Reply To: Topix 2007-2009, Discussing: Financial Violations and Abuse at The Brooklyn Tabernacle

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#2493
Foundation
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Paul White
1/6/2009
Comment #618

“‘If it is not good for me to be on this board, isn’t the same true for all of you?’ No, because just as some can have one beer and not fall into addictive behaviour, that doesn’t mean the rest of us who are managing our lives and are not consumed throughout the day over a blog should have to desist, just because you can’t. You should not have asked that question… However,I think Joe has posed some points that are worth considering, as it relates to the Brooklyn Tabernacle of course. “How many square feet is the Brooklyn Tabernacle? How much does it cost to light, cool and heat that building a month? What about the school, how big is that building? What is the cost of operating and maintaining that? How many teachers are there, how many are on staff, how many in the maintenance team? They all equal salaries and health insurance. How much is the property tax on both buildings? Don’t think that because BT is a church that it is exempt from these responsibilities. Also, what is the phone bill like, how much is given to missions every month, what is the cost for the yearly choir ministry trip?” Thats Joe’s comment of course. And let me start off by saying that Creflo Odollar, Benny Hinn, TD Jakes, Kenneth Copeland all have large facilities, with bills, salaries and ministries to support. And It was substantiated that they were skimming off the top, weren’t transparent with the congregation they were leading and misappropriating funds. So just because you have a large facility and staff doesn’t mean that it’s beyond the scope of reason that funds are being misappropriated. I’ll say this. I work their, and so did you Joe, Cymbala would regularly have housekeeping, engineering and construction crew work on his house. And that house is HIS property, not the Church’s, all renovations should not be paid for with tithes and offerings. Misappropriation of funds, pain and simple, he broke the law. Also, he would not only pay for labor on the congregants tab, he would also purchase materials. The property, by NYC standards, is pretty big and any work done on it would be pretty significant. Let me give you one more instance of misappropriation of funds. I personally have talked to people who have complained that their donations never reached their intended target, namely missions. They have for years always had one account number that for all donations, regardless if one wants his donation to go to a particular destination. I’m going somewhere with this so stay with me, I and ten to fifteen other managers and Pastors were sitting in a finance/ budget meeting with our wonderful and upstanding member of the community, CFO and former pastor, Steve Rhodes. When it was mentioned in that meeting that it wasn’t an acceptable standard practice for donations to be sent to just one account instead of individual accounts, he scoffed at the remark by saying ” In the time that I’ve been here I have never known and money not reaching its intended destination, right Carol?” (Carol is the finance controller), like whats Carol supposed to say ” Uh, yeah, but what about the time we took that missions donation and appropriated it to that septic tank at the Cymbala home?” Or towards salaries, bills, etc.It’s standard practice in not for profits and Churches, to have separate accounts for each ministry and department, in order to ensure the integrity and credibility, of the Church.. how the heck did he purchased that 1.5 million dollar home in Ocala , Fla?”

[Editor’s note: the home found in public record is in Florida, but not Ocala. It was sold, reportedly to the Cymbalas, in September 2006 for $745,800. If there is a separate home in Ocala, documentation needs to be produced in order to verify.]

Segments of the original Topix Discussion can be found on The Wayback Machine, HERE.