Texas mega-church minister asks members for bank account routing numbers

An SBC mega-church televangelist from Texas named Ed Young Jr. asked members of his church for their bank account and routing numbers so 10 percent (tithe) could be automatically withdrawn from their bank accounts.

Ed Young Goes After Access to Bank Accounts of Church Members from FBCJax Watchdog on Vimeo.

Young has been the focus of a media investigation this past year for his lavish lifestyle. He has a million dollar condo in Florida, a 10 thousand square foot mansion in Dallas, a private plane he leases for ‘ministry trips’, a parsonage payment of over a 1/4 million dollars a year. Some of his assets are listed at The Museum of Idolatry. Young is a health and wealth teacher. Attendence at his Fellowship Church has dropped off about 50% since WFAA aired it’s report.

This is a level of insanity I’ve never seen before in a denominational church and tops any of the greedy behavior we’ve come to expect from prosperity teachers. To their credit, many members walked out when Young demanded access to their accounts. This kind of guilt/tithe coercing is bad for a church and bad for it’s people.
No religious leader should ever be given that level of control over your life, nor would any healthy leader ask.
What would happen if the people sitting in the pews with those blue envelopes asked Young for his account and routing number to monitor his 10%?
What would happen if people in the pews at Young’s church asked for an accounting?

About Bene Diction

Have courage for the great sorrows, And patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
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37 Responses to Texas mega-church minister asks members for bank account routing numbers

  1. Jackie V says:

    I just watched this video clip and felt like throwing up !!!!!!!! It makes me LIVED that a preacher of the Gospel (make that wolf if sheep’s clothing), would have such audacity.

    This is yet another reason why I have turned off ALL Christian programming (the way I got saved was by watching tv evangelists but over the years, they have become so gluttonous with money, ego, hypocrisy, sex scandels, that I’ve had to turn them all off as I could no longer in good conscience sit and listen to them week after week, especially knowing what lavish lifestyles they were/are living, while their church members skipped meals to pay the rent and tithe).

    Instead, I listen to archived sermons from the late Pastor David J. Meyer of Beaver Dam Wisconsin on the Net (he never charged one penny for any of his tapes, CD’s, DVD’s or newsletters) who was one of the RARE preachers that were not obsessed with money.

    This video clip about modern day preachers being obsessed/possessed with the love of $$$$$$$$$$ supports the comments I made yesteday on the ”One, two, many Lakelands” threadline.

    Same thing applies here and in some ways, this guy is even worse than Todd Bentley (if that’s even possible) because of his boldness for demanding that his congregants fork over their personal banking information to him so their 10 % tithe could be automatically debited from their accounts. Bentley just kicks people in the head but this guy kicks you in your pocket book. He should be carted off stage to the nearest prison and made to share a cell with Bernie Madoff.

    He’s no different that a regular scam artist though in many ways worse because he’s using God’s name to intimidate people into giving, whereas at least a regualar heathen crook has the decency to at least leave God out of the picture.

  2. Cate says:

    Whatever happened to “never let your right hand see what your left hand is doing?” This guy is threatening them with CAMERAS. Why are these people not walking out of that church?!?!?! It’s GOT to be witchcraft!!!!!

  3. mirele says:

    I’m sorry, I work for a financial institution and this just sends up alarm bells all over the place, no matter what you think about tithing. Identity theft, anyone? I don’t know what kind of measures Ed Young Jr. and the Fellowship Church have in place to ensure that their members’ accounts aren’t just scooped up and tapped by fraudsters. This is not like giving your bank account and routing number to your insurance company–they have policies and procedures in place for handling that information. If I were a betting woman, I’d bet money that there’s nothing like that in place for the information Ed Young is collecting from the members.

    RUN AWAY!

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  5. AtheistAtBirth says:

    Read the sad parts of this post.

    “Attendence at his Fellowship Church has dropped off about 50% since WFAA aired it’s report.”

    “To their credit, many members walked out when Young demanded access to their accounts. ”

    Unbelievably – some of his flock actually remained with him!

