Brett Shipp of WFAA news in Dallas/Ft. Worth, came out with another news report asking valid questions about Ed Young's use of his private jet. Above is the news report, I encourage all clear-thinking Southern Baptists to watch it.
How sad that it takes a news reporter to hold guys like Ed Young accountable? Instead of Ed's friends and peers telling him to cool his heels with the jet, they fly in to defend his use of a jet at the cost of tens of thousands of dollars per trip.
Will the president of the Florida Baptist Convention, John Cross, fly out to defend Ed's use of the plane for trips to Tyler, Texas, and to exotic resort locations? Maybe the jet can fly to Florida and pick John up so he can again tell Fellowship Church how awesome Ed is. Remember, Florida Baptists: John Cross, your president, endorses these trips. He endorses 100-mile trips from Dallas to Tyler, Texas - he said so when he came to defend Ed in February after Shipp's first report. He endorses 50 trips from Dallas to Miami at the cost of millions of dollars.
But God is so good to Ed. Not only did God open the door for Ed to buy a church in Miami and slap his "Fellowship Church" brand on it, but what a coincidence that the Lord led Ed to buy a $1.1 million condo in Miami as well! Praise Jesus!
And what a coincidence - the most oft traveled to location of Ed's jet is Miami, where he has BOTH his condo and his new church...so he can mix "business" and pleasure on his jaunts to South Florida!
Perhaps the most disgusting display of excess in this report are the 10 trips taken from Dallas out to the church's retreat center in Tyler, Texas. Only 100 miles, a short hour and a half trip that would cost maybe $30 in gas, instead costs THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in the use of a leased jet.
But one thing is for sure: the people of Fellowship Church, and certainly Brett Shipp - will never, ever, EVER get their hands on detailed financial information. That is what we have learned about mega church pastors over the past 5 years. They will go down in flames, they will leave the church, before anyone will release financial information. Members at Fellowship Church either need to keep giving the money to fund this extravagance, or they need to stop funding it. If they keep funding it, they will just have to trust Ed that he is paying for ALL of his personal use of the jet at a fair reimbursement rate. It's all about trusting Ed.
And I don't trust these wealthy mega church celebrity pastors any further than I could pick them up and throw them.
But they know - people are gullible, they love to worship celebrities, and some of them are proud to fund such luxury for their "man of God". I have heard from several members who tell me that the heat is being turned up on givers to fork over more money as finances get tighter as more members leave.
Thank you, Brett Shipp. You are standing in the gap right now until the people of God get their head screwed on right and start holding their leaders accountable.