"A federal bankruptcy official is questioning the salaries of three employees of Orange County's Crystal Cathedral.
The Orange County Register said in a story Wednesday that the U.S. trustee filed objections in bankruptcy court questioning the need for a $132,019 housing allowance for CFO Fred Southard.
The trustee also questioned the need for a $70,000 salary for founding pastor Robert H. Schuller's daughter Gretchen Schuller Penner, who produces the church's "Hour of Power," and the $55,000 salary of her daughter Neyva Penner Klaassen, who works on the TV show.
In defense, Southard said the church ordained him as a minister and he has sometimes acted in that capacity. Cathedral attorney Marc Winthrop declined comment."
Friday, November 19, 2010
Feds Probe Salaries at Crystal Cathedral - Bankruptcy is the Only Route to Mega Church Financial Transparency
It looks like there is one, and only one way that mega churches will be transparent with their finances and disclose salaries and tell people how the money is spent.
That is when federal bankruptcy officials demand it, so they can make sure that money that should be going to creditors, is not lining the pockets of the pastor and his friends and family.
Pretty sad, because what the federal bankruptcy court trustee is doing now, really is a function that the members of Crystal Cathedral SHOULD have been performing all along: demanding financial transparency from their church leaders to guard against nepotism, and ridiculous salaries and abusing tax advantages afforded to their church.
Crystal Cathedral has 9 employees making over $100,000 per year (click here to see the list), many of whom are relatives of the pastor. Earlier this week the feds objected to the salaries of three employees, including CFO (a church has a CFO?) Fred Southard's salary most of which is in the form of a housing allowance.
Now today, the feds are objecting to Southard's son-in-law being hired at $62,000 per year with $59,000 of it coming in the form of a housing allowance!
How can this be? Giving someone all of their salary in the form of a tax exempt housing allowance? How much longer will the federal government allow these types of shenanigans going on in churches, knowing they have operate with little transparency to their donors?
All of this is more proof that God does work all things together for good....the good of this mess is we're getting to see a glimpse of what the mega churches are working so hard to hide from their members.
Posted by FBC Jax Watchdog at 4:30 PM