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Friday, November 09, 2007

 
Six Televangelist Ministries Under Finance Investigation

Michael F. Haverluck of CBN has a worthwhile article, with links to Charles Grassley's official correspondence.

KCCI/Des Moines summarizes the central legal issue:

The IRS requires that pastors' compensation be "reasonable," depending on matters such as comparable salaries, church size and a pastor's value to the congregation.

IRS rules prevent pastors and other insiders from excessive personal gain through their tax-exempt work.

From an emotional stance, I really don't want either side to win. I am fond of neither excessive lavishness with church funds, nor the very notion of the IRS regulating salaries, even those of nonprofit employees. But what is important is the law - that the IRS interprets it objectively, and that the ministries follow it.

Kenneth Copeland has a rather unique situation compared to the others, as Haverluck states:

Kenneth and Gloria Copeland's Kenneth Copeland Ministries of Newark, Texas must explain church assets transferred to a for-profit company, Gloria Copelands's $1 million loan to that company, and Kenneth Copeland's $2 million gift marking the 40th anniversary of his ministry.

I'll need more details before I can offer an opinion on this.

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