Churches In The Bahamas have steadily moved toward the prosperity gospel like most of the big American churches. So when I came across this articles I thought that there were definitely parallels to The Bahamas in what the author describes.
Research conducted by Livesteez has reported that an estimate of $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.
The investigation took place in many churches that proclaimed what is known as the “Prosperity Gospel,” which is a practice saying that providing donations to Christian ministries will result in personal financial blessings.
Among many mega-churches that were investigated, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church was one. The church and their leader, Bishop Eddie Long, have received criticism from inside and outside the Black church. Long says he was “relieved” by the inquiries made on their financial legitimacy.
Henry E. Felder’s study of financial patterns within Black Christian places of worship reported that donations made to Christian ministries were around $508 per year, per person, in 2009. Tyler Media Services estimated that Black churches received revenue of $17 billion in 2006 alone. One prosperity church, the Reverend Creflo Dollar’s World Changers, received $69 million in 2006.
What Are Your Thoughts On This?
We have the highest number of churches per capita, whose congregations are mainly poor inner city folks and there is little accountability. Is this cause for concern? Should there be some form of regulations in place to ensure that Bahamians are not being taken advantage of? Shouldn’t pastors do this voluntarily to avoid and hint of wrong doing?