The Origin of Sun Worship, Babylon and the Sunday Sabbath – The Church Of Satan
Satan's church had its beginning at Babylon with the construction of the Tower of Babel on the plain of Shinar by the…
Joyce Meyer Ministries bought these 5 homes for Meyer and her family. The Ministry pays all expenses, including landscaping and lawn care, property taxes and rehab work. Meyer, her husband and each of their four married children live in the homes, free of charge.
The ministry's headquarters is a three-story jewel of red brick and emerald-color glass that, from the outside, has the look and feel of a luxury resort hotel. Built two years ago for $20 million, the building and grounds are postcard perfect, from manicured flower beds and walkways to a five-story lighted cross.
The driveway to the office complex is lined on both sides with the flags of dozens of nations reached by the ministry. A large bronze sculpture of the Earth sits atop an open Bible near the parking lot. Just outside the main entrance, a sculpture of an American eagle landing on a tree branch stands near a man-made waterfall. A message in gold letters greets employees and visitors over the front entryway: "Look what the Lord Has Done."
The building is decorated with religious paintings and sculptures, and quality furniture. Much of it, Meyer says, she selected herself.
A Jefferson County assessor's list offers a glimpse into the value of many of the items: a $19,000 pair of Dresden vases, six French crystal vases bought for $18,500, an $8,000 Dresden porcelain depicting the Nativity, two $5,800 curio cabinets, a $5,700 porcelain of the Crucifixion, a pair of German porcelain vases bought for $5,200.
The decor includes a $30,000 malachite round table, a $23,000 marble-topped antique commode, a $14,000 custom office bookcase, a $7,000 Stations of the Cross in Dresden porcelain, a $6,300 eagle sculpture on a pedestal, another eagle made of silver bought for $5,000, and numerous paintings purchased for $1,000 to $4,000 each.
InPlainSite Note: The Commode referred to above probably does not refer to a toilet. Commode used to refer to a cabinet, with one or more doors, that served as a washstand with a washbasin and water pitcher, and that also offered an enclosed area below for storing a chamber pot, but in contemporary English usually refers to a low chest of drawers on stubby legs.
Inside Meyer's private office suite sit a conference table and 18 chairs bought for $49,000. The woodwork in the offices of Meyer and her husband cost the ministry $44,000.
In all, assessor's records of the ministry's personal property show that nearly $5.7 million worth of furniture, artwork, glassware, and the latest equipment and machinery fill the 158,000-square-foot building.
As of this summer, the ministry also owned a fleet of vehicles with an estimated value of $440,000. The Jefferson County assessor has been trying to get the complex and its contents added to the tax rolls but has failed.
Stylish Sports Cars and a Plane
Meyer drives the ministry's 2002 Lexus SC sports car with a retractable top, valued at $53,000. Her son Dan, 25, drives the ministry's 2001 Lexus sedan, with a value of $46,000. Meyer's husband drives his Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG sedan. "My husband just likes cars," Meyer said.
The Meyers keep the ministry's Canadair CL-600 Challenger jet, which Joyce Meyer says is worth $10 million, at Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield. The ministry employs two full-time pilots to fly the Meyers to conferences around the world.
Meyer calls the plane a "lifesaver" for her and her family. "It enabled us, at our age, to travel literally all over the world and preach the gospel" with better security than that offered on commercial flights, she said.
Security is important to Meyer, who says she has received death threats. She has a division of the ministry dedicated to her safety. Her officers wear pistols; they guard the headquarters' front gate, keeping out anyone but employees and invited guests. The ministry bought a $145,000 house where the security chief lives rent-free to keep him close to the ministry's headquarters.
The Family Compound
The ministry has also bought homes for other key employees.
Since 1999, the ministry has spent at least $4 million on five homes for Meyer and her four children near Interstate 270 and Gravois Road, St. Louis County records show.
Meyer's house, the largest of the five, is a 10,000-square-foot Cape Cod style estate home with a guest house and a garage that can be independently heated and cooled and can hold up to eight cars. The three-acre property has a large fountain, a gazebo, a private putting green, a pool and a poolhouse where the ministry recently added a $10,000 bathroom.
