While faith and religion are important things that should be taken serious, its also important to note the mega businesses that thrive off those looking for salvation. For years churches have been criticized for the outrageous lifestyles afforded to their pastors and leaders while still demanding money from faithful church goers. New stories pop up every week about churches taking a little bit more than the lord intended to fund their lavish lives.
Kenneth Copeland is one church leaders who has been in the headlines several times for his crazy net worth and how he chooses to spend the church’s money. In 2018, Copeland and his ministry made national headlines for purchasing a Gulfstream V jet with church funds. Even stranger, they reportedly paid cash for it, an aircraft model that is estimated to be worth $35 million dollars. They purchased the Jet from Tyler Perry and posted it on social media, thanking their church members and god. “Do you see this? Do you see this? I hope so, you bought it. You and Jesus”.
I typically don’t read the comments under my investigations but I sure hope Kenneth Copeland does. Guess folks ain’t buying what he’s selling, y’all. Watch this 🍌🍌🍌 interview then read the reaction! #JetsForJesus #ProsperityPreachers #OhMy https://t.co/3hkzs5FaEb pic.twitter.com/kegcIxR7hV— Lisa Guerrero 💃🏽 (@4lisaguerrero) May 23, 2019
HillSong Church was also under fire after it was determined that tithe money was being used to fund their pastors celebrity lifestyle as well.
The New York Post spoke to some members of the church that claimed “At Hillsong NYC, many pastors frequently splurged on fancy restaurant meals, designer clothes and weekly manicures while living in the same Kent Avenue Williamsburg high-rise and zipping around the neighborhood on ATVs.”
Carl Lentz, who was fired in November when it was reveal that he’d been cheating on his wife, was one of several pastors in the Australian based institution who came under fire for shady business practices.
“Pastors and staff apparently freely used debit-like “PEX” — or pre-paid expense — cards for whatever their hearts desired, several former members and staff told The Post. The source of the funds was money donated or “tithed” by members, said former Hillsong LA service pastor Nicole Herman, who personally loaded the funds onto the PEX cards.”
South Carolina Pastor John Gray is the latest to come under the fire. Gray heads Relentless Church and is currently asking churchgoers for $250000 to help fund a new roof. The problem with his request? Church goers are well aware of his lavish spending. Most recently, Gray gifted his wife $200,000 Lamborghini Urus.
When asked about they money, Gray said “We didn’t take an easy assignment. If we wanted an easy assignment, we would start from scratch without millions of dollars in debt,” Gray said. “We took the assignment because we knew God has given us the right people to build with. I believe the best days of Relentless Church are in front of it.”
He continued “This is not a plea for money, it’s a plea for partnership so we can be what we’re supposed to be. The Holy Ghost said this to me so I’m going to speak it out, that there is severe weather coming to the region this spring because of all of the climate change and issues,” Gray said. “Whether you understand all the science behind it or not, or agree, I heard the Lord say, ‘I want you to make sure the house is covered so that when storms come people can come in here and be covered.'”