however, I had to admit that the prosperity message did not line up with the tenor of Scripture. My heart was crushed to think that I led so many people astray. I was appalled that I could have been so wrong, and I was deeply grateful that God had not struck me dead as a false prophet!

 

 

Jailed televangelist and accused rapist Jim Bakker is back in business hawking survivalist kits including everything from padded clothing to buckets of beans to enemas
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2752391/Jailed-televangelist-accused-rapist-Jim-Bakker-business-hawking-survivalist-kits-including-padded-clothing-buckets-beans-enemas.html EXTRACT

Bakker famously fell from grace in 1987, after a sex scandal forced him to resign from his long time, financially successful ministry. He and his then wife, the late Tammy Faye Bakker, hosted the popular Christian TV show PTL Club which ran from 1974-1989. 

Bakker resigned in disgrace when he and another minister were accused of raping church secretary Jessica Hahn and paying her $279,000 to keep quiet. 

Bakker admitted meeting Hahn at a hotel room in Clearwater, Florida, but denied raping her.

Subsequent revelations of accounting fraud revealed the ministry received more than $165 million in donations – and Bakker was indicted on charges he used millions for own personal use and ultimately convicted of eight counts of mail fraud and 15 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy.

Those charges and revelations lead to his imprisonment and subsequent divorce from Tammy Faye.

JIMMY SWAGGART, TELEVANGELIST, ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, USA

 



 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Swaggart
EXTRACT

Jimmy Lee Swaggart (born March 15, 1935) is an American Pentecostal pastor, author, radio and televangelist through his weekly telecast. His 1980s telecast was transmitted to over 3,000 stations and cable systems each week.

Sexual scandals in the late 1980s and early 1990s led the Assemblies of God to defrock him, and to Swaggart temporarily stepping down as the head of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries.

In 1988, Swaggart was implicated in a sex scandal involving a prostitute that resulted initially in his suspension, and ultimately defrocking, by the Assemblies of God. Three years later Swaggart was implicated in another scandal involving a prostitute. As a result, Swaggart’s ministry became non-affiliated, non-denominational and significantly smaller than it was in the ministry’s pre-scandal years.

Swaggart’s exposure came as retaliation for an incident in 1986 when Swaggart exposed fellow Assemblies of God minister Marvin Gorman, who had been accused of having several affairs. Once exposed, Gorman was defrocked from the Assemblies of God, his ministry all but ended. As a retaliatory move, Gorman hired his son Randy and son-in-law Garland Bilbo to stake out the Travel Inn on Airline Highway in New Orleans. A camera with a telephoto lens was placed in the window of the motel’s Room 12, and was draped with a black cloth. When Swaggart arrived, he reportedly went into Room 7. Randy Gorman and Garland Bilbo let the air out of the tires on Swaggart’s vehicle. They called Marvin Gorman, whose church was located nearby. Randy Gorman and Garland Bilbo had taken photos of Swaggart outside Room 7 with Debra Murphree, a local prostitute. Gorman arrived at the Travel Inn a short while later and asked Swaggart what he was doing there. According to Swaggart: The Unauthorized Biography of an American Evangelist, by Ann Rowe Seaman, Gorman secured a promise from Swaggart that he would publicly apologize to Gorman and start the process of Gorman’s reinstatement to the Assemblies of God. Gorman offered to remain silent if Swaggart would state publicly that he lied about Gorman’s affairs. Gorman waited almost a year, then hand-delivered a note to Swaggart informing him his time was up; Swaggart did not respond. On February 16, 1988, Gorman contacted James Hamil, one of the 13-man Executive Presbytery of the Assemblies of God, who called Raymond Carlson, the Assemblies Superintendent. Carlson summoned Hamill and Gorman to fly to Springfield and arranged for an emergency meeting of the presbyters. He was shown photos of several men coming in and going out of Room 7 at the Travel Inn Motel in New Orleans. This was done to establish the fact that the room was being used for prostitution. One of the men seen leaving Room 7 was Jimmy Swaggart. The presbytery leadership of the Assemblies of God decided that Swaggart should be suspended from broadcasting his television program for three months.

 

 

 

According to the Associated Press, Murphree, who claimed to have posed nude for Swaggart, failed a polygraph test administered by a New York City Police Department polygraph expert. The test administrator concluded that Murphree had failed to tell the truth on all key questions concerning her statement. The test was administered after Murphree offered to sell the story to the National Enquirer for $100,000. Paul Levy, senior editor for the Enquirer, stated that the polygraph examiner had concluded Murphree was not truthful on six key questions, including one in which she was reportedly asked if she had fabricated the story. Levy stated that the Enquirer decided not to print her story due to the test results, her drug use, and the fact that she had arrest warrants in three states. Murphree failed questions about whether she was paid or promised money to “set up” Swaggart, and whether she made up the story in order to make money from it. Both times she answered no; according to the polygraph examiner, her answers were untrue.

On February 21, 1988, without giving any details regarding his transgressions, Swaggart gave his now-infamous “I have sinned” speech.

On October 11, 1991, Swaggart was found in the company of a prostitute for a second time. He was pulled over by a police officer in Indio, California, for driving on the wrong side of the road. With him in the vehicle was a woman named Rosemary Garcia. According to Garcia, Swaggart had stopped to proposition her on the side of the road. She later told reporters, “He asked me for sex. I mean, that’s why he stopped me. That’s what I do. I’m a prostitute.” This time, rather than confessing to his congregation, Swaggart told those at Family Worship Center that “The Lord told me it’s flat none of your business.”

 

OTHERS

Grassley Probes Televangelists’ Finances
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/06/AR2007110601838_pf.html

By Justin Juozapavicius, The Associated Press, November 7, 2007

— Acting on tips about preachers who ride in Rolls Royces and have purportedly paid $30,000 for a conference table, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee said Tuesday he’s investigating the finances of six well-known TV ministers.

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said those under scrutiny include faith healer Benny Hinn, Georgia mega-church pastor Creflo Dollar and one of the nation’s best known female preachers, Joyce Meyer.

Grassley sent letters to the half-dozen Christian media ministries earlier this week requesting answers by Dec. 6 about their expenses, executive compensation and amenities, including use of fancy cars and private jets.

In a statement, Grassley said he was acting on complaints from the public and news coverage of the organizations.

“The allegations involve governing boards that aren’t independent and allow generous salaries and housing allowances and amenities such as private jets and Rolls Royces,” Grassley said.

“I don’t want to conclude that there’s a problem, but I have an obligation to donors and the taxpayers to find out more. People who donated should have their money spent as intended and in adherence with the tax code.”

Those ministries that responded Tuesday either said they were cooperating or committed to financial transparency and following the law.

The investigation promises to shine new light on the kind of TV ministries that were crippled by sex and money scandals in the 1980s. Experts also say it stands out as an unusual case of the government probing the inner workings of religious organizations.

Most of those under investigation preach a variation of the “prosperity gospel,” the teaching that God will shower faithful followers with material riches.

Grassley’s letters went to:

Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries of Newark, Texas, a $20 million organization and prosperity gospel pioneer. Questions were raised about the transfer of church assets to a for-profit company, Security Patrol Inc., a $1 million loan from Gloria Copeland to the group, and a “personal gift” of more than $2 million given to Kenneth Copeland to mark the ministry’s 40th anniversary.

A Copeland spokeswoman released a statement saying the ministry is working on a response to Grassley’s letter, follows all laws and best practices governing churches and religious nonprofit groups, and “will continue to do so.”

Creflo and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Church International and Creflo Dollar Ministries of College Park, Ga. Grassley’s letter asks for records on private planes, board makeup, compensation and donations and “love offerings” to visiting ministers. In a statement, Dollar called his ministry an “open book” and said he would cooperate. He also questioned whether the investigation could “affect the privacy of every community church in America.”

Benny Hinn of World Healing Center Church Inc. and Benny Hinn Ministries of Grapevine, Texas, is asked about use of a private jet, a home in Dana Point, Calif. and “layover trips” while traveling on ministry business. Hinn did not respond to requests for comment.

Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Bishop Eddie Long Ministries of Lithonia, Ga., was questioned about his salary, a $1.4 million real estate transaction and whether he, and not the board, holds sole authority over the organization. Long plans to fully comply with the Senate’s request, and his church has “several safeguards” to ensure transactions comply with laws governing churches, according to a statement from Long’s spokesman.

 

 

 

 

Joyce and David Meyer of Joyce Meyer Ministries of Fenton, Mo., who were quizzed about receiving donations of money and jewelry and the handling of cash from overseas crusades. They also were asked about expenditures at ministry headquarters, including a $30,000 conference table and a $23,000 “commode with marble top.”

The ministry’s lawyer released a statement describing the ministry’s work and public release of several years’ worth of audits. He also said the IRS found in October that the group continues to qualify for tax-exempt status.

Randy and Paula White of the multiracial Without Walls International Church and Paula White Ministries of Tampa, Fla. are asked about home purchases in San Antonio, Texas, Malibu, Calif., and New York, credit card charges for clothing and cosmetic surgery and the reported purchase of a Bentley convertible as a gift for Bishop T.D. Jakes, a prominent Texas preacher and televangelist. An e-mail to a spokeswoman for Jakes was not immediately returned.

In a statement, Randy and Paula White declined to comment on specifics, saying they needed time to review the letter with their lawyers. But the Whites called the Grassley letter “unusual, since the IRS has separate powers to investigate religious organizations if they think it’s necessary.”

Hinn, Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar all sit on the board of regents for Oral Roberts University, which is mired in a financial scandal of its own.

The Senate Finance Committee has chided secular nonprofits for governance and compensation problems in the past, but this level of scrutiny for what are basically “non-pulpit churches” is unprecedented, said Ken Behr, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Because the groups have tax status as churches, they are not required to file tax forms open to public inspection.

 

Prosperity Gospel under scrutiny/Do “Prosperity Preachers” prey on hope?

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/do-prosperity-preachers-prey-on-hope/

By Eric Gorski, AP Religion Writer, December 27, 2007

Gospel of prosperity faces day of reckoning, Times of India, Mumbai, December 29, 2007
The message flickered into Cindy Fleenor’s living room each night: Be faithful in how you live and how you give, the television preachers said, and God will shower you with material riches. And so the 53-year-old accountant from the Tampa, Fla., area pledged $500 a year to Joyce Meyer, the evangelist whose frank talk about recovering from childhood sexual abuse was so inspirational. She wrote checks to flamboyant faith healer Benny Hinn and a local preacher-made- good, Paula White. Only the blessings didn’t come. Fleenor ended up borrowing money from friends and payday loan companies just to buy groceries. At first she believed the explanation given on television: Her faith wasn’t strong enough.
“I wanted to believe God wanted to do something great with me like he was doing with them,” she said. “I’m angry and bitter about it. Right now, I don’t watch anyone on TV hardly.”
All three of the groups Fleenor supported are among six major Christian television ministries under scrutiny by a senator who is asking questions about the evangelists’ lavish spending and possible abuses of their tax-exempt status.
The probe by Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, has brought new scrutiny to the underlying belief that brings in millions of dollars and fills churches from Atlanta to Los Angeles – the “Gospel of Prosperity,” or the notion that God wants to bless the faithful with earthly riches.
All six ministries under investigation preach the prosperity gospel to varying degrees.

Proponents call it a biblically sound message of hope. Others say it is a distortion that makes evangelists rich and preys on the vulnerable. They say it has evolved from “it’s all right to make money” to it’s all right for the pastor to drive a Bentley, live in an ocean-side home and travel by private jet.
“More and more people are desperate and grasping at straws and want something that will alleviate their pain or financial crisis,” said Michael Palmer, dean of the divinity school at Regent University, founded by Pat Robertson. “It’s a growing problem.”
The modern-day prosperity movement can largely be traced back to evangelist Oral Roberts’ teachings. Roberts’ disciples have spread his theology and vocabulary (Roberts and other evangelists, such as Meyer, call their donors “partners.”) And several popular prosperity preachers, including some now under investigation, have served on the Oral Roberts University board.
Grassley is asking the ministries for financial records on salaries, spending practices, private jets and other perks. The investigation, coupled with a financial scandal at ORU that forced out Roberts’ son and heir, Richard, has some wondering whether the prosperity gospel is facing a day of reckoning.
While few expect the movement to disappear, the scrutiny could force greater financial transparency and oversight in a movement known for secrecy.
Most scholars trace the origins of prosperity theology to E.W. Kenyon, an evangelical pastor from the first half of the 20th century. But it wasn’t until the postwar era – and a pair of evangelists from Tulsa, Okla. – that “health and wealth” theology became a fixture in Pentecostal and charismatic churches. Oral Roberts and Kenneth Hagin – and later, Kenneth Copeland – trained tens of thousands of evangelists with a message that resonated with an emerging middle class, said David Edwin Harrell Jr., a Roberts biographer. Copeland is among those now being investigated. “What Oral did was develop a theology that made it OK to prosper,” Harrell said. “He let Pentecostals be faithful to the old-time truths their grandparents embraced and be part of the modern world, where they could have good jobs and make money.”
The teachings took on various names – “Name It and Claim It,” “Word of Faith,” the prosperity gospel.

 

 

Prosperity preachers say that it isn’t all about money – that God’s blessings extend to health, relationships and being well-off enough to help others.
They have Bible verses at the ready to make their case. One oft-cited verse, in Paul’s Second Epistle to the Corinthians, reads: “Yet for your sakes he became poor, that you by his poverty might become rich.”
Critics acknowledge the idea that God wants to bless his followers has a Biblical basis, but say prosperity preachers take verses out of context. The prosperity crowd also fails to acknowledge Biblical accounts that show God doesn’t always reward faithful believers, Palmer said.
The Book of Job is a case study in piety unrewarded, and a chapter in the Book of Hebrews includes a litany of believers who were tortured and martyred, Palmer said.
Yet the prosperity gospel continues to draw crowds, particularly lower- and middle-income people who, critics say, have the greatest motivation and the most to lose. The prosperity message is spreading to black churches, attracting elderly people with disposable incomes, and reaching huge churches in Africa and other developing parts of the world.
One of the teaching’s attractions is that it doesn’t dwell on traditional Christian themes of heaven and hell but on answering pressing concerns of the here and now, said Brian McLaren, a liberal evangelical author and pastor.
But the prosperity gospel, McLaren said, not only preys on the hope of the vulnerable, it puts too much emphasis on individual success and happiness.
“We’ve pretty much ignored what the Bible says about systemic injustice,” he said.
The checks and balances central to Christian denominations are largely lacking in prosperity churches. One of the pastors in the Grassley probe, Bishop Eddie Long of suburban Atlanta, has written that God told him to get rid of the “ungodly governmental structure” of a deacon board.
Some ministers hold up their own wealth as evidence that the teaching works. Atlanta-area pastor Creflo Dollar, who is fighting Grassley’s inquiry, owns a Rolls Royce and multimillion- dollar homes and travels in a church-owned Learjet.
In a letter to Grassley, Dollar’s attorney calls the prosperity gospel a “deeply held religious belief” grounded in Scripture and therefore a protected religious freedom. Grassley has said his probe is not about theology.
But even some prosperity gospel critics – like the Rev. Adam Hamilton of 15,000-member United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in suburban Kansas City, Mo. – say that the investigation is entering a minefield.
“How do you determine how much money a minister like this is able to make when the basic theology is that wealth is OK?” said Hamilton, an Oral Roberts graduate who later left the charismatic movement. “That gets into theological questions.”
There is evidence of change. Joyce Meyer Ministries, for one, enacted financial reforms in recent years, including making audited financial statements public.
Meyer, who has promised to cooperate fully with Grassley, issued a statement emphasizing that a prosperity gospel “that solely equates blessing with financial gain is out of balance and could damage a person’s walk with God.”

