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MinistryWatch Tells Donors Not To Give to T.D. Jakes Ministries, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Joel Osteen

T.D. Jakes Joel Osteen Billy Graham
(L) Justin Brackett, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (M) T.D. Jakes Ministries, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (R) Paul M. Walsh, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

MinistryWatch, an independent Christian organization that advocates for “transparency, accountability, and the renewed credibility of Christian ministries,” is warning donors not to give to 34 well-known Christian ministries due to a lack of financial transparency.

Nineteen ministries on the list received an “F” rating for transparency—meaning they did not provide the completion of a Form 990, the completion of an audited financial statement, or have a membership in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).

Some of the ministries mentioned on the “Withhold Giving” list include Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (Grade C), T.D. Jakes Ministries (Grade F), Joel Osteen and Lakewood Church (Grade F), Kenneth Copeland Ministries (Grade F), Benny Hinn Ministries (Grade F), John Hagee Ministries (Grade F), Creflo Dollar Ministries (Grade F), and Trinity Broadcasting Network (Grade C).

MinistryWatch believes it is important for Christian ministries to be as transparent as possible with donors and with the public. The organization brings awareness to ministries it believes aren’t good stewards of financial gifts in order to help donors discern how their donations will be used. MinistryWatch also reports on ministries that have high financial integrity and are transparent with their donors. That list can be viewed here.

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Copeland on Using Donor Funds To Purchase Jet

In 2019, Kenneth Copeland, founder, CEO, and president of Kenneth Copeland Ministries, was approached by Inside Edition’s Lisa Guerrero, who asked him why he owns a private jet and lives in such luxury.

“It takes a lot of money to do what we do,” Copeland said.

When Guerrero asked him how much he paid for Tyler Perry’s Gulf Stream jet, Copeland responded, “That’s none of your business.” Guerrero disagreed, asking, “Isn’t it the business of your donors?” Copeland laughed, telling Guerrero that she “caught him off guard” with her questions.

Copeland later said that Perry made the plane so cheap for him, he “couldn’t help but buy it.”

At the time of the interview, Copeland said his ministry had led 122 million people to Christ and explained that a private jet allows him to fly around the world and preach in person to people who need to hear the gospel. He indicated that he doesn’t fly commercial so that he isn’t around demonic influences like alcohol. “Do you think that’s a good place for a preacher to be and prepare to go preach to a lot of people?” Copeland asked.

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In 2021, Copeland addressed Guerrero’s ambush interview by celebrating the fact that he owns a plane because it gave him a platform “to talk about Abraham and his wealth, to talk about the curse of poverty. And it just went out everywhere, because I own a big airplane.”