Michael Mille land deals
Criminal Investigators at the IRS have been asked by Trinity Foundation to look into Pastor Michael Mille of White Dove Fellowship in West Bank, La., after an investigation by Lee Zurik of Fox 8 News in New Orleans found Mille could have violated US tax laws when he made $400,000 profit from three land transactions. Further investigation uncovered more transactions that raise even more questions.
ministry ‘big business’
Lee Zurik, reporter for New Orleans Fox-8 TV, looks into televangelist Jesse Duplantis, who is building a 35,000-square-foot mansion in St. Charles Parish and last year took a 17-day trip to
Hawaii in his private jet– a trip that cost his ministry close to $40,000 for flight expenses.
Duplantis blocks his flight records, but Fox 8 News managed to get a copy.
Trinity’s Ole Anthony and Pete Evans are featured in the report.
Ed Young’s leased jet travels to exotic destinations
WFAA-TV in Dallas posted another investigative article April 26 about Fellowship Church in Grapevine and a number of questionable
trips Pastor Ed Young Jr. made in his leased private jet. Trinity Foundation helped supply much of the information used in the report.
Televangelist Kenneth Copeland has asked the FAA to keep his flight plans unlisted. ProPublica obtained a list of blocked plane information from the FAA under the Freedom of Information Act. Those on the list had been known only to the FAA and the National Business Aviation Association, a lobbying group that runs the program for the agency.
“The church has five planes on the blocked list, including a $17 million Cessna Citation X. Also blocked is a 1953 North American T-28B Trojan, a vintage warplane registered to Copeland.”
Christian television network denied tax break
WCNC TV reports that South Carolina has rejected the Inspiration Network’s tax-exempt status for its headquarters in Indian Land, S.C. The network previously was given a $1.2 million economic development grant by the state to help with road, water and sewer construction at the headquarters. –6/18/09
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Disgraced Dallas televangelist Robert Tilton has new life, third wife in Miami
The Dallas Morning News finds notorious televangelist Robert Tilton, who left Dallas in disgrace more than a decade ago, has been quietly rebuilding his life in Miami.–05/28/09
Building a ‘City of light’
The Charlotte Observer finds that David Cerullo’s Inspiration Network hasn’t followed through on its promises to develop a 93-acre complex in Indian Land, S.C.
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ESPN examines Inluence of televangelists on sports celebrities
Trinity President Ole Anthony is interviewed on the ESPN TV program “Outside the Lines.” –04/18/09
Grassley praises Joyce Meyers’ accreditation by ECFA
Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Committee on Finance, said Joyce Meyer Ministries accreditation by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) was a “positive development.”
“This is a positive development. It’s good to see increased financial accountability, transparency, board governance, and ethical fund-raising taken seriously,” Grassley said in a press release March 12.
“My staff and I continue to review the information we’ve received from the ministries that cooperated, and we continue to weigh our options for the ministries that have not cooperated.”
Copeland Application for Tax Exemption on 2nd Jet Denied
Click here to see local ABC and FOX affiliate early evening stories…
Televangelist’s $3.6 million jet not tax-exempt, Tarrant appraiser says
By DARREN BARBEE, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram December 6th, 2008
A Kenneth Copeland Ministry jet worth $3.6 million has been denied tax-exempt status by the Tarrant Appraisal District, setting the stage for a battle that could require the minister to reveal his salary if he wants the jet to be tax-free.
Jeffery D. Law, Tarrant chief appraiser, said the jet was denied tax exemption because the ministry failed to disclose salaries of directors as an application requires. Law said the ministry, based in Newark, northwest of Fort Worth, will protest the denial at a hearing Monday morning.
Fire Code Violations Plague Without Walls Church
By BAIRD HELGESON, The Tampa Tribune December 3rd, 2008
Without Walls International Church faces fines for failing to ensure fire alarms and sprinklers work properly in its sanctuary and administrative building.