 

Gospel of Prosperity

The Examiner, The Archdiocesan weekly of Bombay, January 19, 2008 Letter to the editor

On December 29, 2007, the Times of India carried an article titled ‘Gospel of prosperity faces day of reckoning’ which should be an eye-opener to all those who support and also defend these preachers of heath, wealth and prosperity. May they learn a lesson from Cindy Fleenor who went bankrupt while tithing to these so-called faith-healers. The TV preachers are under scrutiny by a senator for their lavish spending and possible abuse of their tax-exempt status. The primary focus of these preachers of prosperity gospel is not living a life pleasing to God but living a comfortable life enjoying health, wealth and freedom from trial and hardship. All those who watch Christian TV channels should read this article.

Fr. Vincent Barboza, Khar, Mumbai

 

“BRO.” JOHNSON SEQUEIRA, BANGALORE

ONE OF HIS “PROSPERITY” TEACHINGS Bold emphases mine -Michael

From:
Johnson Sequeira (JCILM) <jcilminnistries@yahoo.co.in> Date: December 29, 2007 5:44 AM
Subject: You’re Still Going to have that Baby To:
stegerad@yahoo.co.in

{Received from Deepak Ferrao of Konkani Catholics, January 10, 2008. Johnson Sequeira circulated this email the exact same day December 29, 2007, that the Times of India exposed the “Prosperity” Gospel!}

You’re Still Going to have that Baby!

(Gen 17:17)  Abraham fell flat on his face.  And then he laughed, thinking, “Can a hundred-year-old man father a son?  And can Sarah, at ninety years, have a baby?”

We have covered a lot in the 17th chapter of Genesis thus far; Abraham received a name change, another reassurance of the promise, and instructions on how to seal the covenant (circumcision). God did not stop there. He went on to change Sarai’s name to Sarah. Sarah means princess and it is a befitting name because she would become the mother of many nations and kings. At this point the reality of everything the Lord said began to sink in. It was almost too much for Abraham to process. What he longed for was finally going to come to pass. It was almost unbelievable. Abraham fell flat on his face. He began to worship the Lord. The reality of the goodness of God was overwhelming. He thought, “Can a hundred-year-old man father a son? And can Sarah, at ninety years, have a baby?” The goodness of God was so strong in his heart that all he could do was laugh. Picture that. Can you see him? He is a wealthy old man (100 years old), lying face down before an invisible God, worshipping and laughing. God’s goodness was almost too much to bear.

 

 

Abraham was not a super-hero. He did not have a cape or any super-human abilities. He was simply a man like everyone else, but he had the ability to believe God, even when it did not make sense. If God had called Abraham out of his country and blessed him with a promised family in a couple of weeks it would not have required Abraham to believe the way that He did. God always wants maximum glory out of every situation. Just like when Jesus waited until Lazarus was dead for four days (see John 11) and his body was stinking before He raised him from the dead. God oftentimes waits until the situation is right, until the setting is beyond human ability, until the person can no longer do it themselves, before He manifests His glory and turns hopeless situations around. There is no evidence that Abraham did anything to hinder the promise for 25 years. It just simply worked out that way. 25 years later, when he was beyond physical ability and Sarah’s womb was seemingly dead, God still promised to give them a baby.

So what does this mean to you today?  A few things:

1. You’re still going to have that baby: Delay does not mean denial. If God promised you something, then stand on His promise, no matter how long it takes.

2. Believe the unbelievable: It if is common then it will not require faith. If Abraham was 30 yrs. old and Sarah was 25 yrs. old, then we would not be discussing this promise this morning. The fact that a 100 yr. old man had a baby with a 90 yr. old barren woman is the point. Nothing is impossible to them that believe. If you are able to believe it, you will be able to receive it. You are only limited by your belief system.  That’s why you must expand your capacity to believe.  

3. God will make you laugh: Get this notion out of your head that God wants to make you suffer. God is a good God and He wants to bless his children. His desire is for you to be blessed to the point where you can do nothing but laugh!

Confession for this day:  Lord God. I expand my capacity to believe to the point where I receive the seemingly impossible. I resurrect my dead dreams this morning. I will not allow the enemy to make me abort them any further. I am still going to have my baby and I stand on Your promises to bring them to pass. Thinking about Your promises makes my heart glad and I laugh with excitement, joy, and expectation this morning.

In Jesus’ name.  Amen! This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper!

See BRO. JOHNSON SEQUEIRA’S ‘WORD-FAITH’ THEOLOGY AND ‘PROSPERITY’ GOSPEL

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/BRO_JOHNSON_SEQUEIRAS_WORD-FAITH_THEOLOGY_AND_PROSPERITY_GOSPEL.doc

THE PRAKASH LASRADOS, THE JOHNSON SEQUEIRAS AND THE DOMINIC DIXONS 

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/THE_PRAKASH_LASRADOS_THE_JOHNSON_SEQUEIRAS_AND_THE_DOMINIC_DIXONS.doc

 

DIVINE WORD RETREAT CENTRE, MULKY, BANGALORE

“PROSPERITY GOSPEL” AT DIVINE WORD RETREAT CENTRE, MULKY

From:
jesuvera@gmail.com [Austine Crasta,
Moderator, Konkani Catholics]

To:
Undisclosed-Recipient:;
Sent: Saturday, May 12, 2007 10:30 PM

Subject:
Mulky Retreat Centre Preaching Prosperity Gospel???

From their new website www.dccmulky.com
[All emphasis below by the author himself. Mis-spellings left uncorrected.]

GOD WANTS YOU TO BE PROSPEROUS

By Fr. Walter Mendonca, SVD Friday, 11 May 2007 

http://www.dccmulki.com/content/view/23/1/

“The Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb, in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground” (Deut. 28:11) 
Many young people have asked me very often-why is it that I don’t get the job I am badly in need of? In spite of scoring good marks why am I not selected by the company where I wanted to work? Why do I face one curse after another as I look for blessings and prosperity? There is one straight forward answer God’s Word gives to all these questins. That answer is – it is not God’s will that you should lack the things you need in life. God created a world of abundance – enough and to spare for all. He laid down certain laws – laws of life, laws of persperity. And all He asks you is to obey these laws and be prosperous. (Deut. 28:12-13)  
What is the law of prospetiy that God gives you and me? The Word of God in the Holy Bible has two specific and very clear laws on how to be prosperous. One of the two instances is in the story of prophet Elisha and the Widow. (2 kgs 1-7). A widow was left with two small kids and a heavy burden of debt. In her distress, she went to the prophet Elisha and begged for help. The prophet asked her – “What have you got in your house?” “Not any thing but a pot of oil” replied the widow. Elisha told her to borrow some vessels from her neighbours and pour the oil into them, keeping only a small quantity for her own use. The rest he told her to go and sell and pay her debts. And it is written that the oil continued to flow and the widow finally freed herself from debt.  
In this little story, the first law of persperity God gives, you and me is this: Start with what you have and God will do the rest. In popular speech this law can be translated as – “God helps these who help themselves.”  
A young man named George Dunlop loved his invalid mother who was confined to a wheel chair. To save her from being jolted about on the iron rims of the chair’s wheels, he used what was then a new substance, looked upon as a curiosity. It was rubber! He wound strips of it around the iron rims. From this simple service of love grew the famous Dunlop tire which made him a prosperous man. Jesus knew the secret of such success. He was always trying to get people to give up selfish rewards and pleasures and devote their thoughts to helping others. That is the reason he said – “for whosoever will save his life shall lose it, but whosoever will lose his life…shall save it.” (Mk. 8:35) How true that is as applied to your prosperity!

 


The selfish person who “saves” his / her life is the one who does not give. Such a person always thinks, “What will I get out of this?” or “what in it for me?” Men and women of this kind, who go through life with the idea of getting only, so often neigther get nor keep prosperity. But the one who gets into work with the motive of service to others, really thrives and remains ever grateful to God for the opportunity provided to do so. Therefore be thankful for the work you have even though it may seem unimportant. There is no work, no position, no talent, no skill, no interest so humble that it cannot be the springboard to the prosperity which God wants you to have!     
In second law of prosperity, that God has given us is found in Malachi 3:10-12. This is what the Lord says – “Bring the full tithe (one tenth) into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test….See if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessings…. Then all nations will count you happy, for you will be a land of delight”. The blessing that the Lord wants to give you is not a limited blessing but an ‘overflowing’ one so that you shall be counted among those who delight in the Lord. These countless blessings the Lord wants to give you when you are willing to share them with others.