The ministry pays for utilities, maintenance and landscaping costs at all five homes. It also pays for renovations. The Meyers ordered major rehab work at the ministry's expense right after the ministry bought three of the homes. For example, the ministry bought one home, leveled it and then built a new home on the site to the specifications of Meyer's daughter Sandra and her husband, county records show. Even the property taxes, $15, 629 this year, are paid by the ministry.
Meyer called the homes a "good investment" for the ministry and said the ministry bears the cost of upkeep and maintenance because the family is too busy to take care of such tasks. "It's just too hard to keep up with something like that when you travel as much as we do," Meyer said.
She said that federal tax law allows ministries to buy parsonages for their employees, so the arrangement does not violate any prohibitions against personal benefit. Meyer also said the decision to cluster the families together was a way to build a buffer to better ensure privacy and security.
"We put good people all around us," she said. "Obviously, if I was trying to hide anything or thought I was doing anything wrong, I wouldn't live on the corner of Gravois and 270."
The Irrevocable Trust
Meyer says she expects the best, from where she lives to how she looks. Much of her clothing is custom-tailored at an upscale West County dress shop. At her conferences, she usually wears flashy jewelry. She sports an impressive diamond ring that she said she got from one of her followers. Meyer has a private hairdresser. And, a few years ago, Meyer told her employees she was getting a face-lift.
Not everything is paid directly by the ministry.
Last year, the Meyers bought a $500,000 atrium ranch lakefront home in Porto Cima, a private-quarters club at Lake of the Ozarks. A few weeks later, they bought two watercrafts similar to Jet Skis and a $105,000 Crownline boat painted red, white and blue that they named the Patriot.
In 2000, the Meyers also bought her parents a $130,000 home just a few minutes from where the Meyers live.
The Meyers have put the Mercedes, the lake house, the boat and her parents' home into an irrevocable trust, an arrangement that tax experts say would help protect them from any financial problems at the minisry.
Meyer says she should not have to defend how she spends the ministry's money. "We teach and preach and believe biblically that God wants to bless people who serve Him," Meyer said. "So there's no need for us to apologize for being blessed."
Meyer's "Trusted" Board
For the most part, Meyer can spend the ministry's money any way she sees fit because her board of directors is handpicked. It consists of Meyer, her husband and all four of her children — all paid workers — as well as six of Meyer's closest friends. (Ministry officials said that daughter Laura Holtzmann has now resigned; state records still list her on the board.) "Our family is a huge help to us," Meyer said. "We couldn't do this if we didn't have somebody we trusted."
Board members Roxane and Paul Schermann are such close friends that for more than a decade they lived in the Meyers' home. The ministry employed both of them as high-level managers and in 2001 bought them a $334,000 home. Roxane Schermann no longer works at the ministry; her husband continues as a paid division manager. The Schermanns bought the house at the same price from the ministry in January. Delanie Trusty, the ministry's certified public accountant, also serves as the ministry board's secretary.
The board decides how the ministry's money is spent. The salaries of Meyer and her family are set by those board members who are not family members and are not employed by the ministry, Meyer's lawyer said. The arrangement meets IRS regulations, the lawyer said.
"We certainly wouldn't have enemies and people we don't know" on the board, Meyer said. "That wouldn't make any sense. Anybody who has a board is going to have people in favor of you."
Meyer and her ministry refuse to tell how much the ministry pays Meyer, her husband, her children and her children's spouses. "I don't make any more than I'm worth," Meyer said. "We're definitely within IRS guidelines."
Such an overlap between top administrators and board members concerns the IRS because "the opportunity to manipulate and control the organization is easier to accomplish," said Bruce Philipson of St. Paul, Minn., the IRS group manager of tax-exempt organizations for this region. (Carolyn Tuft and Bill Smith St. Louis Post-Dispatch 11/15/2003)
On July 7, 2008 Times Online reported that “Televangelist Kenneth Copeland refuses to render unto taxman”
“It is not yours, it is God's, and you are not going to get it.” So saith Kenneth Copeland, the television evangelist, when asked to submit his ministry's private financial records to Washington”
With a sizeable share for the Copelands… [Emphasis Added]
Mr Copeland certainly practises what he preaches. According to a report into the pentecostal charismatics, commissioned by the Senate, the ministry built Mr Copeland and his wife Gloria a mansion “the size of an hotel” .. and enabled him to acquire a $20 million (£10 million) Cessna Citation to help him to spread the word of God across the US.
