Monday, January 14, 2008

Financial integrity?

AlterNet reports that U.S. Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) is leading a Government investigation and seeking detailed financial information from six mega-ministries. Here is a snippet from the investigation:
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.

Any thoughts?

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14 Comments:

At 1/14/2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats retarded! Thats why we have non-believers that have a problem with the church.

 
At 1/14/2008, Anonymous Alex Workman said...

That is quite disturbing...

 
At 1/14/2008, Blogger Bryon Mondok said...

neither good citizenship nor good theology.

 
At 1/15/2008, Blogger Chris Goeppner said...

he he he :)
i thought you would like the 19,000 pair of vah-ses.

 
At 1/15/2008, Blogger art said...

Did that $23,000 commode include installation?

 
At 1/15/2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why I only tithe to Public Television...and I get a tote bag.

-Tony

 
At 1/16/2008, Anonymous Jody said...

This is what the article said later on. Check out her site. I haven't yet, but I will.


Meyer is taking a more proactive approach. Her ministry's Web site contains a section titled "Financial Transparency" that links to a lengthy annual report that concludes with a financial statement.

Says Meyer on the site, "Each year we conduct an independent financial and legal audit. This information, as well as our annual reports for 2003 through 2006, is available on our website. We encourage you to take a look."

On Nov. 28, Meyer's ministry issued a press release pledging to provide "the requested documents for presentation to the senator's office - on time (by December 6, 2007) and in full detail."

The press release also includes a fact sheet responding to specific points raised in Grassley's letter. It asserts, for example, that the $23,000 price tag for the commode (an antique chest of drawers, not a toilet) was an error from the furniture seller. The item, the Meyer ministry says, was purchased along with 67 other pieces of furniture for a total cost of $261,498.21.

 
At 1/16/2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the link

http://www.joycemeyer.org/AboutUs/FinancialAccountability/

 
At 1/16/2008, Anonymous Jody said...

You can go to the link and read in detail about Joyce Meyer Ministries, but here is one section:

Regarding the Purchase of a $23,000 Commode - While many have mistakenly associated this piece of furniture with a common household toilet, this particular term actually refers to the classic definition of commode identified by Webster’s Dictionary as, “a tall elegant chest of drawers.” In 2001, when the ministry moved into its current 150,000-square-foot headquarters located in Fenton, Missouri, a significant amount of furniture was needed for the larger facility. This “commode” was one piece of a total of sixty-eight pieces purchased from a single supplier to finish out the interior of the offices. A total of $261,498.21 was paid for these sixty-eight (the majority were significant in size) pieces of furniture. The $23,000 purchase price of this chest of drawers was actually an errant value assigned by the selling agent after the transaction was complete for the entire sixty-eight piece lot. Joyce Meyer Ministries humbly regrets not paying closer attention to specific “assigned values” placed on those pieces that have now led to gross misrepresentations. Joyce Meyer Ministries takes financial stewardship and accountability very seriously, and this oversight serves as an opportunity to only improve future practices.

As I read through everything on the site, everything seems to be in order. Furthermore, she only receives money from the royalties from her books, not from books, tapes and speaking fees. All of that goes back into the ministry. Any New York Times Bestselling author is going to do well financially. Most authors keep speaking fees though. My guess is, she doesn't b/c she wants to be above reproach. I think you should research things better before blogging negative things about others. Your words influence others and can start a chain of unnecessary gossip. Something to chew on.........
I haven't checked out the others' stories. Some may be poor stewards of ministry money and certainly we all need to be wise in who we trust with the funds God gives us. We all should do our homework for sure.

 
At 1/16/2008, Blogger Chris Goeppner said...

jody,
there is nothing negative about joyce and other ministries written in this post. i just posted a clip from an investigation and asked the question "Any thoughts?". my post was made simply to get feed back, not accuse, slander or even be negative. i do however believe that those being investigated could have avoided the whole controversy had there been better discernment with purchasing. unfortunately because of a lack of discernment of a few organizations, all non-profit religious organizations could be under scrutiny, including churches.

 
At 1/16/2008, Anonymous Jody said...

Chris,

I stand corrected. True, you yourself didn't say anything negative. However you chose to post on segment about JMM leading people to a certain conclusion w/o posting the other facts. Truth be told, we all need to exercise more discernment with our purchases. I believe ministries all should do what Joyce is doing, having yearly statements readily available. They are all posted on her website. If I am giving to an organization I should know where the money is going. Companies answer to shareholders, and ministries should be an open book as well. Those are my thoughts.

 
At 1/16/2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apparently Jody likes Joyce Meyer.

Chip

 
At 1/16/2008, Anonymous Jody said...

Chip

Guilty as charged... yes, I do like her. :) What gave me away? :) After reading how I went on and on and on, I am thinking that maybe I should break out Joyce's tape set entitled, "Mind, Mouth, Moods and Attitudes". Perhaps I need a refresher! I didn't mean to come across harsh or anything, but I did feel compelled to defend. :)

Tell Robin I said hello, Chip!

:) Jody

 
At 1/17/2008, Blogger revolution said...

there has got to be a special place in hell.

there just has to be.

 

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