  6. Susan says:

    Where are the messengers appointed by God? Those who preach repentance, live a lifestyle of uncompromising dedication. The brave ones who confront those unfaithful to God’s word.

    Ed Young, asking for God’s sheep to invest in his ministry? He will handle the account numbers on behalf of God? Where is the simple message of doing God’s will, of a lifetime investment and the returns for standing for God’s truths?

    “I tell you the truth, of all who ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!”(Matthew 11:11).

  7. Watching this, Young reminds me of Robert Tilton. Nothing but not-so-disguised contempt for the audience, he clearly thinks they’re just there to give him money. The disturbing thing is, watching all those people sitting there, not getting up and leaving, as if what he’s doing is completely normal and ethical. It’s not.

    Possibly relevant fact: Ed Young Jr. is a second-generation church head, his father, Ed Young Sr., heads Second Baptist Church in Houston. Some might think he’d know better, but clearly with the stagnant economy he’s under pressure to make those payments on the jet, the house, the condo, who knows what else.

    Fellowship Church, out by the freeway in the outer ‘burbs of Dallas, surrounded by acres of parking lots just like Disneyland, is a product of suburban sprawl and cheap fuel – how many hours are some people driving to sit in that audience? When all that is no longer economically feasible, churches like this will fold or resort to desperate but counterproductive measures like this one.

  8. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Is this the same Grinning Ed Young as that “Seven Day Sex Challenge” a couple years ago.

    There is only one appropriate link.

  9. Bene Diction says:

    Headless Unicorn Guy:

    The one and only.
    I remember seeing his Seven Day Sex Challenge in the NY Times.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/24/us/24sex.html

  10. Bene Diction says:

    mirele:

    I have to ask: Where are his deacons? There have to be people at his church who work in the financial industry who share your concerns. I can’t see anyone in IT or fianances condoning this action. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. I can’t see how any church is equipped to ensure there won’t be breaches and violations.

  11. Ron MacGillivray says:

    I get these kinds of requests all the time from Nigerian scam artists.

  12. pjr says:

    Wow. I have never seen anything this brazen…in harkens back to the days of indulgances in the Catholtic church which brought about the protestant reformation…
    Is there another Martin Luther waiting in the wings?

  13. Bene D says:

    This guy: http://www.davemartin.org/ Dave Martin was banned by The Miracle Channel (nicknamed Canada’s TBN) and is back on their fundraisers now that Leon Fontaine (Winnipeg Springs Church) is the CEO.

    Look at who endorses Dr. Dave at the top of the site.

  14. Jackie V says:

    I once attended a church where the pastor read the personal tithe amounts of each church member to the rest of the congregation, which allowed everyone in the audience to know exactly who was and wasn’t tithing but also how much money they each made, since they were tithing 10 % of their incomes–do the math. (That’s supposed to be PRIVATE information !!!)

    The bottom line is that when you contribute large sums of money to a church, you will be shown special favour by the pastor, deacons and elders, which is why, if you’re going to tithe or donate at all, in any capacity, it should be done anonymously (place CASH in the envelope and where it asks for name, put ”Anonymous”), which proves to God that your motive for giving is pure, with no ulterior motives whatsoever.

    If any church puts pressure on you to give money though, such as Ed Young’s brazen attempt, I would personally walk out. If I chose to donate, that’s between God and myself and not because a pastor intimidated or coerced me. In fact, the more they would pressure me, the less likely I would be to donate.

  15. Adam Josh says:

    My first reaction is disgust.

    My second is empathy, for the well-meaning people being deceived, for the little old lady’s and struggling youth, for the people who genuinely are there in this guys building searching for their Creator.

    How long will this go on for? How long?

  16. ron says:

    Amen Adam,

  17. Michael says:

    Drink the Kool-Aid!

