A second Christian ministry is refusing to meet a Thursday deadline for a Senate investigation into preachers’ salaries, perks and travel, The Associated Press has learned.
See related Shadow Democracy post and comment thread here…
Benny Hinn of World Healing Center Church Inc. and Benny Hinn Ministries of Grapevine, Texas, said in a statement to the AP on Thursday that he will not respond to the inquiry until next year.
A lawyer for preacher Creflo Dollar of World Changers Church International in suburban Atlanta had said Wednesday that the investigation should be referred to the IRS or the Senate panel should get a subpoena for the documents.
Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, sent lengthy questionnaires a month ago to six ministries so he could review whether pastors were complying with IRS rules that bar excessive personal gain through tax-exempt work.
Because these are “Religious” Non Profit organizations, the IRS has already deemed that they’re NOT required to turn over information regarding their finances.
Do you believe in God?
Well even if you don’t, you an I can apply to the IRS for our own Religious non profit status and become exempt from paying federal taxes. Then we can go out and encourage wealthy people to withdraw their investments from 401K’s and other tax shelter investments and funnel their income through our bogus ministry and it will be perfectly legal. You can make a bundle!
Do you know how to sing???
I’ve got some old Jimmy Swaggart Gospel tapes that you can take home and practice from. I’ll brush up on my evangelical street type of ministry lingo and convince a few homeless people to come and visit us every Sunday at a low rent two bedroom house just to convince the IRS that we actually have a congregation. After acquiring our 501(c)(3) provision, we’ll take out business loans in order to hire expert accountants and financial advisors who will counsel our wealthy solicited investors.
We’ll make a fortune, and then we can ignore Congress too 🙂
Posted by: Dimitri Lawrence
An Atlanta mega-church took in $69 million in 2006, according to a financial statement the church’s minister released in response to a Senate investigation into him and five other well-known televangelists.
The Rev. Creflo Dollar (excuse me as I snicker a bit) disclosed the World Changers Church International’s financial information to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but said the money he spends is his own.
I’m sure it is. Every last dollar from every last gullible donor.
The good reverand said his income comes from personal investments, but the church gave him a Rolls Royce, which he mainly uses for special occasions.
Don’t pre-judge! It was just a tiny Rolls.
‘Without a doubt, my life is not average,’ he said. ‘But I’d like to say, just because it is excessive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong.’
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa disagrees.
He launched an investigation into the finances of six ministers after hearing reports of some preachers’ excessive lifestyles. In a letter last week, he requested answers by Dec. 6 to questions about their executive compensation and amenities, including use of fancy cars and private jets.
Besides Dollar, the letters were sent to faith healer Benny Hinn, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Texas, David and Joyce Meyer of Missouri, Randy and Paula White of Florida and Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga.
Dollar questioned the investigation’s focus on religious groups.
Boy, you gotta love the balls on this guy.
The minister is among the religious leaders who preach the ‘prosperity gospel,’ the teaching that God will shower faithful followers with material riches. But he said he uses only his personal finances to pay for his luxuries.
‘My lifestyle does not come out of the church’s bank account,’ he said.
So, do you still think these ‘Big Box Retail Churches’, as I like to call them, still shouldn’t be taxed??
Rolls Royce Creflo?
I wonder what kind of Gods work he does in the back seat and with whom?
Wake up my fellow church going sheep!
Anyone who gives money to a mega-church is naive and foolish. Giving money to ANY church benefits very few people as it is, with mega-churches being the worst offenders. Maybe the good minister Creflo could tool around in a Mercedes instead. Maybe a nice “E” Class and use the left over money from the sale of the Rolls Royce to feed 20 or so hungry families in greater Atlanta for oh, I don’t know, maybe two years!!!
The name itself was enough to keep me in laughter until the New Year. “
“Dollar!” You’ve gotta be kidding me!
Can someone please administer an I.Q. test to all of Creflo’s followers? I’m dying to know the results, but I have a suspicion that the average score would be a tad low.
Those “investments” Dollar spoke of were purchased with funds taken from desperate poor people who watch his show while he begs for people to “plant a seed of faith”. These tele-evangelists are nothing but corporate thieves, no different than the ones who have outsourced our economy to China in the name of profit, while taking a giant dump on the middle class.
Think about it for a minute. Most people who watch the program give the church money they’d normally use for medicine, food, shelter, clothes. The minister makes them think they’ll get a windfall blessing in their bank account if they only “plant a seed of faith”. GOD says for us to work, WORK, for a living…so we might give 10% to our church. The Bible states nothing about planting seeds.
www.ministrywatch.com is a great site that tells cold, hard, sinful truth about these tele-thieves.
This is just another tale of people using religion to pad their own pockets, as they prey on the poor and uneducated. Thanks to our government’s unfair endorsement of religion, they do not pay a dime in taxes. Since God apparently will not punish Creflo, we will have to do it ourselves.
He can start by paying taxing his scam operation.
The fact that God didn’t strike Creflo Dollar dead on the spot, in itself, may be proof that there is no god at all!