Archive for April 29, 2010

Ed Young loves his jet as much as he loves the cash.

Your money at Fellowship is... leaving, on a jet plane...

Earlier this month, we spray painted all over the Wall the alarming tale of yet another megachurch pastor who can’t get enough of his private jet.

In fact, Ed Young enjoys the jet so much, he takes it to locals so novel for “evangelism” that he requires two floaties, suntan lotion and a rubber ducky. Case in point, the follow up story Dallas TV station WFAA-TV did on Ed Young that depicts a man who would rather get a lovely stamp on his passport than you know, do something for Jesus.

Ed Young — the pastor at Fellowship Church in Grapevine [Texas] —  may soon have to answer for the numerous trips by the leased church jet to resort locations.  It’s luxury air travel that costs tens of thousands of dollars per trip.

Tens of thousands?! Unless that dude is coming back to his church with countless tales of missiological exploits, something tells me folk tithe ain’t going to the building fund.And evidently, he’s feeling the heat from the first go-round:

While Young is not legally or professionally obligated to disclose anything to his congregants, he did respond to our report about his travel three days after our initial story aired in February. “This year I am flying commercially like a mad dog to places all over the world,” Young said. “I have also chartered planes.

“THIS YEAR”... as opposed to last year when he took his family to every island in the Bahamas via a church-paid-for jet?! I wonder how many of the church members get to ride that thing, seeing how they paid for it and everything.

Sorry? No one? Hrm.Yet, somehow, that jet is getting some mileage in the name of God:

Using dates, times and destinations dating back to March 2007 when the jet was acquired, we plotted the trips on a monthly calendar. The record shows the jet was used on 416 days in less than three years.

Among those trips were some well known missionary locations and evangelism hot beds, such as:

In addition to the trips to Miami, the church jet took Young on a five-day trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where — in addition to visiting a few area churches —  fishing was on the menu for him and his attorney, Dennis Brewer.

We asked the church for a list of its ministries. None was located in Cabo San Lucas. Add to that six trips by the church jet to the Bahamas, one to Anguilla, one to Belize, and one to England. Again, when asked for a list of foreign ministries, none of those countries was mentioned.

I missed the DVD series that discussed and regaled about the lost souls Ed Young went fishing… er, sorry? Wrong kind of fishing? Well, I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt.

You know, in a day of necessary transparency, there are still a gaggle of ne’er-do-well preachers that is ostensibly in the dark. Their finances, their duties, their ministry needs – each are cloaked in “privacy” and the “Lord’s bidding.” I understand if you have some discretionary cash, and I’m not mad at you.

Write your books. Sell your software. Copyright your conferences. But do not sheer your sheep!

In a day when money is more of a commodity than anything, the last thing any good-intending Christ followers needs is for some fool to come around and treat their tithes and offerings like a free lotto ticket.

Of course, Young has an answer for that one:

‘When I do anything personally, whether it be on a commercial aircraft or a charter aircraft, I always, always, always pay for it,” Young said. “I have teams of accountants watching every single penny.”

Their watching your pennies… but who is watching them? And sure he pays for it… with whose money? Until those questions are answered, there will always be a lack of sincerity when it comes to “fellowship” with this cat.

Unless, of course he is outside a pool in the Tropics.