Holy Land Experience‘s transfer to Trinity Broadcasting Network was a complex deal involving five nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations: Holy Land Ministries, Trinity and the Grace, Van Kampen and Sola Scriptura foundations.
The three foundations are all controlled by the family of the late Robert Van Kampen, a longtime financial backer of Holy Land.
According to Trinity’s attorney, Colby May, the $37million payment was divided this way:
- $8million went to repay the Grace Foundation for money it had lent Holy Land over the years.
- $12million went to Sola Scriptura for 10 acres of vacant land across from the 15-acre theme park on Conroy Road.
Trinity plans to use the vacant property to build a broadcast facility for local Christian television station WTGL-Channel52, whose license Trinity purchased last year for $50million. Federal Communications Commission rules required the billion-dollar broadcasting network to operate local facilities for the new station.
- $17million was donated to a new foundation, a successor to Holy Land Ministries called The Master’s Gate.
Scott Pierre, former chairman of Holy Land Ministries and son-in-law of Robert Van Kampen, became chairman of the Master’s Gate Foundation. That sum represents much if not all of what the Van Kampen family and its foundations have contributed to Holy Land since its conception.
Mark I. Pinsky, Sentinel researcher Susan Thompson
Oct. 21, 2007