Research estimate $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 2008.
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. In other words, instead of the church standing with the community, the church has become self-serving. It has strayed away from its mission,” stated Dr. Love Henry Whelchel, professor of church history at The Interdenominational Theological Center.
Some legitimate questions that are being asked are: How often and much do church leaders take advantage of the faith of Black people? How are these larges sums of money improving the state of our communities?