  18. Gizelle says:

    ….He did speak the truth…the Lord…does not need your money…………
    He does…………………I am a christian….and we wonder just why some people are turned off by church….its how the church is being run that turns then off….Please note there are many good churches that do not preach “give to get messages”…yes, we should give to support our ministers….but….have noticed that we are seeing more and more…. those trying to lock you in …..so you will be blessed….The Lord loves you,,,and wants you to give…..but…..this method….has gotten way out of hand…and with Identity theft a problem…..another reason….this is not acceptable….Really used to enjoy his messages…now…don’t know if I will ever want to listen to anything he has to say…..So sorry he did this….he was once such a great minister…what happened?

  19. Jackie V says:

    What happened? The love of money crept in and destroyed his credibility as a preacher. He got a taste of the high life (private planes, mansions, luxury cars, etc) by convincing himself that he can have his cake and eat it too to justify his gluttonous lifestyle, despite the fact that Christ taught the EXACT OPPOSITE and was in effect homeless.

    I’m not against donating or tithing to a ministry but please be discerning with who you give your money to because if you sow into a false prophetic ministry (like the word of faith prosperity gospel), it’s like pouring money down the drain and don’t think that God will bless you inspite of it either because ignorance is not an excuse and neither can you buy God off with money for financial blessings and miracles.

    Where is Scripture does it say that Jesus would only perform a miracle IF you gave him money first or would only bless your bank account IF you sowed into a particular ministry first ?

    You have a Bible and could have matched what it said against the message being preached at your church, instead of being led into a ditch by a smoothe talking huckster, with a spiritual blindfold over your eyes.

    True Christianity is LOVE IN ACTION. Talk is cheap but actions speak louder than words. Instead of giving money to these charlatans, I’d rather give to a homeless shelter or food bank in my local area or do an anonymous good deed that only God knows about, than blindly forking over thousands of dollars to someone already living like royalty to appease my own conscience.

    Perhaps you could write Ed Young Jr a letter and explain that you’d be willing to tithe to his church when he sells all that he has and gives it to the poor. Until then, you are keeping your bank account information to yourself.

  20. Teresa says:

    Jackie V………I share your feeling of wanting to throw up. I can not stomache this guy much less give him my banking account number……….. Talk about running for your life, I did…………………………By God’s grace.

  21. Gizelle says:

    I hope… that I am the one that has misunderstood the direction of your outrage…. I am not a member of Ed Young’s church….never have been…nor ever would be a member….If this was your impression…you certainly got that one wrong…My end of my post…saying…”what happened”….was my way of being…. sarcastic…and started off…my post as…(He is telling the truth…The Lord…does not need your money)…those were Ed Young’s words…if you listened to the video…I was being sarcastic once again…saying…”He does”….”He”…meaning Ed Young…..And saying that I may not listen to him again…was by way of the TV….as I have watched other ministers via the TV…and I can honestly….say…some of his past messages…were scriptural…..I have never gone to his church…nor ever been a member…..So…if you are…”throwing stones” …make sure you aim at the correct person….

  22. Gizelle says:

    The above post was directed to: Jackie V….and Jackie…may I add…I have studied the Bible for the past 14 years….not a scholar…but…always a student…learning…and I do not believe in tithing…Giving…when you feel…to freely give….yes,,,but,,,not tithing. The Old Testament tithing vs the New Testament tithing…is highly misunderstood….If you study the Bible…you will find the Law of the tithe was given exclusively to the Jewish people…the only ones commanded to pay tithes…Lev.27:30-32, and see Num.18:21-24. Its plain to see from these scriptures that tithing was distinctly a Jewish practice and command. The Jews were to take one-tenth of all their corn, oil, barley, wine, cattle, and one-tenth of all their flocks and bring these things to the storehouse of the adjoining temple…..The tithe…was really the Jew’s income tax…. and no where in the Bible are we told that the church is the storehouse……We have only three places recorded where the Lord Jesus…ever mentioned tithing…Matt. 23:23, Luke 11:42, and Luke 18:9-12…..In each instance He was speaking to the unbelieving Pharisees….which were under the Law…and the Law commanded it….To go into all of this…would take me much longer than anyone has the time to read…so I will stop here….Christian giving is a personal matter, it should be voluntary, and proportinate, as Paul said “as God hath prospered him.”…It should be spirit directed and must be done willingly, and cheerfully….And God will guide and direct you…not some minister who wants to fleece the flock for his own personal gain…and yes,,,,there are many who use God,,,as their money-making business….But,,,for all those that see through these,,,and Ed Young…has now crossed that line in my eyes….do not put your faith in people….keep your faith in God…and study,,,and study,,,and gather your own information and use the good brain that the Lord blessed you with,,,and pray you have wisdom and discernment to know the difference between someone who really loves the Lord, and people…and the difference between someone that uses the Lord for their own personal gain….And I will not, support someone that I believe has this agenda… or later becomes this way…Sorry to say,,,some start off with the right intentions…and get caught up in the money….But..remember…not one of us…can fool an all-knowing God….and it is He, and He alone….that knows a man’s true heart. And,,,please make sure…you really read someone’s post…before you assume something…that is not there….This is what gets one in trouble about writing….you cannot hear the tone or inflection of their voice…So…Jackie V…if, your post was directed at me….I forgive you…for making a big
    mistake….and if, I have misunderstood you…I ask you to forgive me….

