Despite numerous scandals involving finances, several leading televangelists continue to make fundraising a key part of their ministries, according to the Christian humor magazine The Door (July-August).
Writer Doug Peterson conducted a unique experiment to test the degree to which televangelists ask for money. Letters were sent to 29 televangelists making a simple request for information on how to become a Christian. Every televangelist did make some attempt to answer Peterson’s request and eight of the 29 answered the letter without placing him on their mailing lists for solicitation of funds.
Bob Tilton sent out 16 mailings with a series of prayer cloths and other items that would bring prosperity along with regular pitches for contributions. Such evangelists as Pat Robertson, Jack Van Impe and D. James Kennedy also rated high in mailings that asked for money.
Those that refrained from answering Peterson’s request with financial solicitations included Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Mother Angelica and New Covenant Ministries run by Jim Bakker’s daughter Tammy Sue (who even sent Peterson a hand-written note and a free Bible).
(The Door, 5634 Columbia Ave., Dallas, Texas 75214)