Commentary & News Briefs: Benny Hinn

Agape Press/June 1, 2005
Compiled by Jody Brown

...A religious media watchdog group says evangelist Benny Hinn's World Healing Church should not qualify as a church. Earlier this year, Ole Anthony -- president of the Trinity Foundation -- submitted a three-inch-think report to the Internal Revenue Service in an effort to show that Hinn's ministry failes to meet the IRS's definition of a church. Hinn started a church in Orlando in 1983, then sold it in 1999. However, Benny Hinn Ministries (BHM) is still classified as a church. Anthony has a problem with that. "Claiming himself to be a church, he doesn't have any accountability," he asserts. "He has a revolving-door board of directors -- in comes somebody who disagrees with him, he changes the board; and so he's using that ministry [and] its well over a hundred million a year [that he is taking in] as his personal piggy bank." According to Anthony, Hinn lives in a $10 million parsonage, has charged to the ministry hotel rooms costing thousands of dollars a night, and provided thousands of dollars to family members for "shopping sprees." Anthony fears that Hinn's action are "going to bring down the real churches if he keeps up these kinds of excesses." The evangelist, he adds, has "absolutely no accountability -- he's just run amok." It is because of Hinn's refusal to be held accountable that has issued a "Donor Alert" [PDF] encouraging donors to prayerfully consider withholding contributions to the ministry. BHM officials were given more than two weeks to comment on this story but did not return repeated requests for interviews.

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