Crossroads Christian Communications, premier sponsor for US conservative evangelical broadcasting convention

Are Canadian evangelicals paying for this?

nrb crossroads

The National Religious Broadcasters is an association of evangelical religious broadcasters in the US, formed in 1944 to, “…advance biblical truth, promote media excellence, and defend free speech.” The Association started a tv network in 2005 which reaches about 19 million homes in the United States.

Each year, the NRB trade show is held in Nashville. This year The Christian Post (founded by David Jang) is one of the premier sponsors along with Crossroads. The ad above is part of the NRB convention brochure.

Crossroads founder David Mainse, who was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome in 2012, is being given the NRB Individual Achievement Award. I suspect the timing of the award was due to the gravity of his medical condition. Mainse was given about 2 years to live, and he recently said that he believed that he is being healed, “I believe the Lord is healing me, with the co-operation of the medical profession, from MDS acute leukaemia.”

It’s time for my personal testimony of healing! Just last week the cancer specialist, oncologist/hematologist, who had originally diagnosed my MDS acute leukemia said, “Remarkable” and “Jaw dropping!” My latest blood tests showed unusual improvement. One of the tests showed everything in the normal range! From what looked to me in the mirror like a rack of bones last August, I have gained 30 pounds and even my grandsons were impressed to feel grandpa’s muscle. “Remarkable” is the right word. Thanks everyone for your prayers!!! Also, as Isaiah prescribed a human remedy to Hezekiah’s illness (a “poultice” – 38:21), my Doctors (three different ones) prescribed oral medicines, healthy foods, as well as injections, etc. etc. I’m thankful for human knowledge and skill. A bone marrow test was just done at the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton, and I won’t have the report for several days yet. I believe that I may be like Hezekiah and have “15 more years.”

Crossroads Television System (CTS), the Canadian channel of Crossroads Christian Communications Inc., is a member of the NRB.

Crossroads, a Canadian charity, has also had USA charity status since 1978, with the purpose, (according to its latest  form 990) “To propagate by all means and avenues throughout the united states and the world the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and in particular through the purchase of television time.” It’s difficult to ascertain Crossroads current US financial status.

I doubt being a premier sponsor of the NRB convention comes cheap. There doesn’t appear to be much movement from the distribution end with Tricord media. The Crossroads push into the US makes for strange bedfellows.

Controversial former Kansas pastor Jerry Johnston, a host on the flagship program 100 Huntley Street and the Executive Director of Crossroads USA, openly brags about his friendship with members of the secretive Council for National Policy. Johnston tends to be a name-dropper, using his twitter account to post pics with all his ‘friends’;  from US CEO’s to mega-church pastors and entertainers. He has a website not directly connected to his current Canadian employer.  He had posted on twitter last summer that Crossroads would be bringing a show into a hundred US markets in the fall of 2013.

Crossroads US

 

That doesn’t appear to have happened. With an American host on 100 Huntley Street and the hiring of an American CEO, Crossroads is signalling to its Canadian donors that it’s a mere matter of time before the focus shifts south. Most of the guests on the downsized flagship show, 100 Huntley Street are from the US, as is a lot of the programming on CTS.

Crossroads hasn’t been controversy free the past few years, with the finding by the Ontario Securities commission that Ron and Reynold Mainse were finders in a multi million dollar cross border ponzi scheme. Ron Mainse paid up and was re-instated to Crossroads, Reynold Mainse briefly lost his ordination, and despite this report from the OSC about being fully delinquent in paying substantial fines for his involvement with Axcess Automation/Axcess Funds, David Mainse noted that Reynold was again licensed as a minister in Ontario. He and the OSC have agreed on a long term payment schedule. Given what Mainse owes, it will be very long term. After being kicked off 100 Huntley Street, he started a photography company, and it appears he is working for Crossroads.  David Mainse: “In the photo below, my son David Reynold, an ordained Minister and our professional photographer…”  It was an odd statement to make, given that few Crossroads fans would care.  Axcess Automation/Funds founder Gordon Driver, a former Crossroads employer, is scheduled to go on trial in the US today. A push into the US market could be lucrative, even though that market is saturated. The evangelical consumer appetite in the US is more ravenous than in Canada.

Prime Minister Steven Harpers recent trip to Israel got attention when it came to light that an unusual number of evangelicals went along for the ride. One was the chairman of the board of Crossroads, Don Simmonds.

