Posted March 14, 2008 – The Rev. Creflo Dollar and his fellow Georgia mega-pastor Bishop Eddie Long may be forced to give up their financial reports on their churches after all.
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The two ministers have been holding out against the demands of Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, who wants to look into allegations of financial improprieties, following complaints that several big-name televangelists are sporting Rolls-Royces, private jets and a plethora of other luxury items while skirting federal tax laws.
Several months ago, Grassley sent letters to six of the largest TV preachers –Dollar of World Changers Church International, in College Park, Ga.; Long of Lithonia, Ga.'s New Missionary Baptist Church; the Rev. Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Texas; Paula and Randy White Ministries of Tampa, Fla.; the Rev. Benny Hinn of World Healing Center Church Inc. and Benny Hinn Ministries of Grapevine, Texas; and Joyce Meyer Ministries of Fenton, Missouri.
To date, only Hinn and Meyer have fully complied by the senator’s request, while Dollar, Long and the Whites have declined to honor it in any form. Some ministers had questioned whether Grassley was acting of his own accord or if he had support from fellow lawmakers.
On Tuesday, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) answered that when he signed a letter setting a March 31 deadline for the ministers to submit their financial statements.
"Senator Baucus is making it clear that he intends for them to comply," said a Baucus aide. The resistance is unprecedented, Grassley said. Dollar, whose church raked in a reported $69 million last year, said in recent months that he has sold his Rolls and donated the money to his church’s children’s ministry. He says that his private jet is necessary to help carry the Word of God throughout the world.
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