St. Paul makes this point very clear when he says “the one who sows sparingly will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give not reluctantly or under compulsion, but generously for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work” (2 Cor. 9:6-8)  
In the lives of thousands of people who have come to Divne Call Centre, these two laws have worked wonders. Have absolutely no doubt in your mind whether it is going to work in yur life. When you are prepared to follow these laws, namely – Willing to start with what you have and trust God to do the rest & secondly ready to share God’s blessings with others with greatful heart, soon you too will realize that God is able to accomplish abundant prosperity in your life far more than you can ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20)  
At times you may feel that you have tried all possible ways but nothing has been giving fruits that you desired. Yet one thing I wish to tell you is that God can see where you cannot see. Where you may not see an opportuinity for prosperity, God may be able to see one. For He has said, “I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known” (Is. 42:16). You and I do not know how the watchmaker fixes the watch, how the mechanic repairs the vehicle, how the doctor treats the patient, yet we have faith in their power to do their work. Have you just as much faith in God to let Him work in ways you know not of? The Lord says – “I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water (Is 41:18). Believe that God wants you to be prosperous and you will not need to depend only upon your own resources anymore. Believe and you will be justified in saying – “With God all things are possible.” (Gn.18, 14; Lk. 1:37)  
Let us pray: Almighty God, our creator and Provider, you have filled the earth and sea with good things in infinite abundance. You have created us, your beloved children, to make use of the good things. It is your will that we shall live in plenty. Teach us to be always thankful to you for the blessings you have showered upon us. Teach us to be faithful in our work, and through it, enable us to serve our brothers and sisters and thus by sharing the blessings you give us we may in tern be source of blessings to many more. We thank you Loving Father, for you know our needs and even before we call upon your name you answer. All power and glory belong to you for ever and ever Amen.

 

From:
prabhu
To:
Austine J. Crasta ; Rohit D’Souza ; Rohit D’Souza ; Deepak Vian Ferrao ; deepakferrao@gmail.com

Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 9:08 AM Subject: PROSPERITY GOSPEL

DEAR AUSTINE,

THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS MATTER. YOU MUST ACT, EVEN AT THE RISK OF YOUR BECOMING UNPOPULAR.

ERROR IS VERY SUBTLE, AND I AM SURE THAT FR. WALTER MENDONCA HAS NO MAL-INTENTION. PROBABLY SHEER IGNORANCE.

YOU ARE, I BELIEVE, IN CONSCIENCE BOUND TO WRITE TO FR. JERRY AND APPRAISE HIM OF THE CORRECT CATHOLIC PERSPECTIVE. IF THE MULKY CENTRE CONTINUES ON THESE LINES, THE PREACHING AND COUNSELING MIGHT GO VERY WRONG; AND IF WE REMAIN SILENT, WE TOO BECOME ACCOUNTABLE.

I EXHORT YOU TO PLEASE ACT. YOU MAY REPRODUCE MY LETTER. THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL HAS NO PLACE IN CATHOLIC TEACHING, EVEN MORE SO IN THE CHARISMATIC RENEWAL. I AM CERTAIN THAT FR. JERRY IS HUMBLE ENOUGH TO LISTEN TO YOU AND TO ISSUE A CORRECTION AGAINST THIS WRONG TEACHING.

IF THEY CONTINUE ON THESE LINES, AND DO NOT REMOVE FR. WALTER’S ARTICLE FROM THEIR WEBSITE, THIS MINISTRY WILL BE OBLIGED TO CIRCULATE A LETTER ON THE ISSUE AND ALSO POST IT ON OUR WEBSITE. I CANNOT DO ANYTHING ELSE FROM MY SIDE, BECAUSE FR. JERRY HAS FOR A LONG TIME NOW DECLINED TO RESPOND TO ANY EMAILS FROM ME, AS WELL AS TO LETTERS WRITTEN TO HIM ON THIS MINISTRY’S LETTERHEAD [EVEN THOUGH I AM A BENEFACTOR AND SINCERE WELL-WISHER OF FR. JERRY AND THE MULKY CENTRE]. LOVE, MICHAEL

 

From:
Austine J. Crasta
To:
prabhu ; rohitd@axes-mach01.usa.alcatel.com ; Deepak Vian Ferrao

Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 1:05 PM Subject: Reply – Various

JMJ Dear Michael,

1. I had posted you all the KC digests and CathNews from 15th May, last night itself. 

 

 

 

 

2. I tipped u about Fr. John F at Mangalore as the one who shared the platform with the RSS chief at Udupi, the one who heads the Chair in Christianity of Mangalore University, one who is involved in inter-religious dialogue, and who being a Professor Emeritus of Theology and Philosophy is now more interested in social justice and peace issues. 

3. Shall write to Deacon Wally and Renee. 

4. My health does trouble me constantly but I don’t make it apparent. These days I have to sit with the collar an hour a day. Besides, leg pain and back pain is usually there. 

5. My exams get over only on June 13 but I was not in a position to give the paper of 21st May. The exams thing is a long and sad story and I didn’t expect it to be brought up in the Albuquerque house. Thankfully they didn’t ask more questions.

6. I didn’t see any connection between the Goa Yoga thing and the Goa Church.  

7. Fr. Walter was already sent Errol’s and Fr. Fio’s articles. No response. I don’t feel it is the right time yet for me to take strong action about every wrong thing I see (referring to points 6&7) but I do sometimes feel inspired to make awareness about them and/or to direct the matter to appropriate persons. Perhaps this is because I am yet to discover my ministry fully and the direction in which the Lord wishes to lead it and I sense that I’m called to give formation and bring together a group of likeminded people whom the Lord will use according to their charism. Austine.

 

Mega church pastors who fell to adultery

http://sunnewsonline.com/new/mega-church-pastors-fell-adultery/

By Emeka Amokwuru, September 6, 2014

The most trending news in Nigeria at present, apart from Ebola and terrorist attacks, is that of the impending divorce of charismatic Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of the Believers’ LoveWorld, better known as Christ Embassy. Tongues are wagging. However, this is not the first time a reverend, pastor, bishop, evangelist or a cleric will be enmeshed in divorce.

The list is growing both locally and internationally. Incidentally, a neighbour to Pastor Chris at Oregun in the Ikeja area of Lagos State and his namesake, Rev. Chris Okotie, has even broken a record by divorcing twice, the last one being in June 2012.

Internationally, there was the case of the revered televangelist, Pastor Benny Hinn, who earlier divorced his wife, Suzanne, and later remarried her.

Beside pastors and clergy whose marriages are in shambles, there are those living with their spouses like familiar strangers. Many have not divorced out of sheer fright of scandal. Others are papering over the cracks in their marriages in deference to God’s injunction in Malachi 2 verse 16 while praying and hoping for restoration.

Over the years, men of God, made up of pastors, evangelists, prophets, and their ilk who superintend over mega churches, have unwittingly succumbed to the tempestuous whirlwind of adultery, contrary to the fifth commandment of God: Thou shall not commit adultery. And each time this happens, it raises a lot of issues, bordering on morality, spirituality, and most times put on hold or ends abruptly, the productive Christian service of the victim.

Early this year, David Loveless, head pastor of Discovery Church, Orlando, U.S.A, one of America’s “10 healthiest churches” relinquished his pastoral duties at the mega church over adultery. The pastor resigned after confessing he committed adultery three years earlier.

But Loveless is not the only Orlando-area pastor to confess an adulterous relationship lately. In the past six months, two other pastors, Isaac Hunter of Summit Church and Sam Hinn of The Gathering Place also resigned.

A statement by elders of Discovery Church confirmed that Loveless’ affair ended approximately three years ago. However, he only made it known to church leaders within the past few weeks. The elders stated that David Loveless could be restored to Christian fellowship and productive service, but not as a full-time pastor.

On April 3, 2014, Bob Coy, host of one of iTunes most-popular podcasts on Christianity and known for his teaching on marriage, resigned as longtime leader of one of America’s largest multisite churches after confessing to a “moral failing.”

Coy, senior pastor at the 18,500-member Calvary Chapel, Fort Lauderdale, Florida since he founded the mega church in 1985, said the failing disqualified him from “continuing his leadership role at the church.”

