Most evangelical Christians have never heard of “prophet” Chuck Pierce and his “family business” Glory of Zion International. Pierce is a widely respected individual among charismatic and Pentecostal Christians who believe that God is raising up a new generation of prophets to guide the church.
This respect is not warranted. Two huge red flags, nepotism and excessive compensation, in Pierce’s ministry should raise important questions for donors.
According to the ministry’s latest Form 990 which recently became public, seven Pierce family members received $3,779,930 in compensation and independent contractor payments from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
In the past four years, Chuck Pierce has been compensated more than $5 million.
By operating as a ministry, Glory of Zion International exploits a loophole in the tax code. Non-profit executives who serve as ministers or paid as independent contractors are not subject to an excise tax on compensation of more than $1 million.
Who determined how much each of the Pierces are paid? This information is not disclosed to the IRS. It is possible that Chuck Pierce determines his own salary.
(Photo: Schedule J of 2020-21 Form 990)
Normally, when a non-profit organization pays an executive more than $1 million, the organization would rely upon a compensation study to justify a large salary which would then be approved by the board. Three of eight voting board members are from the Pierce family.
Out of the six highest paid employees, four are family. Nepotism is a widespread problem in megachurches and religious media ministries. Church members and ministry donors should hold religious leaders to higher ethical standards. Nepotism and excessive compensation in ministries should serve as red flags for donors to avoid.