Kenneth Copeland

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Kenneth Copeland
Born (1936-12-06) December 6, 1936 (age 78)
Lubbock, Texas, United States
Residence Fort Worth, Texas
Nationality American
Occupation Author
Speaker
Televangelist
Religion Christian
Denomination Word of Faith
Spouse(s) Gloria Copeland
Children John Copeland, Kellie Swisher, Terri Pearsons
Website
www.kcm.org

Kenneth Copeland (born December 6, 1936) is a Charismatic Movement affiliated American author, musician, public speaker, and televangelist. While Copeland has been strongly identified with preaching a prosperity and abundance message, commonly referred to as prosperity gospel, over the last 45 years, his Tarrant County, Texas-based Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM) advocates daily application of the Word of God.[1] KCM is a teaching ministry that specializes in Holy Bible teaching focused on faith, love, healing, prosperity and restoration through diverse media, such as television, books, CD and DVD.[2] KCM's motto is Jesus is Lord based upon Romans 10:9.[3][4]

Early life and education[edit]

Copeland was born in Lubbock, Texas,[5] and raised in West Texas near a United States Army Air Forces airfield, which inspired him to become a pilot.[6]

Prior to his conversion to Christianity in November 1962, Copeland was a recording artist on the Imperial Records label, having one Billboard Top 40 hit ("Pledge of Love", which charted in the Top 40 on April 20, 1957, stayed on the charts for 15 weeks, and peaked at #17).[7]

Following his religious conversion, Copeland turned the rest of his life over to the gospel and ministry work.[8] In the fall of 1967, he enrolled in Oral Roberts University, where he soon became the pilot and chauffeur for Oral Roberts.[9]

Family[edit]

Since April 13, 1963, Kenneth is married to Gloria Copeland.[10] His children are John Copeland, Kellie Copeland Swisher and Terri Pearsons. Gloria and all three of the Copeland children, work for KCM. John is the ministry's chief operating officer. Kellie preaches at various meetings throughout the US, as does Terri, who also preaches at Eagle Mountain International Church, pastored by her husband, George Pearsons.

Kenneth Copeland Ministries[edit]

Television and other programming[edit]

Kenneth and Gloria on The Believer's Voice of Victory

Historically, Copeland's ministry held a number of conventions across the United States which lasted anywhere from three to six days. The number of longer set conventions has waned in recent years, although KCM still holds an annual Believer's Convention in his hometown of Fort Worth during the week of July 4. Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, along with ministry friends including some family members, also preach at other conventions and conferences throughout the world.[11] These events stream live on Copeland's website, kcm.org, as well as being shown on Christian television stations such as God TV and the Daystar Television Network. Portions of recorded conferences are shown Sundays. The Monday through Friday television broadcasts feature a Copeland family member, either alone or with another minister, discussing subjects from The Holy Bible. Most of these episodes are available on BVOV.tv.

2008 controversy[edit]

In late November 2007, Mike Huckabee, a 2008 Republican presidential primary candidate, made six appearances on Copeland's daily television program Believer's Voice of Victory, discussing "Integrity of Character".[12] Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, was appearing on Copeland's daily broadcast to plug his book, Character IS the Issue: How People with Integrity Can Revolutionize America. Through the years, Copeland has invited many church pastors and evangelists to appear on his daily program to discuss their respective books. Subsequently, in January 2008, the Huckabee campaign paid for use of Kenneth Copeland Ministries' facilities for a fundraiser.[13] The fundraising at the church was criticized by the Trinity Foundation.[13]

As a result of the Huckabee appearances, Kenneth Copeland Ministries was one of six approached by the United States Senate inquiry into the tax-exempt status of religious organizations, chaired by U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, a supporter of fellow Senator John McCain's failed 2008 Republican Party Presidential bid.[14][15] The Copelands responded with a financial statement and created a website, Believers Stand United, to help explain their perspective.[16][17]

Ministry Watch lists a top 30 donor alert for KCM because it does not post audited financial statements on its website nor does it provide them on request.[18]

2013 controversy[edit]

In 2013 a measles outbreak (20 confirmed cases as of August 26) in Tarrant County was attributed in the press to anti-vaccination sentiments expressed by members of the Copeland Ministries. The church denied making any such statements and urged members to get vaccinations, even offering free immunizations through the church itself.[19] Pastor Terri Copeland Pearsons, who is Kenneth Copeland's daughter, offered free vaccination clinics and advised those who did not attend one of the clinics to quarantine themselves at home for two weeks. In a statement on the church website, Pearsons said she was not against immunizations, but also raised concerns about them.[20]

"Some people think I am against immunizations, but that is not true," the statement said. "Vaccinations help cut the mortality rate enormously. I believe it is wrong to be against vaccinations. The concerns we have had are primarily with very young children who have family history of autism and with bundling too many immunizations at one time. There is no indication of the autism connection with vaccinations in older children. Furthermore, the new MMR vaccination is without thimerosal (mercury), which has also been a concern to many."[21]

Facilities[edit]

Kenneth Copeland Ministries is located at 14355 Morris Dido Road, Fort Worth, TX 76192 on 33 acres and was valued at $554,160 in 2008 by Tarrant Appraisal District. The site includes the Eagle Mountain International Church, television production and audio recording facilities, warehouse and distribution facilities, residences for the Copeland family, and Kenneth Copeland Airport.[22] Approximately 500 people are employed by KCM.