  23. Jackie V says:

    Dear Gizelle

    Please chill out ! I was NEVER angry at you, nor was I casting stones in your direction. I’m angry at Ed Young, not anyone on this threadline.

    However you DID say in your post of Nov. 9th, that ”I really used to enjoy his messages but now don’t know if I will ever listen to him again. Sorry he did this because he was such a great minister.” (I’m paraphrasing at times to make the sentences read easier but that is the jist of what you said.)

    You strongly implied that you were once a follower of Ed Young’s but even if you were, I would not hold it against you because there are many well meaning people in these prosperity word of faith churches and it’s not until a scandel occurs that their eyes suddenly become opened to the truth

    (sadly even then, many continue to follow them—such as with Benny Hinn, who has been exposed for being a false prophet and charlatan REPEATEDLY on credible news shows like CNN, Dateline and The 5th Estate, yet multitudes keep flocking to his crusades in search of miracles that never transpire and forking over their hard earned money in search of the ”100 fold blessing’ that never seems to arrive).

    I do have one small critique about your writing style though. Please structure your posts into proper paragraphs instead of lopping them togther into one gigantic block with……………followed by …………..followed by……………..between each sentence, as I found this both distracting and hard on my eyes, yet I was interested in the things you had to say and thought you raised some good points at times.

    As for tithing, I’m still debating the subject. It’s definitely a personal matter between the individual Christian and God as the Holy Spirit directs. I’m also fully aware of the Scriptures you pointed out so they didn’t hit me like a revelation, as though I’d never heard them before.

    I do know that if you tithe to a church, the pastor, elders, deacons and church secretary all know how much you’re giving (unless you’re doing so anonymously via cash or money order) and if it’s above and beyond everyone else, you are shown special favouritsm, which is very wrong because Jesus was no respector of persons, so whether you donated nothing or a billion dollars, everyone is to be treated with the same amount of dignity and respect. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be happening in most churches where the rich are definitely given priority over the poor.

  24. Marina says:

    This is for y’all.

    http://tinyurl.com/2f9jrbq

    Will the true church please step forward?

