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Investigation Of 2 North Texas Ministries Released

By Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – An 18-thousand square foot home valued at $6.3 million.  A fleet of airplanes, including private jets.

Those are just some of the reasons that Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa launched an investigation three years ago into Kenneth Copeland Ministries based in northwest Tarrant County.

The findings were released Thursday.  Click here to read the full report.

Copeland Ministries was one of six ministries investigated starting in 2007.  Senator Grassley wanted to know if six high-profile TV evangelists were using church donations to live lavish lifestyles.

While the Copelands declined comment Thursday, Kenneth’s son and CEO John Copeland sat down with CBS 11 for an interview in June of 2008 to address the investigation.

“There’s a lot of doctrine that teaches that you’re not a good Christian unless you’re poor.  But that’s not our doctrine.  That’s not what we believe.”

Copeland Ministries preach what’s called the prosperity gospel; the belief that God rewards the faithful both spiritually and financially.  John Copeland told us in 2008 that it takes a private jet and lot of money to spread that message.

“A lot of people may see that as a luxurious lifestyle, but when you hit 19 countries in 12 months, what are you going do that with.”

Benny Hinn’s World Healing Center church, based in Grapevine, was also investigated.  According to Senator Grassley, Hinn cooperated and promised internal reforms.

But Copeland Ministries offered little cooperation. In Grassley’s report, a former employee stated: “the Copelands employ guerrilla tactics to keep their employees silent. We are flat out told and threatened that if we talk, god will blight our finances, strike our families down and pretty much afflict us with everything evil and unholy.”

In June of 2008 John Copeland called the senator’s request for full financial disclosure violated the separation of church and state.

“Now if we give up that right, then we’re giving up that right for every church in America. If we set presidency here, then what happens when the next senator has a problem with somebody’s doctrine over here.”

The investigation questions the millions of dollars brought in each year by Copeland Ministries.  It also raises concerns that the Copelands may be using their private jet, which is paid for by donations, for more than just spreading the gospel.

A former employee stated the jet has been used for hunting trips, shopping excursions, routine medical visits and vacations in other states.

Senator Grassley’s office tells CBS 11 that the investigation was to provide evidence to congress for possible changes in the tax laws for television ministries. As of now, none of the ministries face any punishment.

  • Sonny

    Of course they use it for whatever they want. They are greedier than CEO’s of major corporations. They have millions and millions coming in so they can do what they want with it. They use religion to pray upon poor people and weaker people to extort money from them. Just like the Muslims do to their poor and weak people to turn them into suicide bombers.
    Until people STOP GIVING them money then they will continue to live that lifestyle. Religious people are so stupid at times. You do NOT have to give money for Jesus or God to love you or for you to pray to them.



    • TV Evilangelist

      It’s not “their” jets. It was bought by using donations from idiots watching their TV shows. The donors probably thought the funds would be used to spread the gospel. Not for hunting or shopping.

      • Jimmie G

        Just think how they could bless even more people if they sold all there possessions and Follow CHRIST!

      • Jude

        I do not see any problems with the belief if you live your life based upon the Bible, work hard, and trust God he will bless you. I think something is wrong with the belief if you live according to the Bible, work hard, and trust God you are expected to live worse than everyone else.

        Also what is amazing about all of those ministries that preach prosperity that Grassley targeted all gives millions of dollars a year to support orphans and those in need.

        Also the comment by a former employee of Kenneth Copeland Ministry that says they do not want them to comment to the media on their finances. Can we name any large company in America that wants their employees commenting to the media about their finances?

    • Hemroidious

      Yea, so did Bernie Maddoff.

  • Anon

    Get your head out of the collection plate Patricia

  • Jimmie G

    I have always felt in my spirit that there was something not right when I heard him speak years ago. Prosperity is not just in the form of MONEY and Possessions. We prosper in mind, spirit, health, …… We need to pray for him and his ministry! Not Judge him! Yes he should be held accountable for his wrong doing. Pray that God will convict him by the Holy Spirit.

  • Uncle Realist

    People that believe in god are delusional. People that think god talks to them are psychotic.

    • Jimmie G

      I will be praying for you. God loves you!

    • Jimmie G

      Why don’t you use your real name?

  • Hemroidious

    I’ll keep what little money I have and he can keep his prayer cloth.

  • Hemroidious

    After looking at the report it’s easy to see that this is not a church ministry, a religious ministry or a ministry doing “God’s work”. They are registered hiding several corporations doing business and collecting large sums of money under the appearance of being a church. Copeland’s not paying his property on his 6 million dollar home is one example of their deceit.
    These types of deceitful operations should be transparent and shown as what they are, fakes. The FCC should protect the innocent and unknowing who give money and sometimes their life savings to these televised crooks. If they were what they say they are they wouldn’t have any thing to hide.

  • ps42

    would someone explain to Mr. Copeland the difference between a “presidency” and a “precedence”…. please? Either that or someone needs a new editor?

  • Robert

    The greatest conflict of interest that I know of, is when preachers say “give money to my ministry and God will give money to you”. If this were really true, and if they believed it, they would simply give money to other ministries and then rake in the return. Some of them may just be mislead themselves, but I believe that many, maybe most of them are an example of 2Peter2:1-3 which says,

    “1But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
    2And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
    3And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

    Notice that it says “through covetousness they with feigned words make merchandise of you”. I believe that that covetousness is mainly on the side of the one asking for the money, but sometimes it is on the side of the one who is greedy for gain that can be had by giving to the preachers that make the appeals for money with the promise of a big return.

  • randall

    It’s a natural human impulse to judge and criticize others, to note how they don’t measure up to our standards in one way or another. But the Bible is clear about the role of judgment in our lives: we should focus on our judging eyes on ourselves and our own ample faults, rather than obsessing on the flaws of other people.

    READ MATTHEW 7:1-5

    and walk by faith not by sight

  • http://www.rocketnews.com/2011/04/obamas-deficit-reduction-plan-should-target-tax-exempt-statuses-contributornetwork/ Obama’s Deficit Reduction Plan Should Target Tax-Exempt Statuses (ContributorNetwork) | Stock Market News - Business & Tech News

    […] Secondly, one sector of the rich has yet to be seriously addressed: Those big-time TV ministries and megachurches raking in millions a year, while numerous preachers live the “high life.” In 2007, the ministries of Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn were targeted for investigation by Republican Sen. Charles Grassley over allegedly abusing their tax-exempt status as they lived high on the hog. A recently released report shows Copeland’s ministry has multiple aircraft and a $6 million-plus home. […]

  • http://www.wordpress.com Rohit Bhushan

    I dont think that Benny hinn and kenneth copeland are false people.They are chosen by god and if someone falsely accuses them accuses god.

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