Brownsville A/G ... Where's The Rest Of The Money?
"Together in the Harvest Ministries" (Steve Hill) and "Partners in Revival"/"Feast Of Fire" (John Kilpatrick) ministries are now members of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). It is commendable that, after much pressure since Father's Day 1995, Brownsville in 2000 has finally decided to join the ECFA.
However, I see a large numbers inconsistency in the ECFA report submitted by these Brownsville ministries. Whether or not the ministries of Brownsville are the total financial picture of Brownsville as a whole is highly doubtful. The reason for Brownsville A/G joining the ECFA should be so that the millions of people, who have given money to the church and its ministries, will know how that money has been and is being spent. At this point I don't think they have any kind of real picture. The reason is that the ECFA reports from 1996-98 for these ministries simply do not add up to the full financial picture of Brownsville A/G.
The number of people who have allegedly visited Brownsville is documented by Brownsville leaders themselves:
"We also want to take this opportunity to thank the greater Pensacola community for being such gracious hosts to the more than 1.9 million guests of the revival who have come for spiritual refreshing from more than 100 nations and from every state in the Union. We look forward to a wonderful year of revival in 1998!" (Official Brownsville Response To Pensacola News Journal Articles, November 22, 1998, http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/breaking.html)This massive attendance of visitors for three years from 1995 through 1997 does not include stats on those who regularly attend Brownsville A/G, or those who contribute without actually attending via purchases of materials and donations. With all these visitors and the documented appeals, sometimes very blatant and forceful, for people to give money in offerings at the church and on their television broadcasts, the full financial picture is surely not reflected in the Brownsville ministries report. If that is the case, where is all the money that came into Brownsville? Not in the ECFA report, that's for sure! Wasn't the idea for Brownsville A/G to finally come clean in their financial reporting? This half-hearted "johnny-come-lately" attempt at financial accountability is "a day late and a dollar short"!
Let's look at the available stats. First, here are the total incomes representing Brownsville A/G ministries.
Together In Harvest Ministries
Fiscal Year End
Total Income $3,828,366 $2,168,272 $1,191,010
Partners In Revival & Feast Of Fire
Fiscal Year End
Total Income $635,269 $930,523 n/a
Since the 1996 report for Partners In Revival/Feast Of Fire is missing, we will take an average of the 1997-98 income and use that for the missing 1996 report, which would be $782,896. Adding these three Brownsville A/G ministries together we come up with a total income of $9,536,336. from 1996-98. This may sound like a lot of money. But compare it to the totals found on the ECFA site for other churches and ministries, that are arguably much smaller than Brownsville A/G. Following is a comparison of the total income of Brownsville with some other ministries, none of which has had the opportunity to collect or solicit offerings from 1.9 million people in three years time.
|Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, FL
Pioneers of Orlando, FL
Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, of Grand Rapids, MI
First Assembly of God Church of Fremont, CA
Calvary Community Church of Conejo Valley of Westlake Village, CA
First Baptist Church of Modesto, CA
Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Livonia, MI
Calvary Baptist Church of Canton, MI
Together In Harvest Ministries/Partners In Revival/Feast Of Fire
The question comes to mind: Did ANY of the missions or churches mentioned above have anywhere near 1.9 million visitors during the same time period as Brownsville A/G? I happen to have first hand knowledge of missions like Christian Reformed World Relief Committee. They are SMALL missions compared to some of the big ones like World Vision, Wycliffe and others. Let's look at the total income for those two.
|World Vision U.S. of Federal Way, WA
Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc. of Orlando, FL
Now, granted, these are big missions. It is possible that Brownsville A/G does not have this kind of support or monetary soliciting power. But this illustrates the point that Brownsville, with its estimated 1.9 million visitors, should AT LEAST have the total income of, say, the First Assembly of God Church of Fremont, CA!
I would suggest that the Pensacola News Journal do a follow up investigative news story on what percentage of the financial income of Brownsville has actually been reported officially to the ECFA. I would also suggest that the ECFA investigate Brownsville and related ministries to make sure they are reporting all the money that is flowing through that church, and into many other ministries worldwide.