  25. Gizelle says:

    Dear Jackie,
    First let me say to you…glad you read my post….and I am quite new at writing on the computer…and on pain medication from my surgery, and not as clear headed as I usually am. Last night was a much better night for me. If you reread your post, look at what you have written…Part of your post… does appears to be directed at me…and I will paraphrase as well….”I am not against donating or tithing to a minister, but please be discerning to who… you… give your money to” this is in your second paragraph…
    Next statement made by you…please refer to your paragraph number four…”You have a Bible and could have matched it…(paraphrasing)…instead of being led into the ditch by a smooth talking huskster ….You….. once again, were… not…referring to Ed Young….leading himself into a ditch…and you assumed…. I have a Bible. What if I didn’t have a Bible? Jackie, if you read your post, you will quite clearly see, though I agree totally with you have said about this man’s ministry…you…referred to me when these particulars posts were written by you.
    Your response, dated Nov. 10, 2010….is pointing out that my Nov. 9th post…in your own words here states: ( You strongly implied that you were once a follower of Ed Young)….I will once again say….you…are assuming too much. I said he was once a great minister…and he was…Nothing that I have ever heard him preach was not, in my opinion, out of line with the Bible. Now,,,how often do I listen to him….not on a regular basis. But, when I did, he taught his lessons scriptually. Don’t care for his style of the theactrical….but….the few times I did watch his program. The Word taught… was in fact…the Word. I just never have liked his style.
    So you see, Jackie, I have never been a follower of Ed Young, like you incorrectly insinuated, nor do I care for him. But, the Bible says His Word, meaning the Lord, never goes void…and…that means he could use a jackass to speak for Him. And He did once in the Bible. Unfortunately, today, there are a few “human jackasses” delivering His messages. You and I are not disagreeing on anything you have said about, Mr. Young….I am telling you…and I have pointed out with your own words …assumed…that I was one of his “sheep”….May I add…I am not a member of any church any longer because of the exact way that you are feeling towards Ed Young. I give to people directly rather than the church now. Though, there are churches out there that still follow the Lord, and their ministry is geared to the people and not their personal gain. At this point, am not attending a church until I really find someone who lives by the Word that he is teaching from. Though, I will never agree one hundred percent with anyone…nor will you…It is up to the person searching for a “shepherd” as to whom they decide “feeds” them. This is why, I remain gathering up my own information from several teachers of the Word, read constantly, and use my own brain to determine what I believe the Word does say. As should we all….the Bible states we are to be fruit inspectors….and that is what you and I are doing at this minute.
    The part of your post that was directed at me,
    I tried to give you a “way out of it” by ending my post as I did…stating that… if I had misunderstood you, please forgive me. Though most of the body content of your post was about your unhappiness with Ed Young…. I disagreed with nothing you said about him…just didn’t appreciate your assumptions….about myself….that are totally incorrect. Whereby I felt your anger at Ed Young was taken out on me because you assumed I was one of his followers….Wrong!
    And your last paragraph….”Perhaps you could write Ed Young Jr. and explain that…you’d…be willing to tithe to his church when he sells all that he has and gives it to the poor. Until then,…you…are keeping your bank account information to yourself.
    Who was this one directed to?
    There is an old saying that comes to my mind and goes something like this: It is better to light a candle….than to curse the darkness. You and I agree this ministry has gotten way off course…and those that do know the Word…will not stay in this church. Nor any other church that goes in that direction. Focusing on what the church is doing wrong…is the point here…not what his followers are doing….Should they be mislead…that is their own fault for not reading the Bible for themselves…where they can see with their own eyes….just whom really is serving the Lord and whom isn’t. It is obvious to me…those responding to this video are as appalled as I am….You just misdirected your “eyes” on me for a bit…and got off course. The one at fault at this church… is the minister…that is trying to lead the people astray…and any minister who does this… will be accountable for that. And the Bible clearly states…more accountable…than those he misled.

  26. Bene D says:

    Gizelle, get well soon, we were all newbies once.
    You and Jackie may enjoy a couple of posts at The Wartburg Watch. One of the bloggers attended Ed Young’s church, the posts are theologically sound, informative and the comments are interesting. Young is their current topic. I’ll link you up to the latest post and you can work your way back.

  27. Jackie V says:

    Gizelle

    We both agree that what Ed Young did was brazen and improper. Case closed. Please stop trying to find offense where none was intended by digging up and rehashing things I said and then putting your own twist on it. Please stop rambling about how I insinuated this or that and just move on to the subject at hand, which is ED YOUNG.

    What’s pain medication for surgery got to do with ANYTHING on this threadline ? What’s it got to do with Ed Young wanting someone’s bank account information? Why announce that to the planet? It’s rather personal.

    After the first bit, I just skimmed over the rest of your post and then stopped as you were just rambling. It was just too much to plough through and again, written in such a way that is hard on my eyes (ie. one solid block, not divided into proper paragraph structure).

