Beware the money changers

Grassley probes televangelists' finances

TULSA, Okla. - An Iowa Grassley is investigating possible financial wrongdoing by six televangelists, including three who sit on the board of regents for Oral Roberts University. Sen. Charles Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is requesting financial records from televangelists Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth Copeland, Paula White and Eddie Long.

Hinn, Copeland and Dollar are members of the ORU board of regents. The 5,700-student evangelical school is more than $50 million in debt and fighting claims that its president, Richard Roberts, misspent university funds to support a lavish lifestyle. Roberts has denied the allegations, set out in a wrongful termination lawsuit brought by three former university professors.

An ORU spokesman confirmed the three were on the board, but declined further comment Tuesday.

The senator is requesting information regarding expenses, domestic and overseas bank accounts, executive compensation and amenities given to executives, among other documents, by Dec. 6, according to his office.

"I'm following up on complaints from the public and news coverage regarding certain practices at six ministries," Grassley said in a statement Tuesday. "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."

Much of the material that spurred the probe came from the Trinity Foundation, a Dallas-based nonprofit that investigates and reports on fraud in religious ministries.

In mid-August, the foundation sent the finance committee four, 3-inch-thick notebooks documenting information from years of investigation into the ministries.;_ylt...

No votes yet

There is a rumor circulating that Pastor Pitt's church is the financial backer of a newly remodled convenience store in Springfield Township - Stone Oak Market. We do know he likes a little wine now and then.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.