Coy, who wrote the popular series, Building a Godly Marriage along with pastoring one of the fastest growing churches in America, also reached audiences through his Active Word Radio Podcast, which ranks No. 12 on the iTunes chart for Christian podcasts, between offerings from Joel Osteen and T. D. Jakes.

The Active Word media ministry has been suspended, according to the church. Coy’s past sermon series on marriage was taken offline and unavailable, as were other media pages at the church’s website.

Among the hundreds of reactions on the church’s website are requests from people who still feel Coy’s past teachings are beneficial.

Coy will be focusing his attention on God and his family, according to his church’s statement. “The governing board of the church is providing counsellors and ministers who will help guide him through the process of full repentance, cleansing and restoration,” said the church.

Coy joins three other Florida mega church pastors who recently resigned in those cases after acknowledging extramarital affairs. One pastor, Isaac Hunter of Summit Church, later died by suicide.

While experts say churches can heal after adultery scandals and pastors can be restored to ministry, the process has obstacles that aren’t easy to navigate. The time it takes to work through the healing process can be its own point of contention: witness Benny Hinn’s brother Sam, who raised eyebrows after returning to the pulpit just eight months after admitting to a four-year extramarital affair.

 

 

 

 

In 1988, Jimmy Swaggart, America’s leading television evangelist, resigned from his ministry after it was revealed he had been consorting with a prostitute. In front of a congregation of 7,000 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he sobbed and confessed to “moral failure” without actually going into any detail.

“I do not plan in any way to whitewash my sin or call it a mistake,” he told shocked members of his Family Worship Centre.

Turning to his wife, Frances, he said: “I have sinned against you and I beg your forgiveness.”

Swaggart’s confession is all the more scandalous since he himself unleashed fire and brimstone against rival TV evangelist Rev Jim Bakker a few months earlier for committing adultery with minister and secretary Jessica Hahn.

Rev Bakker was subsequently defrocked and fired from his multi-million-dollar Praise the Lord TV station.

This time it was Jimmy Swaggart’s turn to repent after officials from the Assemblies of God Church were given photographs showing him taking a prostitute to a Louisiana motel.

Rival TV evangelist, Martin Gorman, who was also defrocked after Pastor Swaggart, accused him of “immoral dalliances” in 1986 handed them in.

Gorman, who ran a successful TV show from New Orleans, had launched an unsuccessful $90m law suit against Jimmy Swaggart two years earlier for spreading false rumours.

He also suggested Mr. Swaggart was trying to undermine rival TV shows.

The Jimmy Swaggart Hour is watched by up to two million families and donations raised amount to about $150m a year.

After the Bakker scandal, donations from the faithful dropped dramatically and the same is likely to happen to Jimmy Swaggart’s show.

Rev. Robertson has threatened to sue anyone who calls him a TV evangelist and prefers to be described as a businessman.

Four days later Debra Murphree, the prostitute photographed with Jimmy Swaggart, told a New Orleans TV show he was a regular customer but insisted they had not had sex. She said he liked to watch her undress.

Along with his son, Donnie, Jimmy Swaggart continues to broadcast to 30 countries but viewer numbers are not what they used to be when he was preaching to more than 100 nations around the world.

In March this year, after asking his parishioners to stay a bit longer after a Sunday service, Bishop Bobby Davies a pastor in Connecticut literally dropped dead. His request was made so he could confess his past infidelity and “seek forgiveness.” But only moments after he told his congregation what he had done, he fell over and died from a heart attack.

One person in attendance, Judy Stovall, told the Connecticut Post that Bishop Bobby Davis – the founder of the Miracle Faith World Outreach Church in Bridgeport – “wanted to come clean.”

“We were shouting, ‘We forgive you, we love you,’ but the stress of all of it — he had a heart attack,” Stovall recalled. “I held his head as he lay on the floor … Our congregation is hurting now.”

But some of the crowd was pretty angry. Stovall admitted that the yelling got pretty loud. “A woman, who wouldn’t give her name, said she had been outside the church at the time and heard yelling coming from inside, but didn’t know what was being said,” the report added.

Pastor Blaine Bartel of Northstar Church in Dallas, Texas is the most recent pastor caught in adultery. On April 22, 2014, Charisma Magazine reported that he stepped down from his post as pastor after he acknowledged that he’d had an affair. Bartel and his wife Cathy have been married 28 years and are in pursuit of repairing their marriage.

That day must have been a strange day for members of Redemption World Outreach, Greenville, South Carolina, U.S.A, one of the area’s first mega churches. Pastor Ron Carpenter basically dedicated his sermon to explaining why he’s leaving his philandering wife of 23 years. More awkwardly, Hope Carpenter was apparently Ron’s co-pastor as well as his wife. For as long as Redemption World Outreach was a thing, Ron and Hope were the face of it, and their solid marriage was an example for their flock. Too bad it was all a front, according to Ron.

During his sermon on Sunday, he explained that his wife had been living a double life for years. It came to a head, culminating in her isolation in a one-year, out-of-state treatment program, the end of what he called a “tragic” situation.

Ron explained that he and his wife had been struggling for at least a decade. Though he described his marriage as a “fairy tale” at first, things started to go south in 2004. She removed herself from the couple’s ministry completely, and she became increasingly distant until 2010 when she admitted to having multiple affairs.

Coincidentally, this confession came on the eve of a planned marriage conference organised by Ron and his Redemption World Outreach church.

“The marriage conference was already half way sold out, and $25,000 worth of deposits were made for rooms and we couldn’t back out. I had no idea what to do,” said Carpenter.

Ron Carpenter told Word Radio that his wife’s infidelity is only five percent of what’s going on.

“There were two distinct double lives. This is not a fling. Not an affair. There was a whole other life and culture and dress code and friends,” he explained.

In Kenya, the pastor of a growing church was last month, beaten, stripped and forced to kiss in public, the wife of a policeman he was caught with during an orgy in the neighbourhood. Although the angry mob spared his life, he was said to have preached against adultery at a crusade the previous week in Nairobi. And nemesis quickly caught up with him even while he was still married and had children.

 

 

 

 

The information on the following pages is taken from “DICTIONARY OF PENTECOSTAL AND CHARISMATIC MOVEMENTS”, editors Stanley M. Burgess and Gary B. McGee, Zondervan Publishing House, Michigan, 1988.

(A separate report will be made available on the misgovernance, church-hopping and splits/breakaways due to praxis, doctrinal and theological and other differences in the churches of the Pentecostal movement. Contrary to prosperity gospel theology, well-known church founders and leaders (and their immediate families) contracted diseases, met terrible accidents and died prematurely like everyone else –Michael)

ASA ALONSO ALLEN (1911-1970), HEALING EVANGELIST, ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, USA

 

 

Allen ran into trouble with the AG in the mid-1950s due to his extravagant claims. Many of the miracles were considered questionable or at least exaggerated.

A strong shadow was cast over Allen’s ministry due to his arrest for drunken driving during a Knoxville, Tennessee revival meeting in 1955. In response to pressure, he resigned from the Voice of Healing organization. Also as a result of this incident, the AG suggested that Allen withdraw from public ministry. Allen claimed innocence but surrendered his credentials.

Allen’s divorce from his wife Lexie in 1967 caused unrest in his organization.

 

CHARLES FOX PARHAM (1873-1929), PENTECOSTAL, APOSTOLIC FAITH MOVEMENT, USA

Parham formulated classical Pentecostal theology in 1901 and thus deserves recognition as founder of the Pentecostal movement.

The final blow to Parham’s prominence came in the summer of 1907 when he was arrested in San Antonio, Texas, on a charge of sodomy.

Some of his followers regrouped … but disassociating from Parham… (replacing) the designation “Apostolic Faith” with the less troublesome term “Pentecostal”.

Marred by scandal, he spent the final two decades of his life alienated from the bulk of the movement he had begun.

 

CHARLES ELDON BLAIR (1920-2008), PENTECOSTAL, ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, USA

Despite his wife’s misgivings, Blair decided it was God’s will to build a geriatric center. He sold bonds for phase two of the project without an up-to-date prospectus.

