Crown Financial Ministries
|Founded||1976, merged in 2000|
|Headquarters||Knoxville, TN, United States|
|Larry Burkett, Co-founder
Howard Dayton, Co-founder
Chuck Bentley, CEO
Crown Financial Ministries or Crown is a nondenominational, evangelical Christian ministry with the stated mission of equipping servant leaders to live by God’s design for their finances, work and life ... to advance transformation.
It was formed in 2000 by a merger of Larry Burkett's Christian Financial Concepts, (founded 1976), and Howard Dayton's Crown Ministries, (founded 1985). However, Burkett focused his ministry on mass media, (his radio show, Money Matters and a number of books), bible studies, seminars, and building a volunteer coaching ministry, while Dayton focused on small group studies.
The two had met in the 1990s and quickly became friends; they considered the merger logical due to the mission of their two groups. Burkett was chairman of the board of the combined entity until his 2003 cancer-related death; Dayton was CEO since the time of the merger until 2007 when Chuck Bentley became CEO.
- A radio show, Crown Radio: Money Matters aired on 1,100 radio stations. An estimated 2,000,000 listeners in the US listen to the program, which is also aired in Africa, Australia and China. A Spanish-language version is aired in 23 countries. As of April 1, 2008, the show has been renamed MoneyLife and hosted by Chuck Bentley. Howard Dayton has stepped aside as host and CEO to focus on writing books and speaking, but remains actively involved in Crown, according to their website.
- Training volunteer "Money Map" coaches (there are currently over 10,000) to assist individuals and families.
- Various activities (small-group studies, workshops and seminars) with churches of all denominations.
- Selling guides for career management and computer software.
- Providing financial guides for children and teens.
Its message is similar to the message given by financial talk show host Dave Ramsey, claiming that getting out of debt and controlling one's expectation of living are two important parts of Christian discipleship. In fact, Dave Ramsey credits the late Larry Burkett as one of his mentors who helped him get out of debt and form his thoughts and ideas on finances. While they acknowledge there is no direct admonition in the Bible against assuming debt, they heavily discourage taking it on.
Some Christian financial planners, such as Gary Moore, criticize Crown for what they consider an aversion to taking on debt.
- www.crown.org - the ministry's website
- http://www.ministrywatch.com/mw2.1/F_FullRpt.asp?EIN=581260812 - a history and financial profile of the ministry
- http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/005/23.40.html - May 2006 article from Christianity Today about Crown, Dave Ramsey and Gary Moore