When Ministers Make Too Much...

Growing up the grandchild of a minster, I always saw the issues that came along with being a minister and money. My grandfather rarely bought brand new luxury cars, never wore designer suits, and never bought a lavish estate... instead he chose to accept a modest stipend from the church and hold a full time job. As did my grandmother. I will never forget when my grandmother got her new Honda Accord, the Amen corner had comments about church spending.


It wasn't until I got older and went into the world that I saw ministers with extravagant estates and new model extreme luxury cars. I always wondered how they justified these lifestyles. I personally think ministers should get a full salary and depending on the needs of their ministry a car as well. But when people within your flock are struggling to keep their lights on there has to be some form of consideration.

Well it seems as if Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has the same questions. He recently sent letters requesting detailed financial documents to metro Atlanta preachers, Eddie Long and Creflo Dollar, and four other ministries nationwide whose leaders are known for opulent, or as the ministers would say, blessed, lifestyles. In 2005 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ran a story that looked into Eddie Long's founding of a charity that paid the minister more than $3 million over a 3-year period, bought him a $1.4 million house and paid for the use of a $350,000 Bentley car. Long plans to fully comply with the Senate's request, and has stated his church has "several safeguards'' to ensure transactions comply with laws governing churches.

Grassley's letter to Creflo and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Church International and Creflo Dollar Ministries of College Park, Ga. asks for records on private planes, board makeup, compensation and donations and "love offerings'' to visiting ministers. In a statement, Dollar called his ministry an "open book'' and said he would cooperate. He also questioned whether the investigation could ``affect the privacy of every community church in America.''

It will definitely be interesting to see where this goes. Will churches begin questioning the lifestyles of their ministers and decisions of their elders and trustees?

8 comments:

life said...

I don't believe ministers should have to live modestly to please other people. Heck, they were mad at your grandmother for the Accord. If they aren't taking no more than their fair share of the money I don't see a problem with it. Obviously, the bigger they are the more they receive, but they also receive more problems, so it all pans out. I'm not a follower of either of the gentlemen, but I've seen their luxury from afar and this will be interesting.

That Dude Right There said...

"But when people within your flock are struggling to keep their lights on there has to be some form of consideration."


This is exactly the reason that I check the donation box on my Gas and Power bills instead of donating to religious institutions.

Being a minister has become the biggest and easiest hustle there is. Maybe I am in the wrong business.

Anonymous said...

this is the reason i left New Birth to go to Elizabeth. New Birth became less about God and my soul and more about Eddie Long.

Darius T. Williams said...

Hmm - this is always a tricky subject.

C. Baptiste-Williams said...

I should clarify my opinion. I don't see anything wrong with nice homes and cars. My grandfather drives a nice benz as does my current pastor.

I do think that ministers have to be real cautious of their appearances to the public and their congregation. And to me personally a $350,000 car is quite excessive.

Cocoa Rican said...

You are the Lord's servant...
Chosen to bring forth the word...
Not the Lord's pampered whiny kid who needs the latest, greatest everything.
Modest home, modest transportation -preferably leased and belonging to the church.
This isn't about the minister and making him wealthy.
You want to be a mack, choose something outside "serving" the Lord and your congregation.
Save the arguments about "children of the king and the like..." It's all bullshit and completely undermines the very ministries they serve to bulid.
When folks begin to question God and the truth in the message because of the antics of these alleged "chosen ones" something is terribly wrong.

Chet said...

I am a firm believer that is a fine line between pimps and preachers.

I do understand that anyone that does a great job deserves an appropriate salary or income, I could be wrong, but there are far less expensive homes and automobiles that the Preacher could drive and still be subject to a lavish and privy lifestyle.

Andre J. Allen II said...

great job i think this is an excellent topic that needs to be discussed in the open. i mean growing up i always wonder why the pastors drove nice cars and lived in fancy houses and where would the money go when they collected "special offerings for the building fund" i think they were building there pockets