The Evangelical Council Of Financial
Accountability Is A Joke
Charity: Controversy spurs Graham to give up one of two salaries | Warren Cole Smith and Rusty Leonard
Franklin Graham has long had a reputation for being larger than life and going his own way. His 1997 memoir, Rebel With a Cause, chronicled his prodigal period and his return to God. Eventually, he made it to the top spots at both the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and Samaritan's Purse (SP), a Christian relief organization ministering to the needy around the world.
So Graham may now have a cause, but he never leaves the rebel far behind. In 1992, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) suspended Samaritan's Purse while it investigated the ministry's finances. It was reinstated in early 1993. In 2001, when he also took over as president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, nonprofit experts questioned the wisdom of Graham being paid full-time salaries by both organizations. Ministry watchdog Ole Anthony of the Trinity Foundation said, "It's ludicrous to think he could do two jobs at that level."
This month, Graham and his compensation are back in the spotlight again. When the Chronicle of Philanthropy released its annual list of the top-paid executives in the nonprofit world, Graham appeared twice, at the top of the list for his salary with BGEA, and only slightly farther down for his only slightly less hefty salary with Samaritan's Purse. The two combined gave him a total compensation of more than $1.2 million (including expense allowances) for 2008 and made him the highest-paid executive at a Christian ministry listed in the survey, and one of the highest-paid nonprofit executives of any kind.
The news created a media firestorm. BGEA's hometown newspaper, the Charlotte Observer, devoted more than 3,000 words to the controversy in a front-page story that was picked up by newspapers around the country. Graham himself stopped giving media interviews. Instead, his public relations agency issued a defense of the compensation, saying that "due to unusual reporting guidelines related to deferred compensation placed in a 457(f) retirement plan at the BGEA over the past four years, nearly half (44.8 percent) of Mr. Graham's 2008 compensation as reported on the ministry's Form 990 had been previously reported on the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Form 990. This unusual reporting requirement meant that the BGEA had to report three prior years' retirement contributions a second time in 2008. Therefore, in reality, there was no substantial increase in Mr. Graham's compensation in 2008."
That may be, but the same reporting guidelines also applied to others in the compensation survey. The only real difference was that BGEA's contributions to Graham's retirement plan were much larger than other organizations' contributions to their executives' plans. Also, Graham's compensation in the years 2005-2007 was over $750,000—at or near the top for Christian ministry executives. Indeed, Graham's compensation was so much greater than the No. 2 religious executive on the list that, even without the double-counting, his combined BGEA/SP salaries would still have put him at the top of the list.
So will all of this result in more scrutiny, or possible suspension, from the ECFA? Almost certainly not. Dan Busby, president of the ECFA, also declined to be interviewed by WORLD, but he too issued a statement in response to our questions. His statement said, in part, that "nearly half of Mr. Graham's 2008 compensation as reported on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) Form 990 had been previously reported on the 2005, 2006, and 2007 Form 990. This unusual reporting requirement resulted in the BGEA reporting three prior years' retirement contributions a second time in 2008. Therefore, there was no substantial increase in Mr. Graham's compensation in 2008." In other words, the ECFA statement was almost a verbatim copy of the statement issued by BGEA and Samaritan's Purse.
Busby's statement went on to say that "ECFA standards are based on the principles of good governance, accountability, integrity and transparency, and do not place dollar limits on the compensation of its members' leaders."
But Graham himself acknowledged that, despite the elaborate explanations, the situation didn't look good. On Oct. 9, Graham told his staff via a memo that he planned to give up his BGEA salary. His spokesperson, Mark DeMoss, said that Graham had decided the controversy "just wasn't worth it." That means that Graham will receive just one income, the one he gets from Samaritan's Purse—which in both 2007 and 2008 (including all benefits) exceeded $500,000.
There are some people who have this opinion that Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability is an honorable organization. But it is a fact that the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability doesn’t exist for the donors but for the Evangelical ministries to give them a so called legitimate umbrella. That is why ECFA never discloses the salaries of any Evangelical ministry leader to the donors which is a true test of why they are in the ministry!
The Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability came into being due to the threats of Congressman Charles Wilson of Texas who had introduced a bill that would have required disclosure "at the point of solicitation unless the Fundamental Evangelical Evangelists would clean up their own house and police themselves.
For Southern Baptist Evangelist Billy Graham was embarrassed in 1977 when the Charlotte Observer discovered an undisclosed $23-million fund in Texas, apparently not mentioned in the accountings of the Minneapolis headquarters of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
As a result Graham's business manager led the formation of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability after Graham said on a national telecast, ". . . there are some charlatans coming along and the public ought to be informed about them and warned against them, " "stated K. Hadden and Charles E. Swann in their book Prime Time Preachers.
