I have made it a habit of outing corruption wherever I find it. Though most notably in the political arena, I do occasionally venture into other areas for one reason or another. This is one of those times. Many times I am asked why so many churches allow political events at a place of worship considering we believe in the Separation of Church and State. In fact I have reported on occasion where I felt it was inappropriate to do so at different political functions.
I called out what I considered to be a problem with this distinction at a Rand Paul rally back in January 2010 even though I am a Paul supporter. Fair is fair. During this election cycle I have been accused of many things even being a great follower of Dr. Frank Simon which I am not. I even did an article questioning the integrity of Simon.
I called out David Tandy for making his Mayoral announcement during a Church service. No one should be above accountability in this area including me.
During the primary campaign Evangel World Prayer Center of Kentucky, formerly known as Evangel Tabernacle DBA Evangel Christian Life Center, formerly affiliated with the Assemblies of God denomination, and also know by many other names and aliases that will be outed in future articles, held a candidate forum at their place of worship sponsored by Frank Simon. I did not attend that event because I do not believe it was the right place to speak politics.
Church is for God, not for politicians in my opinion, and I would not willingly violate the spirit of separation of Church and State. It is kind of ironic to me that so many candidates campaign on "Constitutionality" today and do not separate themselves from this part of it. Whether you agree it was a violation or not we can most certainly agree that ethically speaking it presented the possibility and as a candidate I would not go down that road. There are ethics.
Because I was not in attendance at this event, for the reasons stated above, many continue to contact me not only in support of my decision, but also to ask how a Church can get away with having political events in lieu of their "tax exempt status." Good question and I have been researching quite a bit over the last few months using Evangel as the focus of my investigation.
Why Evangel? That is a fair question.
As a kid I lived off of Bowie Drive, the little circle that is behind Evangel located off of Minors Lane in Okolona, at a time when Evangel did not exist. Each summer these strangers "invaded" my neighborhood and took over the field where Evangel now rests. They set up tents and had a good old fashioned tent revival for a week then they would disappear again until the next year. As a kid I witnessed those tent revivals and did my share of people watching during them. It was mesmerizing to a Catholic boy back then. It was my first introduction to something other than a Catholic mass. For me checking into Evangel I guess had much to do with my memories of them back then when the Church seemed pure at heart. At least to a kid like me.
Unfortunately, the first thing I had to do with research is find exactly what their status was and how it was being used to see if there were violations. I researched Channel 21 as well since it is affiliated with Evangel. Because of my fond memories I was hoping I would not find much but could easily answer the questions I had been asked. How can they do this?
I found more than I bargained for. Surprisingly, once you begin asking questions you don’t have to search far or wide in Louisville to find someone who has at one time or another attending or been a member of Evangel. And each one has their own story. As is usual when researching one thing leads to another and this case was no different. While I was looking for a way to answer a simple question involving a candidate forum at a church I uncovered so much more that it simply cannot fit into one article.
Consider this article an explanation of just why I am involved in what will be known as the "Evangel Conspiracy". This is Part One in a series of articles that will detail how Pastor Bob Rogers ignores the intent of his tax exempt status, blatant abuse of public trust, while possessing the usual lust for power and money, and the greed that creates both. I’ll share how a congregation is being manipulated for money, and how this cannot possibly be pleasing to God.
In short, how one man who exercises ultimate authority and power over organization(s) can manipulate people and events without even trying. One man's rise to fortune by preaching a "Prosperity Gospel" at the expense of those who believe that sacrificial giving will obligate God to return untold manifold blessings to them.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe it is more blessed to give than to receive. I don’t have a problem with those who are the givers and know what or who they are giving to. What I do have a problem with is those who are on the receiving end and lack the proper accountability to the public trust. I’m sure I will be chastised, labeled a blasphemer, and worse, as is expected. So be it.
We have had way too many "false prophets" in Churches professing to be men of God while benefitting for their personal gain, not God's. Think Jim Baker, Jimmy Swaggart, heck today think Pat Buchanon, who has skewed the fine line between separation of Church and State we may never get it back. My goal is to make things right as I believe they should be. God knows my heart so I don't worry about those I am outing.
There will be a bunch of folks who will try to belittle me, attack my family, or lie about where I stand on things. I can’t wait for the first person to say the bible says "touch not mine anointed." Threats to me and mine is a daily way of life these days so I won't bother with them either. They haven't stopped me yet and won't stop me now. I found that out during the Jim King case even though I was proven right and they were proven wrong. I will be proven right this time as well.
Examine the evidence I will lay out and make up your own mind.
Part 2: How Evangel came to be and the tax exempt status scam.