There is no border in broadcasting, television is a rapidly changing medium and religious broadcasting in Canada even more so, but I wonder if aging Canadian Crossroads fans are paying for Crossroads expansion into the US market, and given what they’ve seen going on with Crossroads the past few years, would they want to?

Update: Crossroads announced it is launching a ’100 Huntley US show’, Eric Metaxas is one of the hosts, the other is tv actress April Hernandez. The show debuts March 9th.

Canadians following 100 Huntley on FB appeared to be decidedly underwhelmed at the opportunity to see the two US hosts at a free meet and greet at the Burlington studios. The audience was sparse. (:18)

meet and greet US 100 Huntley hosts

The audience for the US taping was sparse. (:18)

Official site 100 Huntley Street US

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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32 Responses to Crossroads Christian Communications, premier sponsor for US conservative evangelical broadcasting convention

  1. Liam says:

    Good article.
    It provokes some interesting issues / concerns about the ‘future’ of these organizations. Historically, they’ve leveraged mass media, especially TV, to build audience size and donations. What will happen to these organizations in the age of file sharing, digital downloads and Netflix, where channels no longer exist?
    The hope is that they will ultimately self-implode, but you can bet your booties that they’re probably behind lobbying related to things like greater restrictions on Internet use or content requirements related to regular broadcasting.
    Let’s think about it for a second: most broadcasters / networks typically show endless preaching on Sundays, largely at the cost of Canadian cable subscribers without the option of opting out of these networks.
    As media evolves and slowly cuts out this kind of crap, it becomes obvious that their days are numbered. Could the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse be coming for the prime-time preachers?

  2. fjc says:

    Cannot blame this. It is just business. They are going where the real money is-south of the border.

    Pat Robertson quickly became a multi millionaire with his network. These folks are salivating at the opportunity to do the same with Crossroads.

    Don’t be fooled. This has absolutely nothing to do with faith and absolutely everything to do with financial gain.

  3. Bene Diction says:

    You nailed it fjc – it is just business. I don’t know how Crossroads can sustain the Burlington behemoth, the loss of viewers as the older generation dies out, the building of an internet platform etc.

  4. Mark Byron says:

    Adapting to a post-broadcast universe will be critical for the survival of a lot of TV-based ministries. The radio-based ones will continue to do OK, but as more and more folks go without cable TV, getting their shows and networks slots to be seen become less important and getting their message onto a Internet-friendly format becomes more important.

    If they continue to get enough donors, the content will keep coming. If the donors dry up, so will the content, at least on a large-scale professional level. In the meantime, the Mainses have to keep knocking on the door of the local stations and national cable networks to keep 100HS and their other stuff getting eyeballs and thus donors.

  5. fjc says:

    Perhaps Reynold will have to go back working as a Finder for Ponzi schemes if the photography business does not pan out.

    He would do well where I live….lots of gullible folks with money who would fall for a handsome face, a few ‘praise the lords’, and a prayer or two.

  6. Missing Facts says:

    fjc you take a cheap shot at Reynold without knowing the facts. If you were to read the OSC transcript you would find out there was a third criminal element that caused the situation with Crossroads and Gordon Driver. According to the transcript, Reynold was never aware of that.

  7. BD says:

    Missing Facts:

    We know Reynold was warned – if you read the OSC statement on Ron Mainse, he acknowledges he was warned. Are we to believe he didn’t share that with his brother and cousin? I know that someone else warned Reynold also, but that person will never publicly come forward…and me saying that is meaningless without this person going public. There could well be others I don’t know about.

    Don’t forget Clearnet either…

  8. BD says:

    17 “In late October 2008, Ronald learned from Rutledge that he had consulted a lawyer who suggested that the Axcess Automation Investment may be “offside” certain securities laws. In particular, the lawyer expressed concerns with certain commission payments being made by Driver to Ronald and Rutledge which they had been told were being made from Driver’s own share of the profits being earned in the Axcess Automation Investment.” Page 4

    17…”Ronald nevertheless advised that as a consequence of the advice received
    from the lawyer, he no longer wanted to receive any further commission payments, and that any subsequent payments would be received as returns on his investment. Ronald received an additional USD 30,000.00 after October 2008, which he thought was a return on his investment.” Page 5

    From: Settlement Agreement between staff of the Ontario Securities Commission and Ronald Mainse http://web30.osc.gov.on.ca/documents/en/Proceedings-SET/set_20100804_mainser.pdf

  9. fjc says:

    Sorry but I have a very dim view of individuals who draw friends and supporters into an investment scheme WITHOUT telling those same people that he is getting five percent of every dollar they invest as commission.