    When I said ”you could have matched what was preached against the Bible” that comment was NOT directed at YOU but at ANYONE who follows these prosperity preachers who happened to be reading this threadline.

    I do admit that sometimes when blogging, I forget that others are also reading and may internalize some of my comments but usually, I’m speaking in general terms and never intentially mean to hurt or offend anyone. You just happened to take it personally but no offence toward YOU was intended even if you had been a card carrying, tithing member of Ed Young’s church. End of story.

    As for Marina, if you’ve left the church completely, why are you even on here ? If I had become an athiest or agnostic, I wouldn’t waste my time reading what people had to say about a living God I didn’t even believe in. I would just move on and find a new way to occupy my time or visit news and politcal blogs only and skip anything that pertains to religion.

  28. Gizelle says:

    Jackie…
    Thank you so much for your kind response…What a wonderful, kind, and caring christian individual you must be…what is in the heart…always comes out of the mouth…
    +0

  29. Gizelle says:

    Bene,
    Your get well wishes are very much appreciated. Thank you so very much!

  30. Jackie V says:

    If you’ve just had an operation and are under the influence of medication, why aren’t you resting in bed? Chill out already. Game over. We’ve all pretty much voiced the same opinion about Ed Young. Case closed. I’m NOT going to trade insult for insult if that is what you’re seeking.

    By the way, if you are claiming to be saved (or are you ?), why are you being sarcastic ? I’ve already stated that I didn’t mean to offend you personally and am NOT going to repeat myself further. The end.

  31. Gizelle says:

    Jackie,
    I really don’t think you read…what you write…again…I will say…what is in the heart…comes out of the mouth…and your heart…is showing.

  32. Jackie V says:

    Why……..do…..you…….write……..like……..this ????? It……..is…….very…..distracting……

    Examine your OWN heart while you’re at it.

  33. Rob says:

    I agree with Gizelle… tithing is Biblical but its not Christian

  34. Marina says:

    The tithe was never meant to be money – always food. And only from inside Israel.

    http://tinyurl.com/2546zll

    (And yes, they did have money in those days.) The institution of the christian church devised its own agenda and that agenda required MONEY. So it picked ONE mosaic law, tithing, out of the bunch of mosaic laws (like circumcision) and kept the church under it’s bondage and a regular revenue stream into its coffers. Apparently putting christians under the shackles of a portion of the law was/is easier than relying on god’s provision.

    And Jackie, that’s why I contribute to sites like this. To bring my own knowledge and experience and hopefully get in-the-box thinkers (usually the religious) to look at things from a different perspective. If you cannot handle free speech and freedom of expression, try to arrange a refund from your internet service provider, stay away from libraries, don’t visit Canada, do get some counseling.

    And stop being so nasty.

  35. I absolutely shudder in discust how greedy these ignoramuses are with tithes that are designated to the storehouse (Local Fellowship) not the pastors pocket to live a lavious lifestyle on the people who may have financial needs in the congregation. What kind of a Christian witness is that to the world? How it must grieve the Holy Spirit when He sees all that is going on in the body of Christ today in the media ministries. We have the adacity to call the Mormon Church a major cult, but could learn an invaluable lession in humility from them as their president lives in a ordinary home in Salt Lake City. They give to the poor nations when there is a disaster and don’t make a big tadue about it. They do set a firm biblical Christ like example. Thank you.

  36. I absolutely shudder in discust how greedy these ignoramuses are with tithes that are designated to the storehouse (Local Fellowship) not the pastors pocket to live a lavious lifestyle on the people who may have financial needs in the congregation. What kind of a Christian witness is that to the world? How it must grieve the Holy Spirit when He sees all that is going on in the body of Christ today in the media ministries. We have the adacity to call the Mormon Church a major cult, but could learn an invaluable lession in humility from them as their president lives in a ordinary home in Salt Lake City. They give to the poor nations when there is a disaster and don’t make a big tadue about it. They do set a firm biblical Christ like example. Thank you.

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