KCM also owns a 1998 Cessna 550 Citation Bravo, which it received from a donor in October 2007 and is used for domestic flights, and a 2005Cessna 750 Citation X, which it uses for international flights. It also is restoring a 1962 Beech H-18 Twin, which the ministry plans to use for disaster relief efforts.[23][24]

In February 2007 Copeland was accused of using his ministry's Citation X for personal vacations and friends.[25] The Copelands' financial records are not publicly available, and a list of the board of directors is not accessible as these details are protected but known confidentially by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).[26] Responding to media questions, Copeland pointed to what he asserted was an accounting firm's declaration that all jet travel complies with federal tax laws.[26] In December 2008, KCM's Citation Bravo was denied tax exemption after KCM refused to submit a standardized Texas Comptroller form that some county appraisal districts use to make determinations, which would have required making public the salary of all ministry staff.[27][28] KCM subsequently filed suit with the Tarrant Appraisal District in January 2009 and its petition to have the aircraft's tax-exempt status restored was granted in March 2010.[28][29][30]

Partial list of KCM Publications and Recordings[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.kennethcopelandministries.org/
  2. ^ "About KCM". KCM.org. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "A Historic Moment: JESUS IS LORD!". KCM.org. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  4. ^ "_The Holy Bible_ King James Version". Thomas Nelson. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Kenneth Copeland". biographyministries.com. 2008. Retrieved December 17, 2008. [dead link]
  6. ^ Gorski, Eric (July 27, 2008). "Relatives of televangelist prosper". Associated Press (USA Today). Archived from the original on May 13, 2013. Retrieved May 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, Joel Whitburn, 7th edition.
  8. ^ Kenneth Copeland, "The Word in My life...," Kenneth Copeland Ministries Catalog (Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, n.d.), 3.
  9. ^ ORU alumni
  10. ^ http://www.newreleasetuesday.com/authordetail.php?aut_id=466
  11. ^ "Events". KCM.org. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  12. ^ The appearances were from Sunday November 25, 2007 through Friday November 30, 2007, Webcast dated Nov 26, 2007Webcast dated Nov 27, 2007Webcast dated Nov 28, 2007Webcast dated Nov 29, 2007Webcast dated Nov 30, 2007
  13. ^ a b "Plate passed for Huckabee at ministry site". Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. January 29, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  14. ^ "Read Grassley's Letters" (PDF). npr.org. December 4, 2007. Retrieved December 10, 2007. 
  15. ^ LAURIE GOODSTEIN, Believers Invest in the Gospel of Getting Rich, The New York Times, 2009.08.15
  16. ^ kcm.org KCM – Financial Accountability
  17. ^ The investigation found no evidence of the Copelands making personal profit from financial donations. "Believers Stand United". Retrieved May 17, 2008. 
  18. ^ MinistryWatch.com's Kenneth Copeland Ministries Profile
  19. ^ Nicola Menzie, "Texas Measles Outbreak Linked to Church Led by Kenneth Copeland's Daughter; Infection Spreads to Congregation, Staff, Day Care," Christian Post", August 26, 2013.
  20. ^ "Texas Megachurch At Center Of Measles Outbreak," NPR, September 01, 2013.
  21. ^ Liz Neporent, "Texas Church Tied to Measles Outbreak Preaching Vaccinations," Good Morning America, 26 Aug. 2013.
  22. ^ "Analysis: Copeland's religious empire benefits his family". USA Today. July 27, 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  23. ^ FlightAware > Pilot Resources > Airport > Kenneth Copeland Airport (Fort Worth, TX) (4T2)
  24. ^ "FAQ: Why does Kenneth Copeland Ministries own private aircraft? What types of aircraft are they? Why don’t Kenneth and Gloria fly on commercial airlines?". Believers Stand United. Retrieved May 14, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Jet flight records spur Copeland ministry questions news". WFAA-TV. February 28, 2007. Archived from the original on September 7, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2007. 
  26. ^ a b "Jet flight records spur Copeland ministry questions". WFAA-TV. February 28, 2007. Archived from the original on September 7, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2007. 
  27. ^ "Televangelist's $3.6 million jet not tax-exempt, county says". Fort Worth Star Telegram. December 5, 2008. Retrieved December 17, 2008. [dead link]
  28. ^ a b "A Victory for Church Freedom". Church Law Group. March 11, 2010. Retrieved May 14, 2013. 
  29. ^ Barbee, Darren (February 25, 2009). "Appraisal district sued over tax exemption for private jet". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. pp. B07 Metro. 
  30. ^ "TAD, Copeland ministry settle suit over tax-exempt jet". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. March 10, 2010. 

External links[edit]