The church has until Dec. 17 to inspect the sprinklers and alarms, and make roughly 20 repairs. After the deadline, the church faces daily fines of $100 a building.
None of the problems appears to be an immediate threat to public safety, said Bill Wade, a Tampa Fire Recue spokesman.
Church staff declined requests for comment.
Fire officials inspected the buildings in February and found several items that needed repair or replacement, including emergency lighting, exit signs and fire extinguishers. Fire officials also required the church to get the alarms and sprinklers inspected to ensure they work properly.
Since then, the church hasn’t made any of the repairs or hired an inspector to check out the sprinklers and alarms, Wade said.
Nailin’ It To The Church, A Religious Satirical Documentary
by MURRAY STILLER, Documentary Filmmaker
Dedicated to the religious satire magazine The Wittenburg Door, Stiller spent most of 2007 traveling through numerous US states and Canadian provinces (with camera in hand), observing the idea of “holy comedy” and its effects on modern-day Christianity. The film’s title actually came from an issue that “The Door,” (nicknamed by the magazine’s staff) had published in a past issue.
Why Benny Hinn Became Our Wacky Neighbor
by JOHN BLOOM, The Wittenburg Door May 20th, 2008
If you drive west from Dallas, through the neo-moderne lunarscape of a pod city called Las Colinas, past a massive international airport on a denuded prairie, into the warren of faceless office buildings that make up cosmopolitan Grapevine, you’ll never find Benny Hinn.
He wants it that way. The nerve center of his worldwide organization is tucked away in a group of cheap white nondescript buildings that look like the kind of domiciles favored by Mafia fronts on the wharves of New Jersey. Inside, several dozen employees process an estimated $100 million per year in donations from people who believe in Hinn as a sort of Elmer Gantry for the 21st century. (Obviously they didn’t read the novel.)
Now go the other way, into the cul-de-sacs and barrios of deep East Dallas. On a dead end street next to a nursing home, in an expansive two-story house once owned by the Dallas mob, the Trinity Foundation works 24/7 trying to find out just how much money passes through Grapevine, where it comes from and where it goes, running undercover operations, infiltrations, spying, surveillance, the cultivation of disgruntled ex-employees, and even going through Benny Hinn’s garbage in an effort to…
Hoping For A Revival
By BAIRD HELGESON and MICHELLE BEARDEN, The Tampa Tribune September 14, 2008
Randy and Paula White built Without Walls International Church into one of the brightest beacons of faith in the community. Its innovative ministries attracted such a large following that the church gained a national reputation.
Starting in May 2007, news of scandal, a U.S. Senate financial probe and divorce eroded the foundation of their spiritual sanctuary.
Paula White moved away from Tampa a year ago to focus on her television show, books and preaching. Randy, left to tend the local flock alone, cut back his preaching.
Now, with Paula’s national audience dwindling and church attendance in decline, the couple have once again joined forces. Paula has returned to the Without Walls pulpit to reinvigorate the ministry and is scheduled to preach today.
But a big question remains: Will Paula be enough to rebuild the empire?
Pastor, Brooklyn Park church fight rare IRS audit
By JON TEVLIN, Star TribuneAugust 21, 2008
Facing complaints about his church’s tax-exempt status in February 2007, the Rev. Mac Hammond took to the pulpit on live television and said he would “almost welcome an IRS audit.”About two months later, Hammond got his wish, according to documents recently filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis.The Internal Revenue Service is conducting an unusual investigation into whether compensation and loan deals between the Living Word Christian Center of Brooklyn Park (LWCC) and its pastor violated laws for tax-exempt organizations.The IRS has asked the court to force the church to comply with a demand for detailed financial information. The church failed to respond to a March summons.”We have complied with everything the IRS has asked us to do,” said the Rev. Brian Sullivan, spokesman for the church. He said LWCC is concerned that the IRS is not following procedures designed by Congress to protect churches from politically motivated inquiries.