Gleanings of Wheat: A Blog dedicated to cooking, kids, and Christ

Saturday, December 8, 2007

4 televangelists fail to answer Senate inquiry

One North Texas-based televangelist missed a Thursday deadline to answer a Senate inquiry about his ministry's finances, while another responded and insisted it did nothing wrong.

Kenneth Copeland Ministries of Newark, in Wise County, delivered a packet of information Thursday to the office of U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, who last month launched an investigation into whether six nationally known ministries had abused their tax-exempt status.

Grapevine-based Benny Hinn Ministries did not meet the deadline for answering questions put to it by Mr. Grassley, but released a statement saying it planned to respond by Jan. 30.


Of the four other ministries targeted by Mr. Grassley, only Joyce Meyer Ministries of Fenton, Mo., had delivered information by Thursday afternoon.

John Copeland, Kenneth Copeland's son, said by phone Thursday that Kenneth Copeland Ministries and its affiliated Eagle Mountain International Church have followed the law.

“The Bible says if you do good, you'll be persecuted for it, so rejoice,” he said.

John Copeland said the ministry would soon post a video interview on its Web site that answers the questions Mr. Grassley asked. He insisted the Internal Revenue Service was the proper agency to ask such questions, not the U.S. Senate. The IRS is not investigating the ministry or his parents, John Copeland said.

Mr. Grassley also asked about businesses operated by church leaders, including those of Kenneth and John Copeland. John Copeland said he incorporated several companies, but never used church employees to operate them. None of the capital to start the businesses came from the church, he said.

Mr. Grassley's office said Thursday that the Creflo Dollar Ministries of suburban Atlanta had sent a letter saying it does not intend to provide information voluntarily. Bishop Eddie L. Long Ministries, also based near Atlanta, had indicated to the senator's office that it would cooperate, but no information had been received Thursday.

Since when is a call to transparency considered persecution? And I really don't understand why Joyce Meyer needed a $23,000 toilet.