Atlanta Megachurches Under Senate Review

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. Principessa

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    Senate member seeks financial records of Atlanta megachurches

    Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) sent letters requesting detailed financial documents to two metro Atlanta preachers and four other ministries nationwide whose leaders are known for opulent, or as the ministers would say, blessed, lifestyles.


    Grassley is the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee and has developed a reputation for demanding financial transparency from non-profits.
    He wants to know how much Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia and the Rev. Creflo and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Church International in College Park make, how their church-issued credit cards are managed and how many cars, planes and foreign bank accounts they own. He has asked for information on the ministries' boards, business relationships and associated organizations.


    "I'm following up on complaints from the public and news coverage regarding certain practices at six ministries," Grassley said in a press release.
    The other ministers are the Rev. Benny Hinn, based in Grapevine, Texas; David and Joyce Meyer, Fenton, Mo.; Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Newark, Texas, and Randy and Paula White, Tampa, Fla. All are well known in the evangelical religious broadcasting world. They are also known for preaching that financial blessings are part of Christian life.


    "The allegations involve governing boards that aren't independent and allow generous salaries and housing allowance and amenities such as private jets and Rolls Royces," Grassley said.

    *SNIP*
    "When a person using a credit card turns in a receipt, they have to justify that charges were ministry purposes, not for a family vacation to Hawaii," he said.
    Jill Kozeny, a Grassley spokeswoman, said the senators chose the six ministries because of reports from third parties, whistle-blowers and the press.
    In 2005 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran a story that looked into Long's founding of a charity that paid the minister more than $3 million over a 3-year period, bought him a $1.4 million house and paid for the use of a $350,000 Bentley car.


    Grassley's letter to the Dollars mentions information that Dollar tried to raise $1 million from other minister to give to Kenneth and Gloria Copeland for a celebration of their 40th year of ministry and that Dollar's ministries gave more than $500,000 to them.

    Kozeny said, "Some of the accounts were of particular concern about lack of transparency, about how [the ministries] spend millions while you have it all exempted from federal taxes."

    WHO'S BEING INVESTIGATED
    Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is investigating the finances of six well-known televangelists.
    The organizations and their leaders are:
    • Randy and Paula White of Without Walls International Church and Paula White Ministries of Tampa, Fla.
    • Benny Hinn of World Healing Center Church Inc. and Benny Hinn Ministries of Grapevine, Texas
    • David and Joyce Meyer of Joyce Meyer Ministries of Fenton, Mo.
    • Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries of Newark, Texas
    • Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Bishop Eddie Long Ministries of Lithonia
    • Creflo and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Church International and Creflo Dollar Ministries of College Park.
     
  2. catman

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    Well gosh- am so glad someone who works in the SENATE wants to look into waste...

    if they want to 'find money', look into HALLIBURTON....(or any other gov't agency). I think the Senate looking into anyone elses financial misdeeds is well, absurd.
     
  3. B_Hickboy

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  4. B_Hickboy

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  5. B_Hickboy

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  8. naughty

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    Workin' up a good pot of mad!

    Since when is Halliburton a govt agency? There is waste all around. I do think though that these ministries do need to be governed more stringently. God should not be for sale.
     
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