Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who is leading the investigation, responded: "It’s good that some of the ministries are cooperating. I hope all of them will cooperate in the end," said Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Finance, in a statement. "For the focus of this inquiry, ministries are the same as any other non-profit organization. It’s a question of abiding by tax laws just like any tax-exempt group."
A month ago, Grassley sent letters to six high-profile ministries – led by Paula and Randy White, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Benny Hinn, Meyer and Copeland – requesting financial statements and responses to pointed questions about salaries, perks and other organizational and personal finances. The Senate probe was launched to determine whether the ministries are abusing their tax-exempt status as churches for extravagant lifestyles.
Early in the investigation, Dollar had released some information about the finances for his church – World Changers Church International in College Park, Ga. – showing that the 30,000-member church took in $69 million in 2006."I generally don't make this public," he said at the time.Dollar along with several other pastors have raised concerns about invasions of privacy and violations of religious freedom regarding the Senate probe.Dismissing the religious liberty argument, Grassley said, "Forget it. They don't have a leg to stand on."
Representatives of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., said publicly that the ministry will cooperate with the Senate request but Grassley has not yet received any material or contact from the ministry. Bishop Eddie Long, who leads the Baptist church, has called Grassley's request unjust.
Meyer surprised many last week with her press statement claiming that her ministry embraces "this latest opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to transparency with our supporters and our dedication to the continual improvement of our own systems of accountability." Very bold statement...and one that shows integrity. Horray for Meyer! If we only knew exactly how and why Dollar and Long got it wrong.
Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long sunb Senate probe (AJC.com)
Two of Six Preachers Turn Over Financial Data for Probe (Christian Post)