    To my way of thinking, that speaks volumes about intent and integrity. It is called disclosure.

  10. Missing Facts says:

    There is a OSC transcript with testimony from a third party admitting to extortion and blackmail of Gordon Driver. Clearly, Reynold and any of the other people associated with Crossroads were unaware of. The OSC was aware of the third party and did nothing. That third party group has around 2.5 million dollars in Panama.

  11. fjc says:

    My comments did not concern the third party. They were about the intent and integrity of someone who sells investments to friends and associates without disclosing that he is getting a five percent commission.

    I saw that sappy and very misleading interview where there was an attempt to deny any knowledge of commissions. Instead, the commission payments were referred to as ‘sharing in God’s blessings.’ Oddly enough, ‘God’s blessings’ apparently worked out to exactly five percent each and every time.

    IMHO, at the end of the day, this is an integrity issue.

  12. Bene D says:

    Missing Facts:

    Are you referring to Steven Taylor?
    As far as I know I’ve read all the docs – would you fire me the link?
    Driver has made all kinds of claims, (read the CFTC info and the Hamilton Spec).

    That has nothing to do with the Mainse brothers and their cousin, the bottom line is that this is about 45 people who trusted Ronald Mainse and David Rutledge – 2 million dollars worth of trust, that returned about 747 thousand. This is about 23 friends and family who trusted Reynold Mainse with over 4 million with a return of 1/2. Both Mainse brothers were well rewarded as finders.

    68 people
    6 million of their money
    their trust

    I agree with fjc, this was, is and remains, an integrity issue.

  13. Missing Facts says:

    The Mainse brothers trusted Gordon Driver who was being extorted. The integrity was broken with the extortion. The transcript was April 20, 2011 at the OSC, you can get a copy from them. It contains the testimony of the extorter. Steven Taylor never gave his testimony. The OSC collected settlement agreements from the Mainse brothers, but never went after the almost 2.5 million dollars taken by extortion and deposited in Panama. It fits your agenda better to go after Crossroads. Shouldn’t you be looking at the integrity of the OSC?

  14. fjc says:

    The OSC did collect from the Mainse’s.

    They were given a choice. Keep the commissions and be charged with selling securities without a license (and in all likelihood convicted)
    OR

    Pay back the commissions into a pot to help reimburse the victims of this crime.

  15. Missing Facts says:

    The OSC didn’t reimburse the victims anything. Don’t you think the victims should be entitled to the 2.5 million in Panama as well? The extorter was never charged and kept his money.

  16. fjc says:

    My comments concerned the integrity of those involved in selling and promoting this scam. Otherwise know as the finders.

    Please do not confuse this basic issue of integrity with what the OSC is, has, or is not doing.

    The actions of the OSC or others involved in the scam have absolutely no bearing, IMHO, on the integrity of those that actually promoted the scam, and received commissions for doing so WITHOUT declaring their obvious conflict of interest.

    They only serve as an avenue for some to direct the focus away from those who were at the pointy end of this scam….the people who convinced others to invest. I am certain others carry blame in this but that does not in any way excuse or diminish the behaviour of the finders.

  17. BD says:

    Missing Facts:

    According to the page 14 Reasons and Decision (OSC):

    [72] It was Driver’s submission that Taylor misappropriated $400,000 of investor
    funds and that he never received those funds from investors. He also submitted that
    Taylor and R.M., Taylor’s business partner and a witness called by Driver, threatened to go to law enforcement authorities unless he paid them a large sum of money.

    https://www.osc.gov.on.ca/documents/en/Proceedings-RAD/rad_20120927_axcess.pdf

    Are we to believe that Driver was being extorted by more than one person and that the SEC, CFTC and OSC investigators couldn’t track these extortionist down, or find money sitting in Panama?

    If Driver or Taylor were extorted, the fact the Mainse Brothers and David Rutledge were finders, received money for being finders doesn’t change one bit.

    ““Reynold Mainse received commissions directly, and through WCC, of about CAD 210,219.50” p. 16

    [127] From July 2007 to the end of 2008, Reynold acted as a point person between
    Driver and investors who were identified by Reynold at the hearing as being his family
    and friends. The Reynold Group, comprised of 23 people, invested a total of
    US$4,131,400.96 p. 26

    [133] The Rutledge-Ronald Group was comprised of 45 investors who invested a total
    of US$2,051,199.39 and subsequently received payments from Driver totaling
    US$746,507. p. 27

    How can the OSC reimburse investors when Rutledge, Reynold Mainse, Taylor and Driver owe or owe in full?