Speaking to his assembled congregation on the runway by his new aeroplane, Mr Copeland said: “The Lord spoke to me and said ‘you're gonna believe for a Citation 10, right now'.” He also promised that the jet, one of four owned by the Church, “will never ever be used as for anything other than what is becoming of you Lord Jesus”.
The ministry also owns an airport capable of accepting jet landings, leases land for Mr Copeland's cattle and horses and also leases land to the family so that it can operate oil and gas wells.” [Times Online. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article4281949.ece]
An Associated Press article dated July 26, 2008 says
Copeland’s 1,500-acre campus outside Fort Worth is “testament to his success”. It includes a church, private airstrip, a hangar for the ministry's aircraft and a $6 million, church-owned mansion.
Newark, Texas - Here in the gentle hills of north Texas, televangelist Kenneth Copeland has built a religious empire teaching that God wants his followers to prosper.
Over the years, a circle of Copeland's relatives and friends have done just that, The Associated Press has found. They include the brother-in-law with a lucrative deal to broker Copeland's television time, the son who acquired church-owned land for his ranching business and saw it more than quadruple in value, and board members who together have been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for speaking at church events.
While Copeland insists that his ministry complies with the law, independent tax experts who reviewed information obtained by the AP through interviews, church documents and public records have their doubts. The web of companies and non-profits tied to the televangelist calls the ministry's integrity into question, they say.
"There are far too many relatives here," said Frances Hill, a University of Miami law professor who specializes in nonprofit tax law. "There's too much money sloshing around and too much of it sloshing around with people with overlapping affiliations and allegiances by either blood or friendship or just ties over the years. There are red flags all over these relationships."
Kenneth Copeland Ministries is organized under the tax code as a church, so it gets a layer of privacy not afforded large secular and religious nonprofit groups that must disclose budgets and salaries. Pastors' pay must be "reasonable" under the federal tax code.
Reasonable according to the Copelands is what most of us would consider a very hefty amount, more suitable to the hugely overpaid leeches on Wall Street. But then again what’s the difference? Leeches on Wall Street.. Leeches in the Church.
“Copeland's current salary is not made public by his ministry. However, the church disclosed in a property-tax exemption application that his wages were $364,577 in 1995; Copeland's wife, Gloria, earned $292,593.”
The ministry's income is unavailable, but newspaper accounts say the ministry paid $18 million in cash for his new 8,000-seat World Changers Church International on the southern edge of Atlanta. He flies to speaking engagements across the nation and Europe in a $5 million private jet and drives a black Rolls-Royce. and travels in a $5 million private jet. Dollar's ministry became a focus of a court case involving boxer Evander Holyfield in 1999. The lawyer for Holyfield's ex-wife estimated that the fighter gave Dollar's ministry $7 million. Dollar refused to testify in the case. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch. STLtoday.com 11/18/2003)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mar. 5, 2000 says this
The Rev. Creflo Dollar Jr. has unabashedly embraced his name by building a religious empire on the message that his brand of piety leads to prosperity. He drives a black Rolls-Royce, flies to speaking engagements across the nation and Europe in a $5 million private jet and lives in a $1 million home behind iron gates in an upscale Atlanta neighborhood... The World Changers campus sits on a slight hill... Inside the church is a lobby befitting a five-star hotel. Chairs are scattered about on baby blue carpet thick enough to muffle the sound of the stadium-size crowd arriving for a Sunday service... There are no visible traditional Christian symbols - no cross, no image of Jesus, no stained-glass windows...Dollar lives in a $1 million home owned by the church in the Guilford Forest subdivision in southwest Atlanta. World Changers purchased another $1 million home on 27 acres in Fayette County in December. The church has amassed a fortune in real estate, mostly in College Park... As World Changers grew, so did Dollar's emphasis on prosperity. Dollar has no degree in theology. Much of his prosperity message, according to church and his family members, is based on the teachings of friend and spiritual mentor Kenneth Copeland... And a frequent criticism - that the church refuses to help nontithers - isn't true either, Lett said. Tithers simply "have priority," she said. People are not allowed to touch Dollar during services, she said, simply because "the anointing is flowing at that point." She said the church purchased a Rolls-Royce for Dollar's use because "he deserves the best."
