Ministries Under Investigation
Most Americans don't mind their pastors living well. But Rolls Royce cars, private jets, and multi-million dollar homes? Such extravagance didn't sit well with Americans, who persuaded Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, to investigate.
Citing concerns that they were misusing donations and violating their religious tax-exempt status, Grassley (pictured above) in November 2007 requested financial statements from Kenneth Copeland Ministries and Benny Hinn Ministries in Texas, Creflo Dollar Ministries and Bishop Edie Long Ministries in Georgia, Joyce Meyer Ministries in Missouri, and Paula White Ministries in Florida.
Hinn and Meyer sent the requested information within weeks, and said they would institute voluntary reforms – moves which Grassley praised. Meyer went on this year to join the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, a standards and accreditation group in Winchester, Va. Copeland, Long, and White released incomplete records, but have been accused of foot-dragging, and are still being asked to send-in their financial information. Dollar has refused to comply at all. With five of the six ministries blocking a look into their accounts more than two years after Grassley's original request, seems this story will be around next decade.