You will be shutdown if you ask for pertinent financial information which every other non profit gladly shares. i.e.
salaries of the highest paid pastors employees.
If you review the financial reports it is interesting that the deferred
compensation fund is worth millions of dollars given the
fact that only senior pastors can contribute to this fund.
There are only a handful of senior pastors.
COTH takes in more than
$142,123,521.64 in 2020
$49,977,047.68 on services
Think of all the good that could be done in this world if even
half of Sunday service fund was spent on helping people.
A Lucrative Endeavor?
Restoring and training “pastors” appears
to be a lucrative endeavor
Hodges and others close to him
Recently, Hodges and Lee Domingue, COTH Legacy Pastor,
launched Grow Leader,
“To grow leaders who
Who grow churches and businesses”
Grow Leader offers numerous services, including Hodges’ speaking services and professional coaching and consulting.
Grow Leader also sponsors two-day Round Tables,
lead pastors and leaders” can learn from Hodges and Domingue
in an “intimate” setting and for
pastors can bring their spouses.
The Roys Report reached out to Grow Leader for more information about the organization and who gets its proceeds, but no one responded.
The Roys Report also looked into the financial arrangement between ARC and its church planting pastors.
According to its website, ARC matches dollar-for-dollar the first $50,000 pastors raise for their church plants. The organization then asks pastors to “re-invest those dollars” through their “missions giving.”
Surratt confirmed to The Roys Report that ARC churches often give a portion of their annual income to ARC. But Surratt said percentages vary from church to church and the giving is voluntary, not contractual.
On an FAQ page for pastors at ARC’s website, it says, “We ask you to make ARC a part of your regular missions giving. While there is no minimum amount to become a part of the ARC Family, there are partnership requirements to participate in some of ARC’s benefits.”
ARC receives nearly $12 million in annual cash donations, according to
the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. ARC’s website states that all of its overhead and administrative
expenses “are covered by the generosity of the ARC Lead Team,”
which “allows 100% of your giving to fund new church plants through ARC.”
ARC CFO Derek Neece told The Roys Report that about 24% of ARC’s cash donations—about $2.8 million annually—goes toward ARC salaries. The Roys Report tried to confirm with Neece whether ARC’s Lead Team donates $2.8 million per year to ARC, but did not receive a response by time of publication.
According to Guidestar, ARC is classified as a church by the IRS so it is not required to file a form 990, revealing executive salaries and the identities of its board members.
Neece said ARC’s “non-officer board members” are not paid. He added that ARC’s key executive salaries are set by an independent compensation committee and are based on independent compensation data.
Recent Hillsong whistleblower documents show that Hillsong’s alleged “celebrity preacher’s scam” didn’t just enrich Brian Houston, founder of the global megachurch, with hefty speaking honorariums. It also enriched other preachers participating in the “scam,” including many belonging to the leadership of a U.S.-based church planting group, called the
Association of Related Churches or
ARC is one of the largest church planting organizations in North America, with over 1,000 churches in its network. Like Hillsong, ARC is charismatic in its theology and has a similar emphasis on growing megachurches with slick programming, youth-oriented worship, and charismatic pastors.
ARC also requires its member churches to give 2% of their tithes and offerings to ARC. (Hillsong requires its Hillsong Family churches to give 3%, according to the whistleblower documents.) Also like Hillsong, ARC has been embroiled in a steady stream of scandals involving pastoral financial and sexual misconduct.
Yet, unlike Hillsong, ARC operates mainly behind the scenes, funding church plants and training pastors to “launch large.” To find an ARC church, one needs to use the ARC church findertool on ARC’s website because most churches don’t announce their affiliation.
So, it would be easy to miss how closely aligned these two organizations have been over the past two decades—and how this alignment has enriched the leaders of both organizations.