William Lobdell, a Times staff writer, wrote about target-rich environment: the unregulated industry of televangelism is estimated to generate at least $1 billion through its roughly 2,000 electronic preachers, including 80 nationally syndicated television pastors. He told of the founder of the Dallas-based Trinity Foundation, Ole E Anthony, whose operatives struck dumpster pay dirt five years ago in south Florida when they found a travel itinerary for Benny Hinn, the Trinity Broadcasting Network's superstar faith healer who has filled sports arenas with ailing believers seeking miracles cures. Hinn's itinerary included first-class tickets on the Concorde from New York to London ($8,850 each) and reservations for presidential suites at pricey European hotels ($2,200 a night).
A news story, including footage of Hinn and his associates boarding the jet, ran on CNN's "Impact." In addition, property records and videos supplied by Trinity investigators led to CNN and Dallas Morning News coverage of another Hinn controversy: fund-raising for a $30-million healing center in Dallas that has yet to be built.
According to a June article in The Dallas Morning News, shortly after Hinn announced his move to Texas, he said God had told him to build a "World Healing Center," and Hinn appealed for money. As much as $30 million was collected, but the center was never built. In April 2000, he told Trinity Broadcasting Network's Paul Crouch, "I'm putting all the money we have in the ministry to get out there and preach. The day (to build the healing center) will come. I'm in no hurry; neither is God."
Also about April 2000, Hinn's ministry began building a 58,000 square-foot office building in Irving. A few months after that, in August 2000, a holding company that is a subsidiary of Hinn's ministry began building a "parsonage" -- a $3 million, 7,200-square foot oceanfront home -- in Dana Point, Calif.
“Nor has Hinn publicly acknowledged his salary, though he told CNN in 1997 that his yearly income including book royalties was somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million. A spokesman has said Hinn generates about $60 million a year in donations”. (The Sun Herald. Posted on Fri, May. 17, 2002).
However in a report dated 07/06/2005 the Denton Record Chronicle says this..
“According to documents provided to the newspaper by a watchdog group, the inquiry into the ministry began a year ago and the IRS has asked for dozens of detailed answers. The Trinity Foundation has investigated Hinn for more than a decade. Hinn ministry responses to IRS questions and a purported salary list for ministry officials are among documents that Trinity members said they salvaged from trash bins outside Hinn-related offices. The salary document lists Hinn as CEO and his annual earnings as $1.325 million.” (Emphasis Added)
“Since February of 2001, the Hinn Web site has been soliciting donations for a new orphanage to be built in this little town outside Mexico City saying it would be finished “soon.” But when we checked in Mexico, more than a year-and-a-half later, we could find no sign of any construction. But the Hinn web site kept promising that construction would be finished in, “a few short months.” That was news to the local official in charge of construction in the town, who told us the Hinn ministry hadn’t even been issued a building permit yet. What we did find, however, was this sign — curiously not in Spanish, but English — attached to a house the ministry called it’s ‘temporary orphanage,’ which appeared to be empty. The Hinn Web site continued to solicit donations”. (NBC News, Dec. 27, 2002).
