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Trinity Foundation: Who We Are
Our mission statement can be summed up briefly as this: To promote the public interest, investigate and expose religious fraud and excess, and call for transparency, accountability, and stewardship of donor funds at home and abroad.
Our current board members are listed at the bottom of this page.
Ole Anthony, founder of Trinity Foundation, passed away in April, 2021. Ole was a colorful character and we miss him dearly, read more about him HERE.
See our most current (2021) IRS Form 990EZ
Trinity Foundation began in 1972 as a religious, charitable and educational non-profit foundation for promoting the public interest in the State of Texas by producing Christ-centered communications projects.
An early skepticism about the way religious programming was bought and sold prompted Trinity to conduct a controversial research project on the audience demographics and ratings of religious broadcasting. This preceded the scandals that rocked the religious television industry in the 1980’s. In 1987 after supplying testimony to congressional hearings about the religious TV industry, the foundation began full-time monitoring of religious programming and reporting abuses of the public trust. By the 1990s Trinity had become the leading “watchdog” of religious media, conducting investigations and providing information used to expose fraud and abuses committed in the name of God.
Televangelist David Turner’s mansion purchased from Tyler Perry…
The foundation regularly provides assistance to print and electronic journalists investigating suspected fraud or other abuses of the public trust by members of the religious media. The foundation has worked with news organizations such as ABC News Prime Time Live, CBS News 60 Minutes, NBC News Dateline, CNN Special Reports, ABC News 20/20, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (now over 35 1/2 million views),
Inside Edition with quite a few exposés about televangelists–and their jets (we helped I. E.’s Lisa Guerrero obtain recent interviews with Kenneth Copeland in 2019, and again in 2020 helped her get a brief interview with Marcus Lamb), British Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, “Russia 1” television—about religious charlatans there and here, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Economist, London Independent, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and The Dallas Morning News (among many others).
The foundation has regularly provided testimony and investigative reports to various state and federal agencies.
From 2005 through 2011, the foundation worked closely with the US Senate Finance Committee on their investigation of religious non-profit organization abuses. The committee sent letters to six ministries in November 2007 seeking to determine if they were abusing their non-profit tax status. In a letter to the Senate committee, Trinity Foundation President Ole Anthony told the committee, “In some cases it is difficult if not impossible to tell the not-for-profit from the individual’s personal piggy-bank or from the for-profit entity.”
Others have agreed religious fraud is a growing problem. Deborah Bortner, former president of the North American Securities Administrators Association, told the committee, I’ve been a securities regulator for 20 years, and I’ve seen more money stolen in the name of God than in any other way.” The usual government oversight procedures have not been able to keep up. In a 2005 letter to Senator Grassley, IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson admitted the IRS has not been able to properly confront the problem.
Unfortunately for the public, many of the huge organizations Trinity investigates are legally disguised as churches—literally disguised, as in invisible funds, no accountability whatsoever. Churches (and $100M plus/year televangelist ministries) do not have to file the IRS 990 showing top salaries and where the money goes. To top things off, in 2009, the IRS suspended all investigations of churches for several years including the most egregious offenders—congressional legislation has not kept up with IRS organizational realities. And even as the problem has increased, news media across the country have reduced their investigative budgets, allowing most of these abuses to continue unreported.
Even now, in 2022-23, the IRS investigates very few churches due to bureaucratic red tape–after a committee briefly examines a problem brought to their attention, its lawyers want to be sure to win in court first, and then two senior IRS officials have to sign off before beginning an audit.
During the six-year period the Trinity Foundation was working with the Senate Finance Committee, we refrained from assisting with major news exposés at their request. During that period our membership and donations declined drastically—we never imagined that this would affect our donor base so adversely. We ask that you consider becoming a monthly or otherwise regular supporter, small donations are welcome.
Although Trinity’s main focus has been on exposing abusive behavior, the foundation has also been active in trying to right some of the wrongs we’ve discovered over the years. In the late 1980s Trinity Foundation launched the Dallas Project, a challenge to religious organizations to help the homeless. The spark for this effort came from what we saw as neglect and exploitation of the needy by the same religious organizations we were investigating. Hundreds of lives were touched as a result. Direction of the Dallas Project has since been taken under the wing of Community on Columbia (The Block) in 2010, a church where many members of Trinity Foundation attend.
Trinity Foundation employees continue to help meet the needs of homeless and distressed individuals on a regular basis. During the mid-90’s, the Foundation began to be involved in providing low-income housing in over a dozen apartment complexes in Oklahoma City and soon afterward in a suburb of Dayton, Ohio. These projects have ended, but we are still looking for a similar project closer to home.
See our most current financial statement to the IRS:
See our most current (2021) IRS Form 990EZ
See past financial statements:
Trinity Foundation, Inc.
5640 Columbia Avenue
Dallas, TX 75214
2022 Trinity Foundation board members:
Pete Evans, President
Brian Kelcher, Vice-President
Glenn Evans, Treasurer
Monique Bell, Director
Mike Renfro, Director
Thomas Ternan, Director
|Conflict of Interest Policy|
7 thoughts on “About Us”
Encouraged by your good works in exposing the seemingly godly persuit but for personal gain and personal agenda.Keep the truth alive! May The Lord Who Is the Way, the Truth and the Life lead and guide your endeavours.
Matthew 18:15“And if your brother sins against you, go and reprove him, between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16“But if he does not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word might be established.’ 17“And if he refuses to hear them, say it to the assembly. And if he refuses even to hear the assembly, let him be to you like a gentile and a tax collector.
I believe you are doing a good service to alert the saints, but given the corruption in Gov’t, (which now believes it is the source of our rights rather than God) and particular corruption within the IRS, I do not support the church family involving “the State.”
God’s Word teaches God is our arbiter. His justice is pure and perfect and His timing supersedes ours. Deuteronomy 32:35 “To me belongeth vengeance and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.”
As you quoted Everson from the IRS, ““For those organizations that need not file for exempt status and do not file annual returns, such as small organizations and churches, the problem is compounded because we have little ability to monitor their operations against diversion of assets.” I am not for actions that I believe will ultimately promote legislation to allow the IRS to monitor all small charitable organizations and churches–the IRS is already threatening to fine 501c4’s that do not reveal names of their membership along with donations. Naming members is not a requirement of the law, but that has not stopped their accelerating overreach.
I would also offer Gamaliel’s advice as quoted in Acts 5:34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; 35 And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. 36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves : who was slain ; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered , and brought to nought. 37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished ; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed . 38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone : for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought : 39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.”
thanx! you are the most outstanding organization!
Just discovering your website. Thank you for your oversight into these peddlars of “another gospel”.The finanacial corruption in these churches is making it difficult for true Christians to evangelize for Jesus Christ.
Have you ever done any oversight on the Catholic church?
I am about to order the seminal work of John Robbins — “Ecclesiastical Megalomania”, heard about it in a lecture I attended by Professor Walter Veight of Amazing Discoveries.org.
Amazing Discoveries is a group of kooks. This “prophecy” garbage is just that, garbage. The Bible does NOT predict the future. Prophets do NOT predict the future. The last book of the New Testament does not foretell the future.
Keep up the excellent work in exposing the ungodly who will answer to our Lord Jesus Christ for being a stumbling block to the sinner and a discouragement to the Christian. In God and Jesus, we are secure and protected because we know love and truth and in whom we can always depend on without any doubt.