Benny Hinn and Creflo Dollar lose clout on ORU board

Creflo Dollar resigned from the regents, and Benny Hinn is now a “regent emeritus” with no voting power.

The evangelist Creflo Dollar has resigned from the Oral Roberts University board of regents, and another evangelist, Benny Hinn, has lost his status as a voting member of the board.

ORU’s spokesman Jeremy Burton confirmed Wednesday that Dollar had resigned and that Hinn had been named a “regent emeritus” without a vote on the board.

Both refused last week to respond to a Senate inquiry into lavish spending by evangelists.

A Canadian businessman, Richard Pearson, has been named to ORU’s board of business regents. Pearson, who operates a bus company, was formerly on the nonvoting portion of the board.

Burton had no comment on the reasons for the changes.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, asked last month for financial information from six media-based ministries, including those run by Hinn and Dollar. Grassley said he was investigating complaints about “generous salaries and housing allowances and amenities such as private jets and Rolls-Royces” allegedly owned by the ministries.

Hinn and Dollar did not provide the information to Grassley by a Thursday deadline. Hinn operates World Healing Center Church Inc. and Benny Hinn Ministries of Grapevine, Texas. Dollar operates World Changers Church International in suburban Atlanta.

ORU’s board has 23 business regents and 18 others who are spiritual regents, associate regents and regents emeritus. Those 18 other regents do not have a vote in business and financial matters, according to ORU’s bylaws.

The bylaws give Richard and Oral Roberts wide authority on all spiritual matters, including the right to veto decisions by business regents on such matters.

Richard Roberts resigned as ORU’s president Nov. 23 after three former professors filed a lawsuit. The suit alleges that Roberts and his family misspent university and ministry money and lived lavishly.

A Tulsa District Court judge is scheduled to hear several motions in the lawsuit Tuesday.

ORU’s board of regents had been scheduled to meet Wednesday, but Burton said the meeting had been canceled because of the ice storm. Burton said he did not know when the next meeting would take place.

• Original title: Two evangelists lose clout on ORU’s board

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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday December 11, 2007.
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