“He lives with his wife and three children in a multimillion-dollar oceanfront mansion near the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Dana Point…. In an attempt to clear up his image, Hinn suggests meeting a Times reporter at the Four Seasons hotel in Newport Beach. Accompanied by bodyguards, Hinn arrives in his new Mercedes-Benz G500, an SUV that retails for about $80,000. He is dressed casually in black, from designer sunglasses to leather jacket to shoes… Hinn fiddles with his cell phone, which sports a Mercedes logo….(Hinn drives an $80,000 Mercedes-Benz G500.). First, Hinn declines to divulge his salary. (He told CNN in 1997 that he earns between $500,000 and $1 million annually, including book royalties.) "Look, any amount I make, somebody's going to be mad," he says…. Hinn does reveal that the $89 million taken in by his church in 2002 is a record for his Grapevine, Texas-based ministry, which has experienced double-digit growth during the past three years through direct-mail requests, viewer donations and offerings taken at the Miracle Crusades. By comparison, the target="_blank" onClick='alert("ON-site link will open in a new window. To return here, simply close the new browser window.")'Billy Graham Evangelistic Assn. had revenues of $96.6 million in 2001, the last year available.
According to MinistryWatch.com
“Hinn’s salary is somewhere between half a million and a million dollars per year. He also gets royalties from the sales of his books; Personal perks for Hinn, family and his entourage include a $10 million seaside mansion; a private jet with annual operating costs of about $1.5 million; a Mercedes SUV and convertible, each valued at about $80,000;
What the church termed “layovers” between crusades included hotel bills ranging from $900 per night to royal suites that cost almost $3,000 for one night’s stay. Layover locations included Hawaii, Cancun, London, Milan and other exotic locations.
Beverly Hills shopping sprees;
Receipts showing Hinn’s daughter receiving $1,300 in petty cash; her boyfriend getting $2,550 for babysitting; $23,000 in cash dispersed to Hinn and his wife; and, $25,000 in cash for expenses for a crusade – 30 minutes away from Hinn’s home” [http://www.ministrywatch.com/mw2.1/pdf/MWDA_053105_BennyHinn.pdf]
Many of Hinn's financial practices go against those set forth by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, an organization that gained popularity after the televangelist scandals of the 1980s as Christian groups sought legitimacy in the eyes of donors. The council's standards include maintaining an independent board of directors with at least five members and allowing the public to view its finances” (Extract from the Los Angeles Times July 27, 2003). [See Comprehensive List of Articles on B. Hinn]
And how does he do it?
Benn Hinn’s 2 Min Blessing
A July 2008 article by reporter Marthinus van Vuuren in news24.com, a South African News Web site, entitled 'God bless your credit card', said
One of Hinn's American guest speakers, Pastor Todd Koontz, Koontz delivered a message about "you reap what you sow", then said the service would yield millionaires and billionaires within 24 hours.
“God's blessing would last only two minutes and it would create 500 churchgoing millionaires or even billionaires - all they had to do was use their credit cards to pay $1000 in offerings to televangelist Benny Hinn”.
Why specifically $1 000? Because
" an exceptional blessing rested on $1 000."
“God would bless the people's credit cards and they would be able to rule over South Africa with their money” and that 500 audience members would receive "an exceptional blessing".
Koontz apparently really had the congregation scrambling when he said, "This blessing will be poured out for only two minutes."
Pastor Tommie Ferreira of the AGS Church in Johannesburg was so upset about the "blessing" that, after a week, he wanted to know who of the donors actually had become millionaires.
Ferreira told Rapport he did not mean to bring about Hinn's downfall. He merely wanted to know if any of the hundreds of churchgoers who donated amounts of up to $1 000 (about R7 500) to Hinn's Miracle Crusade last week Saturday had now become millionaires."
The TBN Salaries
In 1998, the Crouches showed a combined income of nearly $600,000... (OC Weekly) The Crouches occupy two of three seats on the TBN board of directors and earning six-figure incomes. He is paid $159,500 a year as president, while she gets $165,100 as vice president, IRS records show.
“Crouch’s earnings went from $159,500 in 1997 to $262,915 the following year. Jan, the organization’s vice president, also received a big raise. Her earnings more than doubled, going from $159,500 to $321,375 during the same time period”. (Mike Oppenheimer. Let Us Reason Ministries).
According to 2001 IRS income tax statements, (990 forms)
“Paul Crouch, president of California-based Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana, received $403,700. His wife, Janice Crouch, earned $347,500 as the vice president for the organization, which broadcasts sermons nationally on the Trinity Broadcasting Network”. (www.rickross.com)
But it gets worse.. Information reported on the organization's most recent Form 990 has Paul Crouch’s compensation package at $419,000 and Janice Crouch’s at $361,000, which makes a whopping total of $ 780,000. The compensation package includes salary, cash bonuses, and unusually large expense accounts and other allowances. (www.charitynavigator.org).
