Building Up Without Walls
Popular Pentecostal teacher Paula White announced two weeks ago that she is taking the helm of the megachurch that she and ex-husband Randy White founded 18 years ago.
Paula's willingness to become senior pastor of Without Walls International Church - a Tampa, Florida, nondenominational congregation that once boasted 20,000+ members - shows immense optimism on her part, because the question remains if Without Walls has a future, or if it should.
Without Walls' leaders have been accused of preaching a prosperity gospel that says God will bless believers by making them succeed in all things, including in finances. One article reports that Without Walls used to have over 23,000 members (including celebrities and world leaders) and received up to $40 million in donations annually. All the while, the Whites were allegedly purchasing expensive homes and buying or leasing costly cars and private jets. Last fall the church faced foreclosure by the Evangelical Christian Credit Union, and is rumored to be in serious debt.
In August 2007, the Whites announced they were divorcing after 18 years of marriage. Since then, church membership has dwindled: three services have been cut to two, and hits to Without Walls' website and Paula's personal site have dropped dramatically.
Then, in November 2007, Without Walls came under a Senate Finance Committee investigation into its and five other ministries' use of donations and financial records. Led by Sen. Charles Grassley, the ongoing investigation ...1