Posted by: Apostolic Oneness Pentecostals | November 10, 2007

Eddie Long, Creflo Dollar, Paula White, and Joyce Meyers Investigation

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Bishop Long blasts senator’s request for financial info


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 11/11/07

Bishop Eddie Long broke his silence Sunday about receiving a letter from a powerful senator asking for financial and board records from New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia.

Long called the request by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) “unjust,” “intrusive,” and “an attack on our religious freedom and privacy rights,” during a brief address to the congregation during a morning service.

A guest minister was in the pulpit, so Long did not preach.

Other than releasing a statement last week, saying he would cooperate with the request, Long had been quiet.

His cross-town friend, the Rev. Creflo Dollar of World Changers Church International of College Park, had talked to the press last week about a similar letter he received. He also expressed concerns about governmental intrusion into religion.

Grassley is the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, which has some oversight powers of nonprofits and charities. He asked for documents from six U.S. televangelism ministries. The other four are Randy and Paula White of Tampa, the Rev. Benny Hinn, and Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Texas, and David and Joyce Meyer of Missouri.

Grassley said stories of excessive lifestyles and spending by ministry leaders caused him to wonder whether the tax breaks given to ministries were being abused to enrich those involved.

His has questioned other charities in previous years, including the Red Cross and the United Way.

Grassley said he is not interested in religion or doctrine, only the tax issues.

Long saw it as an attack.

“[Grassley] wants to impose the will of government on our religious rights,” he said.

Many in the emotional and supportive crowd stood and cheered Long several times during his brief statement.

Dollar did not address the issue during an early service Sunday.

Churchgoers at the Atlanta ministries stood by their pastors.

Vincent Pearson of Palmetto, a longtime member at World Changers, identified Dollar and Long as part of a long list of African-American leaders or role models who have come what he considers unfair attack. Pearson said, “I feel he’s justified in making sure none of the rights of him and other are being violated by those delving into this.”

Dollar said last week that he would cooperate with any “valid” request, and that a team of legal experts was going over it.

Whitney B. Williams of Marietta, a New Birth member said after the service, “That senator is a clown.”

He resents the financial dispersions the letters could cast on Long.

“Bishop is a good man,” Williams said. “What they are saying is wrong.”

– Staff writer S.A. Reid contributed to this article.

WASHINGTON (AP)- The top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee said Tuesday he has launched an investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing involving six well-known televangelists — including two based in Georgia.

Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa sent letters to six Christian media ministries this week requesting information about their expenses, executive compensation and amenities given to executives.

Among them are Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia and Creflo Dollar Ministries of College Park.

Grassley said he is following up on complaints from the public and news coverage. He said the allegations involve governing boards that aren’t independent and allow generous salaries and housing allowances and amenities such as private jets and Rolls Royces.

Also named by Grassley as targets of the investigation are Paula White Ministries of Tampa, Florida; Benny Hinn Ministries of Grapevine, Texas; Joyce Meyer Ministries of Fenton, Missouri; and Kenneth Copeland Ministries of Newark, Texas.


Responses

  1. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s;
    give to GOD what is GOD’S !!
    Jesus did not try to dodge taxes!

  2. Why are all of these people so rich?? Aren’t they supposed to be serving God, not themselves?


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