The ministry of televangelist Benny Hinn has been ordered to pay a mail order company $3 million dollars in unpaid bills, plus interest and lawyers’ fees.
The company, Mail America Communications, began sending periodic mailers to donors of Hinn’s World Healing Center Church in 2006, according to a New York District Court ruling. For nearly 15 years, Hinn’s church defaulted on payments, the ruling states.
By 2012, Hinn’s church owed over $5.6 million to Mail America Communications, according to Mail America’s lawsuit. Hinn’s church then offered the company a promissory note.
Then the church defaulted two more times, failing to meet two relaxed payment plans, the suit says. When Hinn’s church defaulted for a third time, the company took the church to court to collect the alleged remaining debt—over $3.1 million.
World Healing Center Church initially claimed in court that Mail America Communications actually owed the church $49,364. The church also has tried to get Mail America’s lawsuit dismissed.
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On April 7, 2021, a New York district court ruled against Hinn’s church.
“Nothing in Defendant’s opposition papers demonstrates more than ‘some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts,’” the court opinion stated.
Hinn runs one of America’s most profitable faith healing ministries, which his nephew, Costi Hinn, has described as a “money making mafia.”
Benny Hinn’s ministry takes in an estimated $100 million a year. Though Hinn claims donations go toward ministry, Hinn reportedly owns two multi-million-dollar mansions, a small fleet of Mercedes Benzes, and employs a personal chef.
From 2005—2011, Hinn and several other televangelists were the target of an investigation spearheaded by Senator Charles Grassley. The investigation concluded without any sanctions against Hinn or the other televangelists.
Hinn’s ministries and his church continue to be rated “F” by MinistryWatch, a donor watchdog group. MinistryWatch notes that Hinn’s ministries do not publish their financial information and the church operates numerous subsidiaries with separate sets of accounting.
Hinn’s ministry says it doesn’t make its finances public because people might use the numbers to discredit him, his website says.
“Corporate and ministry financial reports can be manipulated by unscrupulous people with unsavory agendas,” Hinn’s site reads. “We do not publicize itemized annual financials.
Just two weeks after losing the lawsuit with Mail America, Hinn announced a fundraising effort to build a new studio and promised donors heavenly rewards for giving.
“I know you, too, want to be rewarded by heaven itself for doing your best to reach the multitudes through this amazing technological breakthrough,” Hinn wrote in an email.
In the email, Hinn asks for a “seed-gift” of $50 or more. He describes other leaders giving to the campaign and claims that God will bless people who give Hinn money.
“That’s not my promise; that’s His promise,” Hinn wrote.
Previously, Hinn has publicly admitted that he preached a false prosperity Gospel.
In 2019, Hinn said his own preaching made him “sick to his stomach.”
“The Gospel is not for sale, the blessings of God are not for sale, miracles are not for sale, and prosperity is not for sale,” said Hinn in 2019.
Days after making this statement, Hinn continued to request $1,000 donations from his followers. He still does so today.
Jackson Elliott is a Christian journalist trained at Northwestern University. He has worked at The Daily Signal, The Inlander, and The Christian Post, covering topics ranging from D.C. politics to prison ministry. His interests include the Bible, philosophy, theology, Russian literature, and Irish music.