Televangelist Kenneth Copeland accused of fraud over Haiti earthquake relief

WHILE aid agencies struggle to bring relief to Haitians in the wake of the recent devastating earthquake, a war of words has broken out between two US evangelists over money raised by one of them to deal with disasters of this sort.

According to the Rev Rich Vermilion, Kenneth Copeland, of the infamous Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KMC), raised millions a while back to set up a “aviation ministry” to fly aid into disaster-struck areas.

At loggerheads: Kenneth Copeland, left, and Rich Vermilion

According to this report, Vermilion – on a blog set up specially to call on Copeland and his dodgy outfit “to repent” – contends that money given by donors towards the formation of the new air relief ministry was never spent on the project – and has never been accounted for.

There has never been an open accounting or explanation given regarding the Angel Flight 44-earmarked funds given to date.

He does acknowledge that KCM formed a Disaster Relief Fund, but adds:

A generic relief fund is a far cry from a fully operational disaster-relief aviation ministry … my experience with Kenneth Copeland, his family, and his ministry, has given me the regrettable opinion that they may be nothing more than religious frauds.

Now with the current Haiti crisis in progress, Rich comments that the wealthy Copeland’s unfulfilled promises to invest in his Angel Flight project seems morbidly cruel. He wrote:

One has to wonder where Copeland and his Angel Flight 44 ministry were during those early days of the disaster when their services were so badly needed. If Copeland had prepared beforehand as he had pledged, there would have been supplies flowing into Haiti within 24 hours after that earthquake. Instead, the people had to suffer and wait until other groups arrived, and that seems almost criminal in my opinion.

KCM is one of six televangelist ministries being investigated by the Senate Finance Committee for possible tax law fraud, and has not cooperated with the investigation. KCM is not certified by any independent financial group, such as the Evangelical Counsel for Financial Accountability; Wall Watchers’ has given them a financial transparency grade of “F.”

Hat Tip: Alan H