Pastor Rick Warren's multi-site megachurch will soon celebrate its 35th year of ministry at the Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.
Saddleback Church, an influential congregation that boasts 14 campuses on five continents, will hold a community-wide service on Saturday celebrating the milestone.
In a statement released Wednesday, Pastor Warren said that he and his congregation "thank God for 35 years of blessing our church." more >>
Comedian Larry Wilmore, host of Comedy Central's "The Nightly Show," criticized and poked fun at the actions of pastor Creflo Dollar — who last week asked Christian followers to buy his ministry a new $65 million jet — and other "prosperity gospel" preachers as part of his opening segment on Wednesday night's show.
The former "Daily Show" cast member lampooned Dollar and megachurch pastors who preach the prosperity gospel, suggesting that they've gone too far and are "taking advantage of poor people."
"When exactly did Jesus start a hip-hop label?" asked Wilmore, referencing Dollar's recent effort to have people pay for a $65 million private jet. more >>
Longtime financial scammer Ephren Taylor and his accomplice have been sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison for an elaborate investment scheme they used to pilfer $16 million out of more than 400 people, many of them churchgoers.
"Taylor's 'Building Wealth' tour accomplished exactly the opposite, victimizing hundreds of investors and leaving many of them financially ruined," Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn said in a press release. "At churches across the country he touted himself as a socially conscious investor, but his investment opportunities were nothing but a Ponzi scheme designed to build his own personal wealth. This sentencing brings a measure of justice to those who remain devastated by his actions."
The U.S. State Attorney's Office in Georgia adds: more >>
The Luis Palau Association, Jesus Culture and youth leaders in New York City have teamed up for three days of gatherings "designed to mobilize and encourage students to become passionate, faithful followers of Jesus."
Around 5,000 young people were expected to attend the three-day event, according to Kevin Palau, president of the Portland, Oregon-based Luis Palau Association.
The Friday evening gathering will see Jesus Culture, Misfit youth pastor Chris Durso of Queens megachurch Christ Tabernacle, evangelist Andrew Palau, and God Belongs in My City founder and youth leader Daniel Sanabria come together to inspire those 25 and younger to impact their city. more >>
In a recent sermon, Texas megachurch pastor Matt Chandler proclaimed that showing favoritism and partiality toward the rich while turning a blind eye to the weak and poor is as much of a sin as murder or adultery.
Preaching on the first chapter of James on March 1, Chandler challenged his congregation at The Village Church in Flower Mound not to "cuddle" up with the rich and powerful just because they have elite status and are seen as relevant. He explained that Jesus called on his followers to help the poorest and weakest in society and it "dishonors God" for his followers to be more interested in cozying up to the wealthy.
"We hear about partiality, we hear about favoritism, and the unregenerate heart says, 'I didn't kill nobody. I didn't commit adultery. I didn't break any major law.' And James' point is, so what if you didn't murder or commit adultery, if you are showing impartiality, you have broken the law," Chandler asserted. "You discriminate; you broke the law. [If] you are a racist, accidentally or not, you have broken the law. If you avoid the poor, you have broken the royal law of love. You have sinned against God." more >>
A Texas organization that has investigated financial fraud in the American religious community is in the process of expanding their efforts globally.
The Dallas-based Trinity Foundation recently announced their plans to investigate religious fraud on a global scale following the release of research earlier this year indicating that religious fraud globally may total $100 billion in the next decade.
In a recently released statement, the Trinity Foundation noted that for 2015 alone it's estimated that international religious fraud will exceed donations to global missions. more >>