The TBN Building
“Trinity Christian City International is a dazzling 65,000-square-foot building that houses a new studio, bookstore and theater, and a richly appointed suite of offices for TBN founder Paul Crouch. It is an office building, but its TV studios are designed to look like the inside of a Gothic cathedral, complete with stained-glass windows and padded pews for the audience.
The building was designed and decorated at the direction of the Crouches, from the main lobby's baroque marble staircase and 15-foot-high, molded polymer statue of Michael the Archangel, to the velvet settees in the executive suite.
When TBN purchased the building for $6 million, it was a drab, brown stucco-and-glass box, the former home of the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International, and the Crouches planned only minor changes. A new $1 million face was put on the building using an "exterior foam insulation system," Hubble (whose Fort Worth, Texas, construction company put a new facade on the building) said. Balustrades, columns and other architectural features were made from styrofoam, then covered with fiberglass mesh, coated with plaster and painted.
The main fountain in front of the building is used for full-immersion baptisms and is patterned after one in New York's Central Park. It is fed by a small aqueduct the Crouches call "the River of Life." Hubble said it cost about $1 million, and landscaping the property tacked on about $400,000.
Much of the interior features gleaming marble floors and intricately detailed ceilings. The lobby ceiling is covered with 217 hand-painted cherubs, many depicting the faces of TBN employees' children. The cherubs on the lobby ceiling were done by portrait artist Jane Garrison, who spent 10 months on it. She worked atop a scissors lift, a week at a time, eight to 10 hours a day, and then went home to Arkansas to rest before resuming. "By the end of the week, I kept thinking, 'If I have to climb this ladder and do one more cherub ...,' " she said. "But then I'd get down and think, 'Yes, I'd like to do another.' " Garrison, who charges $3,000 apiece for full-length portraits at her Fayetteville studio, would not say how much she was paid for her work at TBN.
The exterior features elaborate Corinthian columns, colonial balustrades, French wrought iron and Greek colonnades with dental molding and egg-and-dart detailing. The faux brass ceilings in the bookstore and bathrooms are polished to a mirror finish. Austrian-style drapes plunge three stories from ceiling to floor. Everywhere are hand-painted gold moldings, beveled glass and portraits of cherubs.
The building also features the "Via Dolorosa," where visitors can stroll a movie set-like replica of the Jerusalem street over which Christ carried his cross to Calvary, complete with thunder and lightning effects.
A trio of water-spewing lion heads near the main entrance are fashioned after those at William K. Vanderbilt's Marble House in Newport, R.I. Frank McGervey, a Trabuco Canyon painting contractor who worked on other TBN projects, said the new headquarters was one "to die for." He noted that a laborious technique was used to apply several coats of paint to interior walls, giving them a richness much like fine furniture. (Kim Christensen and Carol McGraw. The Orange County Register. June 2, 1998). [INDEX]
TBN’s Private Suites.
Visitors may stroll the manicured grounds, browse the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh Gift Shop and relax in a state-of-the-art Virtual Reality Theater to watch high-definition videos of the life of Christ. But what most won't see at Trinity Broadcasting Network's new world headquarters is founder Paul Crouch's 8,000-square-foot executive suite, which occupies half of the top floor of the three-story building and is strictly off-limits to the public.
Behind doors kept locked throughout construction are a wet bar and sauna, a personal gym, meticulously handcrafted black walnut woodwork and ornate velvet furniture.
The third-floor quarters will serve as Crouch's executive suite. He broadcasts his "Praise the Lord" program from the second floor of the building, dubbed Trinity Christian City International. TBN officials described the quarters as "standard executive offices" and declined The Orange County Register's request to view them. Crouch does not grant interviews and would not comment.
But others who have been inside or helped build the suite say it is more befitting a mansion than an office building. "This makes Hearst Castle look like a doghouse," said Steve Oliver, a master journeyman carpenter.