Jeffrey K. Hadden and Charles E. Swann in their book Prime Time Preachers: The Rising Power of Televangelism (1) stated:
In 1977 Senator Mark Hatfield informed a group of evangelical leaders that if they did not assume responsibility for regulating themselves there was every likelihood that legislation would be required. In fact, Congressman Charles Wilson of Texas had already introduced a bill that would have required disclosure "at the point of solicitation."
In December 1977 representatives of thirty-two evangelical groups met in Chicago to discuss cooperative efforts. Thomas Getman, chief legislative assistant to Senator Hatfield, told the group, "Legislation is not important; disclosure is." Getman encouraged "a voluntary disclosure program . . . that will preclude the necessity of federal intervention into the philanthropic and religious sector."
Almost two years later Dr. Stanley Mooneyham, president of World Vision, acknowledged, "There is no denying that this threat of governmental action was one of the stimuli'' that produced the December meeting and the subsequent activities which led to the founding of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
A tax exempt non profit organization and corporation, especially a religious one, is not like a private company which exists for profit? Its revenues come from the donations and gifts of ordinary individual some of whom have sacrificed to give to them. For this is what many Evangelical Evangelists have requested 'their sacrificial giving?"
Many Southern Baptists evangelists in America, such as Billy and Franklin Graham, belong to the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability that purports to work on behalf of the donor but in reality exists for the spenders. For although ECFA has in its possessions the total compensation of all the religious evangelical non-profit organizations that belong to it, it will not disclose them. Years ago I have requested such information from ECFA but to no avail.
Although I am very opinionated on evangelical leaders in America, please do your homework and you will see that Billy Graham and his family and ministry and you will see they are not as wonderful as they appear (http://www.christiannews.0catch.com/graham.htm http://www.christianmediaresearch.com/graham.html ).
Also do your homework on Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability which Billy Graham founded.
It is a fact that Fundamental Evangelical leaders in America, even those who belong to ECFA, never show their total compensation to their donors. They are not stupid. If they disclose anything is just your basic salary but not their personal income tax?
So to whom is the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability accountable to? To themselves? Definitely not to their donors or the public as seen by their own words!
For the ECFA has as its Mission Statement that it is committed to helping Christ-centered organizations earn the public's trust through developing and maintaining standards of accountability that convey God-honoring ethical practices.
Also its donor bill of rights states that its responsibility to make sure your charity's standards and guidelines assure you of a "bill of rights" as a donor. You have the right to:
1. Know how the funds of an organization are being spent.
2. Know what the programs you support are accomplishing.
3. Know that the organization is in compliance with federal, state, and municipal laws.
4. Restrict or designate your gifts to a particular project.
5. A response to your inquiries about finances and programs.
6. Visit offices and program sites of an organization to talk personally with the staff.
Nothing in the donor's "bill of rights" talks about checking into illegal or unusual expenses or salaries? But ECFA states that it wants to earn the public's trust through developing and maintaining standards of accountability that convey God-honoring ethical practices.
A simple examination of ECFA seven standards of responsible stewardship shows that it gives nothing to the donor or the public to ensure that there is no hanky-panky other than their word. Unfortunately as shown by the BFA bankruptcy the word of Southern Baptists doesn't mean much!
An excellent way to determine responsible stewardship of any ministry that belongs to ECFA is to see the personal income tax of the chairmen of each of the nonprofit organizations who belong to ECFA. One can easily see if an individual is profiting from their own indirectly owned non profit religious organization?
Why is it important to know the salaries of religious leaders? The downfall of Evangelist Rex Humbard says why.
From its modest $65 beginning, the Rex Humbard Ministry was now worth millions. And was all paid for by private contributions. Still, like those of many of his fellow television colleagues, Rex's ministry appeared ever on the brink of bankruptcy. On his April 13, 1980, broadcast he made an impassioned plea for immediate cash contributions needed to stave off disaster. The program was $2.5 million behind in its obligations, and Humbard was running an average of four months behind in payments to stations for TV time.
Humbard's appeals brought in $4 million and wiped out the debt. About the same time, a Cleveland Press writer discovered that Rex and two of his sons, who work with him on the television ministry, had purchased a home and condominiums in Florida valued at $650,000 with down payments of $177,500 in cash.
A lot of people have long believed that preachers, especially the evangelical variety, have their hands in the offering plate. In light of this belief, the timing of Humbard's corporate debt and personal investment certainly didn't make him look very good. And he didn't help his own cause any when he told the prying Press reporter, "My people don't give a hoot what I spend that money for
But people do give a hoot how much money their favorite minister steals and that is why ministers especially prominent ones hide their salaries. As a result of Rex Humbard's thievery his ministry folded because people and even God does not like crooks in the House of God.