When things did not work out, his failure to inform investors amounted to fraud under the law. Blair and an associate were convicted in 1976 and the “Life Center” declared bankruptcy.

 

http://www.westword.com/news/the-promise-that-died-with-pastor-charles-blair-5833505
EXTRACT

Blair pursued his idea for Life Center, an abandoned chiropractic facility he wanted to transform into a senior complex, even as more financially savvy advisers told him the project was headed for insolvency. In the early 1970s, he peddled securities to elderly parishioners to finance the scheme, assuring them that their money couldn’t be safer, even as the Securities and Exchange Commission was concluding that Life Center was turning into an elaborate Ponzi scheme. In the face of overwhelming evidence that he’d deceived and trimmed his own flock in an effort to keep his dream alive, he denied that he’d ever defrauded anyone — and oh, never mind the conviction on seventeen counts of security fraud. It was all a misunderstanding, a “technical violation” on his part.

If the story had ended there, with the disgrace of bankruptcy and probation, it might well have been just a footnote to Blair’s substantial good works. But Blair vowed to pay back the investors who’d lost their life savings in Life Center, and the plot merely thickened.

In the 1980s, Blair launched a high-profile campaign to repay “distressed” investors. The whole thing erupted in a second scandal when it turned out that much of the money went to Calvary Temple itself and select insiders — including a token payment to (tsk, tsk) Charles Blair. Facing lawsuits over the fundraising effort, in 1991 Blair reached a $700,000 settlement with a core of embittered (and, in many cases, still distressed) investors. Another $1.5 million in debt remained — not a legal debt at this point but a moral one, since Blair had promised once again to do what he could to repay the rest.

Blair never made good on that promise.

 

JAMES WILLIAM “JAMIE” BUCKINGHAM (1932-1992), ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, USA

Author of the famous “Run Baby Run” and 41 other books, he was fired from his position as pastor of two Baptist churches “because of my emptiness and pride and penchant to sexual immoralitybefore he joined AG.

 

 

FINIS JENNINGS DAKE (1902-1987), ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, USA

Author of the famous “Dake’s Annotated Bible” … on February 9, 1937, Dake received a six-month jail sentence in the Milwaukee County jail after pleading guilty to a charge of violating the federal Mann Act by transporting sixteen-year old Emma Barcelli from Kenosha, Wisconsin to East. St. Louis, Illinois (with hotel stops in Waukegan, Bloomington and East St. Louis under the names Mr. and Mrs. C. Anderson). Although pleading guilty, Dake insisted that he did not harm the girl. Despite the fervent loyalty of his wife and parishioners at Christian assembly, as a consequence of this “unfortunate mistake,” as Dake’s lawyer called it, Dake’s relationship with the AG ended in 1937. He later joined the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.), and finally became an independent.

 

HOBART E. FREEMAN (1920-1984), FAITH ASSEMBLY, USA

Freeman was once in the mainstream of the … faith-healing movement.

He came to the attention of the national media in 1978 following the deaths of children in his congregation who had been denied medical assistance because of his teachings.

A former colleague, John Davis, president of Grace Theological Seminary, stated that “Freeman believed that all doctors and medicine have their roots in witchcraft … and that such witchcraft is demonically inspired. He believed that if you exposed yourself to doctors and medical care, you are exposing yourself to demonic activity.”

Davis says as many as a dozen people in the congregation, including children, died of medically treatable ailments.

Church members David and Kathleen Bergmann were sentenced to ten years in prison as a result of being convicted of charges that they allowed their child to die without receiving medical assistance.

At the time of his death, Freeman was under indictment on the charge of aiding and inducing reckless homicide of a fifteen-year old girl.

Freeman succumbed to broncho-pneumonia … He had not received treatment for these problems.

 

BENJAMIN HARDIN IRWIN (1854-19??), PENTECOSTAL, HOLINESS CHURCH OF GOD, USA

In 1900 Irwin fell from the leadership of the church after confessing to “open and gross sin“.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_Baptized_Holiness_Church_of_God_of_the_Americas
EXTRACT

The church was founded by Benjamin Hardin Irwin and Bishop William Edward Fuller, Sr. (1875–1958).

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire-Baptized_Holiness_Church
EXTRACT

The revelation of Irwin’s failure greatly affected the church; several state associations collapsed.

He said it was a sin to eat anything forbidden by the dietary laws of the Old Testament. As a result, the church was sometimes called “the no ties, no hog-meat people.

 

LEROY JENKINS (1935-), PENTECOSTAL, CHURCH OF THE WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW, USA

Tent evangelist and faith-healer.

Jenkins’ ministry was known for his “fantastic miracles”, but they were not enough to keep him from trouble. Jenkins was divorced from his wife and was arrested several times in cases involving drugs and alcohol.

 

Fake Christian Healer Leroy Jenkins, EXPOSED by Inside Edition

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Px5sZyxFYc
9:14

 

MILDRED “MINNIE” KENNEDY (1862-1947), SALVATION ARMY, USA

Mother of Aimee Semple McPherson (1890-1944) founder of the International Church of the Four Square Gospel and Angelus Temple, Los Angeles.

After a decade as a widow, she remarried on June 28, 1931 to Guy Edward Hudson. Shortly after their wedding, charges of bigamy were filed against Hudson by another woman. The marriage was annulled less than a month after it had been entered. Later that year the bigamy charges lapsed and Hudson obtained a “quickie” divorce in Las Vegas. Minnie met him there and they were remarried. On July 4, 1932, she announced a separation; divorce followed in November.

The newspapers reported a deep rift between mother and daughter with such spectacular headlines as “Police guarding Aimee from ‘Ma'”, and much was made of a broken nose, which Minnie was said to have received in an altercation with Aimee. When Aimee’s daughter Roberta disagreed with Aimee on certain elements of Temple administration in 1937, Minnie sided with Roberta in the ensuing highly publicized court scene… mother and daughter continued to drift apart.

 

AIMEE SEMPLE MCPHERSON
(1890-1944), PENTECOSTAL, INTERNATIONAL CHURCH OF THE FOUR SQUARE GOSPEL, USA

Daughter of Mildred “Minnie” Kennedy (1862-1947).

While working with the Salvation Army in New York City in 1910, she met Harold Stewart McPherson (1890-1968). They were married on October 24, 1911… Harold followed her to Canada and for a time the two ministered together.

 

 

 

But the evangelistic activity of the McPhersons was difficult and it took its toll on both of them. Ultimately Harold left and returned to Rhode Island, USA. The couple was divorced in August 1921.

In 1919 Aimee received ordination with the Assemblies of God as an “evangelist”. She held these credentials with the general council until January 5, 1922 when she returned her fellowship papers.

In May 1926 she had become a highly publicized international figure when she suddenly disappeared, apparently drowned off Venice Beach while swimming. A month later she was found in Mexico, with a story of her kidnapping by some people who feigned to need her help. Rumours spread and she was embroiled in a controversy about an alleged affair in Carmel, California, with a former employee, Mr. Kenneth Ormiston. A grand jury investigated her, but while it was not in session the district attorney charged her with the obstruction of justice, and suborning perjury. Ordered to stand trial, she was ridiculed daily from pulpit to press…

The 1930s brought their share of problems, too. McPherson suffered a nervous breakdown in 1930 and entered an ill-fated marriage to David L. Hutton on September 13, 1931.

She was undoubtedly the most prominent woman leader Pentecostalism has produced till date (!)

 

JOSEPH HILLERY KING (1869-1946), PENTECOSTAL, HOLINESS CHURCH, USA

Founder and first bishop of the church.

In 1890, he met and married Willie Irene King. This marriage soon ended in divorce, however, since his new wife had no intention of being the wife of a Holiness preacher.

After Benjamin Hardin Irwin (above) left the church in disgrace after confessing to “open and gross sin“, King became general overseer of the badly demoralized church.

 

KATHRYN KUHLMAN (1907-1976), PENTECOSTAL, USA

The world’s most widely known female evangelist. Her marriage to an evangelist who divorced his wife to marry Kuhlman destroyed her Denver ministry. They continued to evangelize, but apparently after about six years – she was silent on the subject – she left him and started over again on her own.

