Two evangelists lose clout on ORU's board
BY ZIVA BRANSTETTER World Projects Editor
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
3/19/08 at 6:36 AM
For more: Read the latest ORU stories, view the lawsuit and other documents and watch slide shows and video.
Creflo Dollar resigned
from the regents, and
Benny Hinn is now a
"regent emeritus" with
no voting power.
The evangelist Creflo Dollar has
resigned from the Oral Roberts
University board of regents, and
another evangelist, Benny Hinn,
has lost his status as a voting member of the board.
ORU's spokesman Jeremy Burton confirmed Wednesday that
Dollar had resigned and that Hinn
had been named a "regent emeritus" without a vote on the board.
Both refused last week to respond to a Senate inquiry into lavish spending by evangelists.
A Canadian businessman, Richard Pearson, has been named to
ORU's board of business regents.
Pearson, who operates a bus company, was formerly on the nonvoting portion of the board.
Burton had no comment on the
reasons for the changes.
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa,
asked last month for financial information from six media-based ministries, including those run by Hinn
and Dollar. Grassley said he was investigating complaints about "generous salaries and housing allowances and amenities such as
private jets and Rolls-Royces" allegedly owned by the ministries.
Hinn and Dollar did not provide
the information to Grassley by a
Thursday deadline. Hinn operates
World Healing Center Church Inc.
and Benny Hinn Ministries of
Grapevine, Texas. Dollar operates
World Changers Church International in suburban Atlanta.
ORU's board has 23 business regents and 18 others who are spiritual regents, associate regents and
regents emeritus. Those 18 other
regents do not have a vote in business and financial matters, according to ORU's bylaws.
The bylaws give Richard and
Oral Roberts wide authority on all
spiritual matters, including the
right to veto decisions by business
regents on such matters.
Richard Roberts resigned as
ORU's president Nov. 23 after
three former professors filed a
lawsuit. The suit alleges that
Roberts and his family misspent university and ministry
money and lived lavishly.
A Tulsa District Court judge
is scheduled to hear several
motions in the lawsuit Tuesday.
ORU's board of regents had
been scheduled to meet
Wednesday, but Burton said
the meeting had been canceled because of the ice
storm. Burton said he did not
know when the next meeting
would take place.
Ziva Branstetter 581-8378