If you check out the latest form 990 - 2002 for Billy Graham Evangelist Organization available from Guide Star http://www.guidestar.org/search/ you will see that Billy Graham is just as much of a crook as ever. At 88 years of age he is still receiving a hundred percent salary of $ 189, 385 and $ 233,979 for other allowances and is working less than ten percent of the time! The same with Clifford B. Barrows who is receiving $ 164,442. They both should have been put out to pasture a long time ago and should have stopped taken a salary that they have not earned!
And yes Billy used his organization to support financially his children including $ 600,000 to Franklin Graham, $ 210,000 to Ned Graham and $ 300,000 to Ann. Ned Graham who was originally slated to take over Billy Graham Evangelist Organization instead of Franklin received less money because he is the black sheep of the family. What gave Billy Graham the right to take money donated to preach the gospel to give to the support of his family especially Ned Graham? Nothing!
Jeffrey K. Hadden and Charles E. Swann in their book “Prime Time Preachers” stated:
Billy Graham was embarrassed in 1977 when the Charlotte Observer discovered an undisclosed $23-million fund in Texas, apparently not mentioned in the accountings of the Minneapolis headquarters of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. As a result Graham's business manager led the formation of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability after Graham said on a national telecast, ". . . there are some charlatans coming along and the public ought to be informed about them and warned against them."
In my opinion Billy Graham has raised up two sons Ned and Franklin who are as deceitful as their father. Ned Graham, the son of Billy Graham, Southern Baptist minister, president East Gates International, a group that distributes Bibles in China told Christianity Today in an interview that he had abused alcohol and spent an "inappropriate amount of time" with two women on his staff.
Grace Community Church, Southern Baptist Convention, in Auburn, Washington--which counted Ned Graham, his wife, and their two sons as members established the fact that Ned Graham was an adulterer, alcoholic, wife abuser, and drug user and revoked Graham's ministerial credentials. It directed Graham to stop using the title reverend.
Yet in a style reminiscent of Jimmy Swaggart, who refused to be defrocked by the Assembly of God denomination, Ned Graham left that congregation for another church.
Most of the staff and board members of East Gates International resigned amid controversies. East Gates, in Sumner, Wash., withdrew its membership in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability after Ned replaced the board members with his sister Ruth Graham McIntyre, brother-in-law Stephan Tchividjian, and business leader Peter Lowe.
Graham's sister Gigi Tchividjian has joined the office staff and Ned Graham continues as East Gates president. The ECFA the self-policing organization Billy Graham helped start requires that a majority of board members not be related by blood or marriage, which is no longer the case for East Gates. Nepotism is alive and well in Evangelical ministries?
A December East Gates fund-raising letter included a note from his father saying that "Ruth and I are proud of and grateful to God for our son Ned." East Gates has distributed 2 million Bibles to Christians in China, Billy Graham said, encouraging Christians to "back this unique and effective ministry."
It is interesting to see the most famous "evangelist" (some say) not being able to educate his children, especially Ned. At the same time, having a bunch of so-called Christians following the leadership of such wreckless person. Franklin Graham wears jeans, boots, denim shirt, and leather jacket. He was a teen rebel who drank, smoked, fought, and led police on high-speed chases. He was kicked out of LeTourneau College. He used to be a rebel and a 'bum' got religion and become more sophisticated and formed "the Samaritan's Purse' so that he can fly around the country and charge things to his non-profit corporation. As a result his ministry, Samaritan's Purse, had a run-in with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. The ECFA suspended Samaritan's Purse while it looked into Franklin's (Graham) compensation and use of the company plane.
Although Billy Graham encourages religious leaders to be open about their salaries and publish their finances none of the Grahams reveal their total compensation nor release their personal income tax as President Obama does and former Presidents Bush and Clinton have done. It's the law of the land that all non profit chairman of corporations must reveal their total salary and that Billy, Ned and Franklin do not to their donors speak volumes of their hypocrisy?
Yes, Jesus told us to beware of hypocrites like Dr. Billy Graham and ECFA.
http://walthope.tripod.com/ecfa.htm http://tl.gd/hkgiev ·
How Pastors Get Rich http://tinyurl.com/3azvjzy
An Overview of Religious Financial Fraud http://www.scribd.com/doc/24336837
TBN’S PAUL CROUCH THE ARROGANT FALSE ONE/FAMILY FEUD http://www.scribd.com/doc/82784017
THE THIRD WAVE DECEIVERS ARE REAL: JOHNSON, TODD, ARNOTT & KING ALL LOVED BOB JONES http://tl.gd/fn1mi2