    The Mainse Brothers and Rutledge acted contrary to the public interest, that is not in dispute and is a matter of public record.

  18. fjc says:

    What is next?

    Par for this course might be to blame the ‘investors’ for everything and position Mainse’s and Rutledge as the victims.

  19. Missing Facts says:

    BD didn’t bother looking for the transcript from April 20, 2011. Why is the name of Steve Taylor’s business partner, R.M. redacted? R.M.’s extortion testimony is on the transcript of April 20th. Based on evidence the OSC presented, R.M. received $600,000 in payments for a $60,000 investment. Emails from R.M. show him demanding millions to be wired to an account, that was not his and based in Panama, or going to the authorities. R.M. admitted that he just made up the numbers without justification. His last email demanded 7.5 million. He admitted to all of the elements of extortion according to Canadian law. R.M. received $600,000 in gains that should have been recovered by the OSC. So the question is why didn’t the OSC go after R.M. and recover the $600,000 but went after Steven Taylor and the Crossroads group? There is more.

  20. fjc says:

    Follow the money. I did not read anywhere that Mainse’s had any indecision about cashing the commission cheques (well perhaps not until after their lawyer gave them chapter and verse).

    This is not about the others. They are dirty-no issue about that. This is about the Mainse’s and as BD mentioned, their actions were clearly not in the public interest. That is why they appeared before the OSC, and were found to have violated the states. Not to mention violating the trust of family and friends who the funnelled into the program.

    But it is even more about all of those people who were lied to and cheated out of their life savings. Their lives will never be the same-financially or probably spiritually. This is where our sympathies should be directed, NOT at those played a part in this disaster.

  21. Missing Facts says:

    fjc The whole point is helping the victims, not pushing a personal agenda of taking shots. There is much more money to be recovered. The OSC has informed one investor that they don’t plan to reimburse.

  22. fjc says:

    Helping victims does not mean that you have to excuse away those who played an active part in the scam and paint them as innocents or even victims.

    People need to be aware that these scams happen and often the people we least expect to be involved and the people we trust are the people behind the scam or assist in facilitating the scam. It is hard to reimburse victims when the money has gone. We have lots of this going on where I live. Lots of trusting souls have been left penniless and in personal bankruptcy. Same story….some are excusing the perpetrators as victims.

  23. Missing Facts says:

    Your personal agenda is only self serving. Doesn’t help the victims.

  24. fjc says:

    Nor yours.

  25. Bene D says:

    Missing Facts:

    How can the OSC reimburse victims if there is no money?

    Reynold Mainse hasn’t paid up, David Rutledge has cancer, and probably won’t finish paying up, Steven Taylor currently owes in full according to the OSC and I don’t see how the OSC will get a cent out of Driver.

    Perhaps I’m too cynical here, but I don’t believe the victims will never be helped. They don’t strike me as the type to sue, speak up, get counselling if needed, or perhaps even help others; the shame of being conned is a powerful thing. Affinity fraud is a crime of opportunity and the shared characteristics of the closed group around Crossroads makes prosecution difficult. (The Hibbert case in TO last year comes to mind)

    You are correct, I haven’t read the transcript and I wondered if you were referring to R.M. If this alleged extortion took place why isn’t there a criminal investigation?

  26. Missing Facts says:

    BD: Good question why isn’t there a criminal investigation of R.M.? Why didn’t the OSC charge him? Why is he keeping $600,000.? An investigation starts with a complaint.

  27. Julian says:

    As a former Crossroads employee I know I can comment on Crossroads issues regarding its leadership problems and corrupt business practices. I have contributed comments on several threads in the last few years here on bendictionblog in regards to the very underhanded and corrupt practices of certain higher level managers at Crossroads along with major negligence and evasion of taking responsibility by David Mainse as well.
    Putting aside the ponzi scam with the Mainse sons and Gordon Driver there is more than enough inner corruption at Crossroads that I and other former and current employees were witness to.
    Extreme nepotism was utilized in years past and family members that were employed were definitely NOT qualified to be in the broadcasting business. As an additional “slap in the face” these non qualified or poorly credentialed hired people would get paid more than qualified broadcasting professionals who were hired when CTS – TV went to air in 1998, well this smelled of direct corrupt business practices. This is just not mishandling of business as some softies would describe it but it is and was an outright breach of Crossroads written policy. Crossroads written policies were purely and are just window dressing to say the least.

