Sep 26, 2019

CultNEWS101 Articles: 9/26/2019

Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, Kingdom of Jesus Christ Church, Legal, Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana Inc., Sexual Abuse,  Columnas de Fuego Evangelical Church, Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability

"Controversial Filipino megachurch Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, who was arrested by federal agents in Honolulu, Hawaii, last year after weapons and $350,000 were found on his private jet, has been accused of previously smuggling hundreds of thousands of dollars out of the country.

Quiboloy, who founded the Kingdom of Jesus Christ Church, which he claims has 4 million tithing followers in the Philippines and 2 million more in other countries including the United States, allegedly smuggled money out of the country on two separate occasions in 2013 and 2014, Hawaii News Now reported.

Former church member Kristina Angeles said she witnessed Quiboloy and Felina Salinas, a manager for the Hawaii branch of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ Church, order "church members [to conceal] U.S. currency in black socks," during the noted time frame, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Albanese wrote in court documents. 'The socks were packed in a suitcase which was transported to the Philippines.'"
"A California appellate court upheld a $900,000 damages award that granddaughter of televangelist Jan Crouch was awarded for intentional infliction of emotional distress after Crouch blamed her for being drugged and raped by an employee of the church she ran. 

The Fourth District Court of Appeal on Thursday decided that Crouch's behavior went beyond "grandmotherly scolding or irascible behavior," as lawyers for Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana Inc.—the church and televangelist network she co-founded with her husband Paul Crouch Sr.—had argued."
"A South Florida pastor was arrested Thursday [September 12th] on accusations that he raped two girls at his home in Miami-Dade County, authorities said.

Yunior Beltres, 54, who lives in South Florida but is a citizen of the Dominican Republic, faces two counts of sexual battery on a minor.

According to an arrest report, both victims, ages 9 and 10, told authorities on July 1 that Beltres had raped them at his home in the 300 block of Northeast 118th Terrace.

Beltres is a pastor at the Columnas de Fuego Evangelical Church, where a few parishioners said on Friday night that they were standing by him.

"We want our pastor to know that we support him, that we are praying for him and that the church will  not stop because of what is happening," Rigoberto Pinelas, a church parishioner, said in Spanish."

" ... SOME SCANDALS under ECFA's nose go back to the organization's early days. Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's PTL Club maintained its ECFA membership from 1981 through the end of 1986, even while Jim Bakker was committing the fraud that sent him to prison. Gary Tidwell's 1993 book Anatomy of a Fraud reported that ECFA sent a letter to Jim Bakker flagging concerns and telling Bakker not to use the ECFA seal on PTL materials—but the organization did anyway. ECFA terminated PTL's membership only after news outlets reported the scandal.

Some examples are more recent. In March 2014, ECFA revoked the membership of Teen Mania Ministries, a now defunct youth ministry. But as WORLD reported that year, by 2011 Teen Mania had net assets of −$4.1 million. The report detailed extravagant spending and questionable leadership. In December 2015, Teen Mania closed and filed for bankruptcy.

'Each dollar must be regarded as a sacred trust. ECFA will seek to insure that it does.' —Olan Hendrix, ECFA's first executive director

The recent and historical scandals raise the questions: How well does ECFA police its members? Did ECFA membership make wayward ministries more accountable? At least one church—Village Church of Barrington, near Chicago—dropped its ECFA membership because of the agency's failure to police Harvest Bible Chapel. Senior Pastor David Jones told Religion News Service this year his church sees ECFA membership as a "liability rather than an asset."

ECFA leaders from the beginning made the agency out as a Better Business Bureau (BBB) for Christian ministries. Both offer seals of approval. Both term their approvals as accreditation. Both have products meant to serve their accredited members. Both have sliding schedules of membership fees. But BBB examines members annually. It gives grades to its members, based on performance. It maintains a forum on its website for consumers to review businesses—positively or negatively. ECFA offers no such forum and wouldn't reveal specifics of its review of Harvest Bible Chapel."

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