Last November, Republican Sen. Charles Grassley launched a public investigation into the ministries of six top televangelists who attract thousands of followers and collect hundreds of millions of dollars around the world. Grassley is demanding financial records to determine whether these churches deserve their tax exempt status.
- Benny Hinn, a TV preacher who runs the World Healing Center Church in Grapevine, Texas. Hinn, who travels the globe conducting faith-healing revivals, lives in a seven-bathroom, eight-bedroom mansion overlooking the Pacific Ocean valued at $10 million. It is claimed as a parsonage.
- The Rev. Creflo Dollar’s World Changers Church International in College Park, Ga. Dollar drives a Rolls Royce and has large homes in Georgia and New York. He is asked to provide a list of all vehicles provided for himself, his wife, board members and ministry employees.
- Paula and Randy White’s Without Walls International Church in Tampa, Fla. In a letter to the ministry, Grassley asks the couple to provide a list of expense account items “including, but not limited to, clothing expenses and any cosmetic surgery for years 2004 to present.”
- Joyce Meyer Ministries in Fenton, Mo. Grassley asks Meyer and her husband David to explain expenditures like a $23,000 commode with a marble top, a $30,000 conference table, an $11,000 French clock and a $19,000 pair of vases for the ministry headquarters.
- Kenneth Copeland Ministries in Newark, Texas. Copeland is asked to explain how cash offerings are handled during overseas crusades and to explain the use of a ministry jet for “layovers” in Maui, Fiji and Honolulu.
- Bishop Eddie Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga. Among other things, Long is asked to explain a church official’s 2005 claim that Long no longer accepts a salary from the church but does take a “love offering.”
CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian takes a hard look at one target: Kenneth Copeland, the so-called “godfather” of “prosperity gospel.”
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