Five of the six prominent ministries that were given until Thursday, December 6 to submit financial statements as part of a Senate probe of alleged lavish spending had made at least some contact by the deadline, Sen. Chuck Grassley said.
One of those five, Atlanta-based Creflo Dollar Ministries, has refused to voluntarily provide any information, and another, Bishop Eddie Long of Atlanta, has not made any formal contact.
Grassley, the top-ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, had given the six television ministries 30 days to respond to his request.
The letters were sent to Randy and Paula White of Tampa, Fla.; Benny Hinn Ministries in Grapevine, Texas; Joyce Meyer Ministries in Fenton, Mo.; Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga.; Creflo Dollar Ministries in College Park, Ga.; and Kenneth Copeland Ministries of Newark, Texas.
As of 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Grassley's office reported that:
- Copeland's ministry delivered a package of material.
- Dollar's ministry sent a letter saying it doesn't plan to provide material voluntarily and "raised the idea of a subpoena."
- Hinn's attorneys have scheduled a meeting on Friday, December 7. (His ministry issued a statement saying it plans to respond to the inquiry by January 30.)
- Long's representatives have not sent any material or made contact with Grassley, but ministry representatives have said publicly that they will cooperate.
- Meyer's ministry sent a package of material.
- The Whites' attorneys have contacted Grassley's staff.
"It's good that some of the ministries are cooperating," Grassley said in a statement. "I hope all of them will cooperate in the end."
Grassley, who has previously investigated the American Red Cross and the Smithsonian Institution, ...