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Black churches have 'taken $420bn from members' in 30 years

'PROSPERITY GOSPEL': Black churches in the States have made $420 billion from its members in the last 30 years

OVER THE last three decades, black churches in the US have made $420 billion from its members.

The research conducted by Livesteez has reported that an estimated $420 billion in tithes and donations has been accumulated by black churches since the 1980s.

An ongoing investigation into the spending of mega-church leaders was first initiated by Senator Charles Grassley around seven years ago.

The investigation took place in many churches that proclaimed what is known as the 'Prosperity Gospel', where many believe that providing donations to Christian ministries will result in personal financial blessings, reported All Christian News.

Henry E. Felder’s study of financial patterns within black Christian places of worship reported that donations made to Christian ministries were around $508 per year, per person, in 2009.

Tyler Media Services estimated that black churches received revenue of $17 billion in 2006 alone. One prosperity church, the Reverend Creflo Dollar’s World Changers, received $69 million in 2006, according to All Christian News.

While many politicians and black community leaders are demanding accountability for the churches that accumulate high amounts of funding, devoted followers of the church are defending the institutions and the leaders.

Many loyal members of the flock claim that there is a double standard when it comes to black mega church leaders and wealthy white church leaders.

“The church has gotten caught up in materialism and greed, a lifestyle. Many ministers today want to live like celebrities and they want to be treated like celebrities," claimed Dr Love Henry Whelchel, professor of church history at The Interdenominational Theological Center.

Whelchel added: "In other words, instead of the church standing with the community, the church has become self-serving. It has strayed away from its mission.”

While many churches that were investigated did not face any criminal charges, California's Calvary Baptist Yorba Linda Church’s leadership pleaded guilty to grand felony theft and fraud charges. Richard Cunningham and his son, Philip Cunningham, admitted to stealing funds from the church to buy timeshares in Hawaii and Palm Springs.

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