 


 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathryn_Kuhlman
EXTRACT

Kathryn met Burroughs Waltrip, a Texas evangelist who was eight years her senior. Shortly after his visit to Denver, Waltrip divorced his wife, left his family and moved to Mason City, Iowa, where he began a revival center called Radio Chapel. Kathryn and her friend and pianist Helen Gulliford came into town to help him raise funds for his ministry. It was shortly after their arrival that the romance between Burroughs and Kathryn became publicly known.

Burroughs and Kathryn decided to wed. While discussing the matter with some friends, Kathryn had said that she could not “find the will of God in the matter.” These and other friends encouraged her not to go through with the marriage, but Kathryn justified it to herself and others by believing that Waltrip’s wife had left him, not the other way around. On October 18, 1938, Kathryn secretly married “Mister,” as she liked to call Waltrip, in Mason City. The wedding did not give her new peace about their union, however. After they checked into their hotel that night, Kathryn left and drove over to the hotel where Helen was staying with another friend. She sat with them weeping and admitted that the marriage was a mistake. No one seems to know exactly when the separation took place. In a 1952 interview with the Denver Post Kathryn said, “He charged—correctly—that I refused to live with him. And I haven’t seen him in eight years.” That would put the separation in 1944—which is probably accurate. This means they lived together for the better part of six years.” She was divorced by Burroughs Waltrip in 1948.

In 1975, Kuhlman was sued by Paul Bartholomew, her personal administrator, who claimed that she kept $1 million in jewelry and $1 million in fine art hidden away and sued her for $430,500 for breach of contract.

For several decades there has been serious debate regarding the authenticity of Kathryn Kuhlman’s ministry. Some would suggest that she was a modern day prophet exercising the power of God. The debate continues today with many believers upholding Kuhlman as an important forerunner (including proponents of the “Prosperity Theology” & “Faith Healing” movement, such as Benny Hinn).

 

 

 

 

DANIEL MALACHUK (1922-?), PENTECOSTAL, PUBLISHER, USA

Founder of charismatic religious publishing company Logos International Fellowship (1966) which became the largest charismatic book publisher before it went bankrupt in 1981. He was an international director of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship and was a founding regent of Oral Roberts University.

Logos distributed an estimated 45 million books worldwide including many best-sellers. By 1981, however, Logos International Fellowship, a non-profit organization that listed several well-known personalities on its board of directors, filed bankruptcy on indebtedness that exceeded five million dollars.

Malachuk created a biweekly newspaper, the National Courier, but it became a financial burden and all but destroyed Logos International Fellowship. The Courier ceased publication in 1977. The Logos Journal went the way of the Courier. The prosperity theme of many successful best-selling Logos International Fellowship titles seemed to have a hollow ring.

 

CLARA E. LUM (?-1946), PENTECOSTAL, AZUSA STREET REVIVAL MISSION, USA

In an early scandal, Lum was accused of taking “French leave” of the mission in 1908, purloining the newspaper The Apostolic Faith and its mailing lists.

 

CHARLES HARRISON MASON (1866-1961), PENTECOSTAL, CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST, USA

Founder of the church and one of the most significant figures in the rise and spread of the modern Pentecostal movement.

Mason was licensed and ordained in 1891 but held back from full-time ministry to marry Alice Saxton, a beautiful daughter of his mother’s closest friend. To his greatest disappointment and distress, she bitterly oppose his ministerial plans. She divorced him after two years and later remarried. Mason fell into such grief and despair that it is said that at times Satan even tempted him to take his own life.

 

RALPH A. WILKERSON (1927-?), PENTECOSTAL, ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, MELODYLAND CHRISTIAN CENTER, USA

Founder and pastor of the Center.

In recent years, Melodyland Christian Center has suffered a number of crises including serious financial difficulties, reported misconduct charges, and contested departure of several of the church-sponsored ministers.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melodyland_Christian_Center
EXTRACT

Pastor Ralph Wilkerson took a musical theater and turned it into one of the largest (at the time) and most influential churches in the Evangelical or Charismatic/Pentecostal community.

 

FRANK SANDFORD (1862-1948), HOLINESS CHURCH, USA

Sandford’s missionary concern led in 1905 to the purchase of a schooner The Coronet for use in worldwide evangelization. It was this enterprise that brought about Sandford’s downfall… Sandford was on board waiting on God for direction. A series of bad decisions compounded the predicament of those on board and by the time they reached Portland, Maine, on October 21, 1911, several had died from lack of food and water, and others were nearly dead. By November 1, a total of nine had died.

Sandford was soon plagued by reports of his iron rule and disciplinary measures. He was arrested and charged with manslaughter. Ultimately he was convicted and sentenced to a ten-year term in the federal penitentiary at Atlanta, Georgia.

Frank Bartleman, Pentecostal critic, classed him with J.A. Dowie (see below) as a spiritual charlatan who “severely abused and fleeced the flock of God” and came “to a most disreputable and execrable end”.

 

JOHN ALEXANDER DOWIE (1847-1907), CHRISTIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, USA

Faith-healer and founder of Zion City, Illinois, and of the church.

Dowie insisted that those who sought his prayers relinquish all medicine, and instead, exercise faith. He also demanded that his followers abstain from use of all pork products.

Stubborn and aggressive, Dowie seemed to welcome conflict: over the years, his sharp criticism alienated virtually every other significant exponent of divine healing.

In 1900, Dowie unveiled plans for a religious community that would be molded by his own views of what a holy society should be. The community known as Zion City, north of Chicago, grew to approximately six thousand persons during the next few years. Dowie meanwhile became increasingly eccentric. He announced in 1901 that he was the prophesied Elijah, the Restorer… and revealed that he had been divinely commissioned the first apostle of a renewed end-times church.

In September 1905, he announced plans for planting Zions in other areas.

 

 

 

 

This followed several major confrontations with critics, first in New York, during a much-heralded visitation in 1903, then in Australia, where his attacks on the vices of the reigning British monarch gained international press attention.

While traveling, he lost control of his community. Individuals there had suffered severely as a result of financial mismanagement. He died in 1907 disgraced, and ignored by most of the thousands who had acclaimed him.

 

IRA FOREST STANPHILL (1914-1993), GOSPEL MUSIC SONG WRITER, PENTECOSTAL, ASSEMBLIES OF GOD, USA

He was the founding pastor of Bethel Assembly of God Church in Lake Worth, Florida.

On April 23, 1939, Stanphill married Zelma Lawson, a minister’s daughter who “played piano by ear and accompanied her parents on a local radio program.” That marriage ended in divorce October 7, 1948. On June 7, 1951, following Zelma’s death in an automobile accident, he married his second wife, Gloria Holloway.

 

Evangelist Won’t Help Receiver in Ponzi Case

http://www.religionnewsblog.com/7583/evangelist-wont-help-receiver-in-ponzi-case

Several high-profile evangelists entangled in an alleged investment scam targeting born-again Christians are helping authorities unravel the operation.

One prominent pastor, however, has declined to assist: the Rev. Ralph A. Wilkerson, founder of Melodyland Christian Center in Anaheim, according to the court-appointed receiver whose job it is to salvage the remains of what federal prosecutors allege was a Ponzi scheme.

Wilkerson’s failure to cooperate is hampering the effort to recover the millions of dollars some investors lost with Ontario-based IPIC International Inc., receiver Dennis L. Roossien Jr. said last week.

“He could help a lot if he wanted to,” Roossien said.

IPIC was headed by Gregory Earl Setser, with whom Wilkerson last year wrote an unpublished book titled “Making Million$ for Ministry: The Biblical Philosophy of Prosperity of Greg Setser.”

According to court records, Setser promised people that they would make money on import-export deals for goods such as bottled water, scooters and condoms. But prosecutors said he did little actual business and instead used millions of dollars from investors to buy his family homes, a yacht and a helicopter.

In a June 4 report, Roossien categorized IPIC as “unquestionably a fraud” in which at least $35 million was owed to people whose deposits were used to pay earlier investors.

Setser was arrested in November on fraud and money-laundering charges. He and four other defendants in the IPIC case have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.