    There were direct threats from those in authority to try to shut up and silence employees that identified behind closed doors abuses against employees. When I was still with Crossroads I even received a written memo to keep my mouth shut up about significant injustices and outright corruption that was occurring in several departments within the Crossroads organization.

    I know of one former Crossroads employee/contractor that was nearly killed and suffered significant major trauma to his body and the long story in a short format is that he and his family ensued the matter with lawyers since Crossroads refused to rectify it in a proper manner. Eventually there was a major out of court settlement where as to avoid public scrutiny. The former employee along with his family were treated like “dirt” by the Crossroads organization during the whole process. To this day this former employee/contractor will never physically be the same again and is emotionally scarred along with his parents that use to work and or volunteer for Crossroads. This is just one true story along with others that are too numerous to mention.
    Actual events of significant financial mismanagement of ministry resources which was and is ultimately public money is another matter too!

    In my personal experience when I worked for Crossroads, the very first week after I started working for Crossroads, conditions to my employment were seriously breached by Crossroads management. After moving a considerable distance from western Canada to settle for a position and conditions set to that employment that were not fully honored threw me into a high level of mistrust of the organization. Matters were eventually escalating as other employees were being lied to and mistreated month by month, year by year. A situation occurred where I was involved in a tragic event that literally threatened my personal safety, health and well being that consequently lead to my physician giving me a stern directive to get out of Crossroads employment for the sake of my personal safety and well being. A person that worked at Crossroads by the name of Andy R. was eventually fired over this event but then surprisingly brought back to do contract work was appalling to say the least. This man should of never been hired by Crossroads in the first place, since he was not qualified to do the job that he was initially hired to do and the only reason that he was hired was through severe nepotism factors, he has a wife that has worked for Crossroads for many years that is fiercely faithful to David Mainse. This Andy R. has been protected by the powers that be at Crossroads for many years and to the best of my knowledge he still maybe working in some form or capacity at Crossroads. He is someone that is a liability for Crossroads and yet in Crossroads twisted logic they have protected him time and time again. Nepotism at its worst! I started working in the broadcasting business almost 30 years ago and also worked in and with secular broadcasters and never seen anything like it. A place like Crossroads you would think is a safe place to work but it was not as I and others can easily testify to. Yet there are former and current employees that have turned their heads away and deny that such abuse and breaches that occur or have occurred throughout the years at Crossroads.
    David Mainse is fully aware of many breaches and malfeasance within the Crossroads organization throughout the years and has been directly confronted or through correspondence asked and requested to rectify matters but he would essentially deny and slough off or disrespectfully disregard people. David Mainse knows how past scandals in other ministry organizations have brought the leaders and the their organizations down to ill repute so Crossroads at all costs (example: threatening or paying people off to keep quiet) must try to hold up a clean image that actually really truly is so very tainted and corrupted from within.

    So in closing David Mainse receiving an award from the NRB is an affront to the many former employees and families that have been harmed in so many ways throughout the years. Oh, and not to mention the financial donors that have contributed to the Crossroads organization that do not get full public transparency from Crossroads and its hierarchy. I believe David started the Crossroads ministry and organization with good intent and integrity but as the organization grew and expanded, Crossroads lost its integrity and David Mainse definitely developed a seared conscious as the years transpired. NRB should rescind the offer that they awarded to David Mainse. As I have stated before in writings and personal statements to individuals, David PLEASE come clean and right the wrongs at Crossroads!!

  28. fjc says:

    Nepotism is very common in family businesses or family run businesses.

    I read a number of the trustee reports on the Crystal Cathedral bankruptcy. They made an art out of nepotism….which contributed to the downfall. Or, take a look at John Hagee’s multi mansion family spread in Texas. It happens in all organizations but most often where reasonable financial accountability is not present. They will probably make the Crossroads nepotism appear slight.

  29. ronmac says:

    I’m beginning to think there’s more of the Holy Spirit to be found in a crack house than in this snake pit known as Crossroads.

  30. BD says:

    Very little noise about 100 Huntley US, even on the trade sites.

    (@100HuntleyUS)

    http://tinyurl.com/nlmrnau

    A 6 am Sunday morning slot…

  31. fjc says:

    All in the Family did not have a great time slot when it first aired. And it almost got cancelled.

    I suspect this one may bomb. I won’t be able to watch it. I have to wash my hair.

  32. fjc says:

    100 Huntley Street, among other things, was a vehicle to provide employment to the extended Mainse family and their friends.

    One has to wonder if this employment, contracts, gravy train, what have you, will continue under the new management.

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