While scores of hired hands worked on the exterior and other public areas of the building, Oliver and others in a crew of highly skilled carpenters spent several months last year on Crouch's private third-floor quarters. The finished product is "really rich looking," said Willa Bouwens-Killeen, a Costa Mesa senior planner.
"The wood is the very best quality, and they used the best craftsmen," she said. "It looks like something you'd expect in a mansion type of house rather than offices."
Work on the third floor was kept "under lock and key," said Oliver, whose account was verified by others involved in the project. He said as many as 40 carpenters worked on the project at any one time, while Richard Hubble, who owns a Fort Worth construction company that put a new facade on the building, put the number at about two dozen.
In either scenario, it required a lengthy and expensive process to install and finish top-quality black walnut columns and Corinthian columns, mantels, egg-and-dart moldings, lion's head inlays and other accouterments.
"There were probably 25 carpenters on that floor for six months," Hubble said. "When you figure 25 carpenters for six months at the California rate of 30 bucks or so an hour, it costs a bunch."
Adding substantially to the cost of Crouch's quarters were a variety of expensive, handcrafted woodwork items, including $825-apiece lions that flank the massive fireplace, and an array of columns priced at $1,500 each and up. All of the items were crafted from black walnut, said Stephen Enkeboll, president of Raymond Enkeboll Designs Architectural Woodcarvings in Carson, which caters to upscale clients.
"It is what is called veneer quality, the highest type of wood," he said, declining to disclose how much TBN spent on his company's products. Money seemed of little concern, Oliver and others said.
Doors were custom-made at a carpentry shop set up at the site. Walls were straight-lined with sophisticated laser equipment, and woodwork was installed in a painstaking fashion that eliminated visible joints or nail holes. A separate crew of furniture finishers spent about two months staining and polishing the woodwork, Hubble said.
Throughout the project, Oliver said, if anything was deemed to be less than perfect, it was ripped out and discarded. After he spent three weeks meticulously straight-lining the walls of a the executive suite dining room, Oliver said, TBN officials walked in one day and told him to start over.
"They came in, changed their minds and moved everything over a half an inch," he said. "They threw all that work away. There's probably 10 grand in that, and they threw it all away." The Crouches personally inspected the work, Oliver and others said. Jan, in particular, was quick to change or discard anything she didn't like, Oliver said.
"She came through once and was terrorizing everybody," he said. " 'Throw this out, throw that out.' You could see the smoke coming out of her." TBN officials defended the renovation project and disputed Oliver's contention that it is a monument to excess. "I wouldn't say they are lavish," art director Doug Marsh said. TBN Vice President Terrence Hickey agreed. "We have stayed to the vision God has given us," Hickey said. "We are careful with every penny."
He said the woodwork and other appointments are in keeping with the building's overall design theme. Inexpensive, ultramodern furnishings would be out of place, he said. "You don't go to IKEA and throw it in there," he said. (By Kim Christensen and Carol McGraw. The Orange County Register. June 2, 1998. [INDEX]
The Crouch’s Homes
Televangelists Jan and Paul Crouch of the Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting Network have purchased a Newport Beach house for close to $5 million, Orange County Realtors say. The home was described as "a palatial estate with ocean and city views." The Crouches had been living in a smaller house in the same neighborhood. The house they bought has six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a billiard room, a climate-controlled wine cellar, a sweeping staircase and a crystal chandelier. The three-story, nearly 9,500-square-foot house, which has an elevator, also has a six-car garage, a tennis court and a pool with a fountain. The house is on slightly more than an acre. Jan Crouch had been wanting a bigger yard for her dogs, sources said. (Los Angeles Times, Nov 4th. 2001).
One of the Crouch estates is TBN's ranch in Colleyville, TX, just minutes away from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The 80-plus acre ranch is located between the city limits of Colleyville and Southlake – two of the wealthiest cities in Texas. The ranch, which contains eight houses and horse stables, is estimated to be worth about $10 million.
"Hellooooo Woorld!" yells Paul, who has seen much of it in the past 25 years. He gets around nowadays in a Canadair Challenger 600 executive jet worth about $13 million. (Orange County Register, 1998)