Joyce Meyer Ministries
of Fenton has "responded fully" to a federal probe of televangelist churches, and its "extensive reforms" are "commended," according to the final report released yesterday
This in contrast to four other churches in other states whose members acted totally skittish and refused to hand over financial docs. Senator Chuck Grassley
(R-Iowa) had launched the Senate Finance Committee investigation in November 2007
, concerned about "governing boards that aren't independent and allow generous salaries and housing allowances and amenities such as private jets and Rolls Royces."
Joyce Meyer Ministries joined the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability
in 2009, which requires financial transparency from its members. The final report released this week exonerates her further. Not so much for four other churches that didn't fully cooperate.
Grassley's staffers write that when they did contact folks from those ministries, some of them:
on complete anonymity while others were too frightened to speak with us
even anonymously. Some had received warnings from the churches that
they would be sued if they violated confidentiality agreements they had
signed. Even though we explained that a subpoena should protect them
from retaliation, including lawsuits, some became even more frightened
when offered a ―friendly subpoena. They became concerned about needing
an attorney and still feared retaliation by the churches. As a result,
we believed that issuing subpoenas to informants would be
-- Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries of Newark, Texas;
-- Creflo and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Church International and Creflo Dollar Ministries of College Park, Ga.;
-- Randy and Paula White of Without Walls International Church and Paula White Ministries of Tampa, Fla.
-- Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Bishop Eddie Long Ministries of Lithonia, Ga.;