Several well-known evangelists netted profits with IPIC, including three who have shows on the Trinity Broadcasting Network: faith healer Benny Hinn; Reinhard Bonnke, whose Orlando, Fla.-based Christ for All Nations evangelizes in Africa; and Marilyn Hickey, who heads a Colorado-based national ministry.

Since Setser’s arrest, several IPIC investors have returned their profits and put them in a relief fund set up by evangelists to benefit people hit hardest by losses, Roossien said. The fund contains about $1.9 million.

Hinn returned his profit, saying he was “outraged that Gregory Setser would use the church for his own benefit.”

Another investor, Hickey’s son-in-law, Reece Bowling, helped to uncover IPIC’s irregular activities and has worked with authorities to help identify additional investors.

Bonnke and his organization also have returned some of their gains and have pledged to return more, Roossien said.

The receiver said that he had asked Wilkerson to help him track down any individuals who might have pooled their funds to invest in IPIC through Wilkerson’s nonprofit organization, Millennium Missions, and that Wilkerson hadn’t responded.

Wilkerson could help persuade people to give back their gains to help compensate those who lost money, Roossien said, and could use his influence with other Christian leaders to help uncover profits federal investigators might not know about.

Wilkerson could not be reached for comment. A woman who answered the telephone at his home in a gated Dana Point neighborhood said he wouldn’t talk to a reporter.

The government hasn’t accused Wilkerson of wrongdoing.

Both Millennium Missions and Wilkerson appear to have lost money with IPIC.

The nonprofit invested at least $400,000 in about 20 of the joint-venture deals that Setser promoted, Roossien said, and received about $125,000. He said records showed that Wilkerson deposited $680,000 and was paid slightly less than $240,000.

But the IPIC records are so slapdash, Roossien said, that he can’t determine the names of the individual Millennium Missions investors. “Many Christians have another Christian’s money. We are still in the early stages of helping people understand that, and I am excited to see what will happen” as additional investors come forward, the receiver said.

In the unpublished book, Setser said Wilkerson was an inspiration. As a teenager in the 1970s, Setser said, he traveled from his home in Montclair to join thousands of young Christians drawn to the six services held each Sunday at Melodyland’s huge facilities across from Disneyland.

The manuscript is written in question-and-answer form, with Wilkerson asking the questions.

“When I heard you speak, and watched your actions, I knew that you were a man who desperately loved the souls of men,” Setser says at the start of “Making Million$ for Ministry.”

“God gave me a passion in my heart for souls,” Wilkerson replies.

 

 

“Mine too,” Setser says. “Even at a young age I was leading 20 to 30 people to the Lord a day. I was a soul winner. It was the only thing that mattered to me. Then Jesus said to me, ‘I will make you a fisher of men, but I am going to make you a wealthy man.’ ”

The manuscript, obtained by The Times last week, was assembled by Michael Wourms, president of CSN Books in El Cajon. Wourms said Setser hoped to sell the book at religious conferences but never had it published.

Unlike Hinn, Hickey and Bonnke, Wilkerson has been largely out of the spotlight in recent years.

The Oklahoma native, a former traveling Bible Belt preacher, became well-known in California after his Christian Center Church bought the struggling Melodyland Theater for $1.125 million in 1969.

Offering lively music, healing sessions and fiery preaching, Wilkerson founded a seminary, battled Motown Records for rights to the Melodyland name and was roundly attacked for extolling the positive points of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, who presided over a murderous regime and whom Wilkerson visited in May 1978.

By that year, Melodyland’s finances had fallen into disarray and Wilkerson was forced to bring in outside managers. Two years later, outsiders bought the 12.5-acre complex, which included a 3,770-seat auditorium, a theater-in-the-round, a high school and the theology school.

In 1983, Anaheim police and federal tax agents investigated allegations that Wilkerson had mishandled millions of dollars in church funds, including using them for personal travel, clothing and furniture purchases. No criminal charges were filed. Later that year, Wilkerson repurchased Melodyland.

Amid continuing money troubles, the debate over Melodyland in the 1990s focused mainly on whether the city, Walt Disney Co. or private developers would buy and redevelop the complex. The last piece of Melodyland was sold to a mall developer two years ago.

In his introduction to the Setser book, Wilkerson decries how major evangelical denominations have been forced to call missionaries home because of financial cutbacks and says that church offerings are dwindling and that Christians must “beg and claw for every ministry dollar.”

Wilkerson adds that he is “certain and confident that there are countless more Greg Setsers out there who can help finance the end time harvest. I pray ‘Making Million$ for Ministry’ helps discover and train them “for His Kingdom.”

 

RELATED FILES

PROSPERITY GOSPEL AND THE CATHOLIC-ERROL FERNANDES

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/PROSPERITY_GOSPEL_AND_THE_CATHOLIC-ERROL_FERNANDES.doc

PROSPERITY GOSPEL VERSUS THE POVERTY GOSPEL-EDDIE RUSSELL

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/PROSPERITY_GOSPEL_VERSUS_THE_POVERTY_GOSPEL-EDDIE_RUSSELL.doc

WORD-FAITH, POSITIVE CONFESSION, PROSPERITY GOSPEL-INPLAINSITE.COM

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/WORD-FAITH_POSITIVE_CONFESSION_PROSPERITY_GOSPEL-INPLAINSITE.COM.doc

SEXUAL PREDATORS MORE PREVALENT AMONG RABBIS PASTORS YOGIS THAN AMONG PRIESTS

http://ephesians-511.net/docs/SEXUAL_PREDATORS_MORE_PREVALENT_AMONG_RABBIS_PASTORS_YOGIS_THAN_AMONG_PRIESTS.doc

 

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Categories: PROTESTANTISM

1 reply

  1. Dear Michael,As far as this ” PASTOR ” or lay evangelist “business ” goes — I personally am totally against it –It is nothing but a DHANDA or profitable business venture with this ” holier than thou cloak ” — a couple of months of reading interpretations of Scriptures and some holy books — also as an understudy to some ” already established con man/woman preacher ” — once a sort of fan following is established — the next step is to assume the title  of ” PASTOR ” and gather around oneself a few followers/disciples who eventually ” SPREAD ” the word — The movement / fan following gains momentum — and the Evangelist gains fame and fortune — The root cause of this nonsense is that most humans look frantically for a panacea to cure or bring solace to their woes and troubles — NO human who is at peace in his own mind goes looking for these charlatans –A few years ago  here in Lonavla our ( late ) Parish Priest organised a night vigil during Holy Week — It was advertised that a group from Bombay would be coming and we the parishioners of Lonavla could spend a nice night of prayer during the last few days of Lent — thinking that it would be a nice night of prayer and reflection — something similar to what I had experienced in my younger days in the Parish of St Teresa in Girgaum Bombay — I attended — What a disaster for me — the  night turned out to be some sort of ” tamasha ” — street performance — with clapping swaying –jumping around and singing some weird songs to some horrid guitar music — projections on a screen — interspersed with some ” Preaching ” by the Troupe leader — Fortunately I had taken the precaution of carrying some biscuits and water — and some cigarettes with me so I spent the disgusting night in the Church compound — till dawn and the celebration of Holy Mass  — and went home Whilst I was ” outside ”  One of the evangelists came out for a smoke — I  asked him from where he got the energy to do a whole night ” show ” and then go to his normal work / job the next morning — His reply HORRIFIED me — He told me he was in ” FULL TIME SERVICE  OF THE LORD ” !!!!!! — WOW — what a convenient way of earning moolah !!!! WARM REGARDS FERGUS MISQUITTA — VALVAN — LONAVLA — 410403

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ephesians-511.net Testimonies

EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church Michael Prabhu, METAMORPHOSE, #12,Dawn Apartments, 22,Leith Castle South Street, Chennai – 600 028, Tamilnadu, India. Phone: +91 (44) 24611606 E-mail: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net, http://www.ephesians-511.net

EPHESIANS-511.NET- A Roman Catholic Ministry Exposing Errors in the Indian Church

Michael Prabhu, METAMORPHOSE, #12,Dawn Apartments, 22,Leith Castle South Street, Chennai - 600 028, Tamilnadu, India. Phone: +91 (44) 24611606 E-mail: michaelprabhu@vsnl.net, http://www.ephesians-511.net

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