Magazine article Church & State

Georgia Minister Agrees to Cooperate with Senator's Information Request

Magazine article Church & State

Georgia Minister Agrees to Cooperate with Senator's Information Request

Article excerpt

Another mega-ministry preacher has agreed to cooperate with a U.S. senator's request for information about finances.

Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., has indicated that lie will send financial information to Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Grassley announced in November that he has requested detailed financial information from six high-profile ministries that espouse the "prosperity gospel." Grassley said he was responding to complaints from whistleblowers that the ministries may be violating the laws governing nonprofits by using tax-deductible donations to enrich the ministers and members of their families.

Joyce Meyer of Joyce Meyer Ministries in Fenton, Mo., provided the material by the original deadline, but the other five ministries either asked for more time or pledged defiance. Grassley extended the deadline until April 1, and now some ministries are starting to come around.

Recently, TV evangelist Benny Hinn announced that he will comply. Paula and Randy White's Without Walls International Church asked for more time and later said information was on the way.

Two others, Creflo Dollar Ministries and Kenneth Copeland Ministries, have vowed not to cooperate. Copeland has been attacking Grassley and the probe directly, telling his supporters the investigation is an assault on religious freedom. His ministry did send 291 pages of documents, but Grassley has said the material is "incomplete. …

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