Megachurches and ministries are receiving a second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loans.
In January, Harvest Bible Chapel received a $2 million loan. Last year the scandal-ridden megachurch received $2,556,200.
In March, Ed Young Jr’s Fellowship Church received $1,520,345, the same amount it received in 2020.
In April, The Relentless Church, pastored by televangelist John Gray, received $1,062,500. The church received $1,250,000 last year.
But do these churches really need forgivable loans which amount to government aid? Recently Ed Young Jr. sold his beach house for a reported $5.5 million.
Gray purchased his wife a $200,000 Lamborghini in December 2018. A month later the Greenville News reported, “Gray was living in a $1.8 million home that was bought by the church in October. Church leaders said the Relentless-owned home was needed to attract a leader of Gray’s caliber.”
To assist small businesses and non-profit organizations in retaining employees during the Covid-19 pandemic, last year Congress passed the CARES Act.
The legislation authorized the Small Business Administration to offer forgiveable loans to small businesses and non-profit organizations so they could retain employees during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In December, Trinity Foundation reported, “At least $78.6 million in loans were given to religious TV networks, independent religious TV stations, TV preachers, and churches/media ministries with national TV programs. The total would exceed $82 million if we include churches with 24/7 streaming channels in the same class as television.”
The forgivable loans have attracted an alarming number of scammers. Two cases involving religious organizations have received significant media attention. MinistryWatch reported that ASLAN International, a ministry in Florida, received an $8.4 million loan and then purchased a $3.7 million home. According to The Roys Report, Maryland pastor Rudolph Brooks Jr. purchased 39 cars after his church received a $1.5 million loan.
So far, $740 billion in PPP loans have been approved by the Small Business Administration.
2021 Paycheck Protection Program Loan Recipients
Associated Christian Television System – $185,026
Harvest Bible Chapel led by Dr. Jeff Bucknam – $2 million
Total Living International operates Total Living Network – $221,100
The Relentless Church led by televangelist John Gray – $1,062,500
Hillsong NYC LLC – $710, 877
Hillsong Events LLC – $207,919
Hillsong Channel LLC – $228,797
Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association led by televangelist Richard Roberts – $369,235
Churchome led by Pastor Judah Smith – $1,570,313
Fellowship Church led by televangelist Ed Young Jr. – $1,520,345
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