Category: Saint Matthews Churches

Group: ‘Ministry’ targets sick, needy

Are you one of the area residents who recently received a curious “Jesus Eyes Prayer Rug” in the mail with the suggestion of divine blessings if only you would send money? The come-on might seem bizarre, but it is said to be a lucrative direct-mail campaign. Most people will just throw the letters in the trash with the other junk mail, but one organization says a few – the poor, the sick, those in spiritual crisis or otherwise desperate enough to grasp at any hope – will send money. A lot of money. “By their own estimates, it’s up to

Prayer rugs: the opposite of firm spiritual footing

I wonder how many people get suckered by the “church prayer rug” that shows up in the mailbox this time of year. Have you seen these things? St. Matthew’s Churches of Houston offers divine dividends to folks who receive a prayer rug and believe in its power. The “rug” is actually a legal-size piece of paper with a picture of Jesus on one side. If you stare at the picture long enough, St. Matthew’s claims, Jesus will open his eyes and look right back at you! Better yet, if you place a check mark next to a prayer you want

Need A New Car, More Money? Try The Prayer Rug

The senior citizens in Virginia Robinson’s apartment building got a precarious package in the mail. It’s a “prayer rug” from an organization called “St. Matthews Churches.” The instructions say, if you keep looking at it, you will see Christ’s eyes open. “At first, I wanted to laugh, and then I thought, ‘You know, this really isn’t a joke,’” Robinson said. “These people know how to push all the right buttons.” You’re asked to check off what you want the group to pray for. The options include a new car, a better job, or a specific amount of money. You’re then

Recipient skeptical of Jesus letter

FLUSHING – Jesus has been making the rounds in Flushing, and at least one local resident is worried. Mary Damico, 77, opened her mail last week to find the face of Jesus on the promise of God’s blessing if she sent the letter to someone else – along with a monetary gift to a post office box in Tulsa, Okla. “This is a scam,” Damico said. “They ought to go to that postal box and see who’s picking up that mail.” The money actually goes to a St. Matthew’s Church, a Los Angeles-based organization that has been accused of swindling

Special Report: Reaping from faith

Lucrative ‘seed faith’ mail ministry has Tulsa ties Once a traveling tent-revival preacher, the Rev. James Eugene Ewing built a direct-mail empire from his mansion in Los Angeles that brings millions of dollars flowing into a Tulsa post office box. Ewing’s computerized mailing operation, Saint Matthew’s Churches, mails more than 1 million letters per month, many to poor, uneducated people, while Ewing lives in a mansion and drives luxury cars. The letters contain an alluring promise of “seed faith”: send Saint Matthew’s your money and God will reward you with cash, a cure to your illness, a new home and

Financial blessings in return

Mail-order ministry promises spiritual and financial windfalls in return for a donation. In the world of Saint Matthew’s Churches, Heaven is a bank and God is the bank president. The organization mails more than 1 million letters across the country each month seeking money from recipients and promising a spiritual and financial windfall in return. The letters list a Tulsa post office box but no telephone number, street address or names of individuals behind the operation. Gae Widdows, a Tulsa attorney, said one of her clients is a veteran with schizophrenia who receives mailings from Saint Matthew’s. She said the