Church rejects report on pastor's net worth

Church rejects report on pastor's net worth
An online report claims Mr Joseph Prince of New Creation Church has a net worth of US$5 million.

An online report claiming that Mr Joseph Prince, a founding member and senior pastor of New Creation Church, has a net worth of US$5 million ($6.4 million), has been roundly dismissed by the church's council.

In a statement posted on its website on Tuesday, the council said that Mr Prince had shared with them that his net worth is "substantially lower than the US$5m that has been alleged".

The council also said that it regards Mr Prince's net worth as personal in nature and that the pastor had not drawn a salary from the church since 2009.

The Oct 7 report, which has been making its rounds online, was published on www.richest, an entertainment website. It purportedly has an office in New York.

The site listed Mr Prince as the 10th richest pastor in the world - alongside American evangelist Billy Graham and Nigerian bishop David Oyedepo. The post said Mr Prince reportedly draws a salary of $550,000.

In 2009, The Straits Times reported that a New Creation Church employee had been paid between $500,001 and $550,000 the year before. The church did not confirm if the amount went to him, but said then that its policy was to "recognise and reward key contributors to the church and Senior Pastor Prince is the main pillar of our church's growth and revenue".

It was also reported that Mr Prince had asked to go on a "no-pay scheme" since 2006 but the request was turned down by the church's council.

The pastor, who is based in Singapore, hosts a religious television show which is aired in places like America, Europe and Australia. It is part of the independent and non-profit international Joseph Prince Ministries which was established in 2007.

The church today is home to more than 31,000 worshippers.

Its council said Mr Prince "recognises that a strong foundation of corporate governance can only enhance the church". It added that he had voluntarily stepped down as a member of the council to focus on his spiritual role.

"The council is disappointed with the manner in which the reports were generated and circulated without proper effort having been made to validate the facts," it said.

"The council asks that these reports be withdrawn or clarified, so as not to undermine the good work of the church and Pastor Prince."

This article was first published on Oct 24, 2014.
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