Ole Anthony, 82, president of Dallas-based Trinity Foundation Inc. and a thorn in the side of “prosperity gospel” televangelists, died Friday, April 16, 2021.
He was known as a fierce critic of TV preachers like Robert Tilton, Benny Hinn and Jan and Paul Crouch, and was often seen in news interviews critiquing their lavish lifestyles.
Anthony also served as the founding elder of a small congregation that modeled itself on first-century Christianity in lifestyle and mission, meeting in homes and gathering often. In the 1990s the foundation began the Dallas Project, taking homeless people into the homes of members and encouraging other religious groups to do the same. The church continues to provide low-cost housing for needy families on the East Dallas block where many of the members live.
After finding that some of these desperate people had been persuaded to give money to TV preachers, Anthony started to look into the lifestyles and fraudulent behavior of local pastors like Tilton and W. V. Grant.
Trinity Foundation eventually obtained a private investigator license and gained a reputation as a valued source for investigative journalists. For more than 30 years Anthony was a frequently interviewed expert on religious broadcasting, consulted by major newspapers, national TV news programs and the international press. Our foundation continues to be a resource for those investigating religious fraud worldwide.
From the early 1990s through the 2000s, Anthony and Trinity Foundation were involved in high-profile investigations (and lawsuits) involving Tilton, Grant, Hinn and the Crouches as well as many other TV preachers and megachurch ministries. From 2007 to 2010 the foundation assisted the Senate Finance Committee in its national investigation of televangelist abuses.
Besides monitoring religious broadcasting, Anthony led daily Bible studies in the East Dallas Christian community that was formed out of a study group he led in the mid-1970s. The resulting community was small, never exceeding 60 members, but its influence was wide.