World Mission Society Church of God Financial Statements Raise Questions

“Tithe is a minimum rent to be paid to God in this world.”
My Sheep Listen To My Voice by General Pastor Joo Cheol Kim p. 297

Over the years, the financial status and practices of the World Mission Society Church of God have been an issue of contention not only on this site, but on other blogs (here and here for example) that date back approximately 10 years.  In July of this year, the judge in the case of World Mission Society Church of God vs. Colón revised a Confidentiality Order which previously prohibited the dissemination of financial documents produced by the WMSCOG in the discovery process.  (A copy of the revised court order is available below).  The documents produced by the WMSCOG in Ridgewood, NJ (also available below) provide an overview of the profits and losses between 2009 and 2012.  A review of the financial documents produced raises some serious questions.

1.  The total assets and cash increased exponentially between 2009 and 2012, despite the WMSCOG’s claim for $25 Million in damages (loss) in the lawsuit they filed in Virginia in 2011.  The WMSCOG reported a gain of over $10 Million dollars more in cash and assets in 2012 than in 2009.

 2009201020112012
Regular Tithes & Offerings$2,707,567$3,338,607$5,019,117$7,542,639
Total Assets$10,072,639$12,049,126$15,977,088$20,991,291

In 2012, the WMSCOG in Ridgewood, NJ claimed to have over $10 Million dollars in cash and over $20 Million in total cash and assets (this includes property).  It is unclear as to which other WMSCOG locations may be included in these figures.  Why would an organization that has reportedly claimed that the world was going to end in 2012, accumulate this kind of wealth?  Have other main WMSCOG locations like California, Illinois, and South Korea accumulated the same?  Where is this money going?

2.  In each of the four years covered in the financial documents, the Ridgewood location claims an amount listed as “Support to other Churches”.  During the Tithes & Offerings study, former members have reported being told that all money donated to the church was sent to South Korea to be distributed to other churches by the General Assembly.  Not only was the WMSCOG in Ridgewood, NJ distributing money to other locations, but the amount of money reportedly distributed increased from $58,821 in 2009 to $1,084,877 in 2012.  So is the money sent to South Korea or is it distributed directly to other churches?

3.  In each of the four years covered, the WMSCOG listed an expense for “Books and tapes”.  Interestingly, in 2009 there was no expense listed for books and tapes and this expense later claimed increased from a mere $1,275 in 2010 to $80,491 in 2012.  Former members reported having to buy their church related books and music CDs.  If the church is buying these items or paying the cost to produce them and then charging the members money to buy them, where is the amount of cash generated in the sale of these books and tapes listed?

4.  In 2012 the WMSCOG in Ridgewood, NJ claims to have spent $100,000 in Payroll and $7,223 in Payroll taxes.  Former members that attended this location reported being told that “no one gets paid”.  Organizations only pay payroll taxes if they have employees.  Therefore, to whom is this WMSCOG location paying a salary?

5.  In 2010 the WMSCOG in Ridgewood, NJ claimed an expense of $100,000 for a “Contribution”.  The WMSCOG reportedly made a $100,000 donation to the UN for hurricane relief in Haiti.  The UN website and the official World Mission Society Church of God website state that the money was raised “through ‘The Messiah Orchestra Concert’ held in Busan”.  If the money for the contribution was raised during a concert in South Korea, how can the Ridgewood, NJ location claim this contribution as an expense?  Did the WMSCOG in Ridgewood make a separate donation to another organization in 2010?  An online search for information such as a press release detailing another $100,000 contribution made by the WMSCOG in 2010 did not produce any results.  The WMSCOG’s public relations campaign has been quite active in recent years, so it seems unlikely that they would let an opportunity for public praise slip away.  (If you have a link to a press release that was written about a separate donation by this organization in 2010, please comment below).  It is also noted that 2010 was the only year where a contribution was listed as an expense.

6.  The WMSCOG also listed the following expenses for “Meals”.

 2009201020112012
Meals$0$8,371$5,396$18,294

Former members have reported having to pay for and prepare meals when their respective teams are assigned to cook for the congregation.  So who’s meals is the WMSCOG in Ridgewood claiming to pay for?  Why is there no expense for meals listed for 2009?

7.  The WMSCOG in Ridgewood, NJ also claimed the following amounts in “Miscellaneous” and “Other” expenses.

 2009201020112012Grand Total
Total$75,808$52,956$343,589$226,059$698,412
Miscellaneous$382$251$1416$4275
Other$75,426$52,705$342,173$221,784

Over the span of four years, $698,412 is designated as miscellaneous and other?  Current members should seriously consider the information that was submitted to the court by the World Mission Society Church of God in Ridgewood, NJ before possibly signing away their tax refund, emptying out their retirement account, maxing out their credit cards, selling their property, writing another check or putting another dollar into any WMSCOG tithe, other offering, or brown envelopes.

 

 

https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/media/court-cases/nj-ber-l-5274-12/WMSCOG-Financial-Documents-07-18-14.pdf

https://www.examiningthewmscog.com/media/court-cases/nj-ber-l-5274-12/WMSCOG-vs-Colon-Confidentiality-Order-07-23-15-.pdf

39 Comments

  • are you joking,that is a low assumed amount. most members tithes and offerings are given in cash and I can tell you it is not reported. Did the church say what the assumed amount of cash that was given?

  • food for the congregation is paid by the members not the church itself. that is a tax report lie

  • I remember how we payed for “EVERYTHING”. We were rebuked, yelled at many times for not giving more. We were yelled at also for not paying out of pocket fot the 7,000$ oil bill for the church.

  • Look at all the money they have, and I know that at least one member was told that their Korean pastor, who was one of the Lees, did not even have enough money for health insurance. This same pastor told people that he was not paid by the church at all. When asked then how did he live, he said he owned an electronics store back in Korea.

  • we were always told that the Church did not have that much money and church was the members and we needed to take care of our home (Spiritual)
    So members gave for everything But well ok .
    Now lets do some Math
    OVER 2,000,000 TWO MILLION MEMBERS REGISTERED ok so I will not use all Because not all always go . So lets use 500,000 FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND
    500,000 GIVE $1.00 one DOLLAR that is $500,000.00 collected in one service
    Three Services $1,500,000.00 ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND ….
    NOW WHO ONLY GIVES $1.00 ONE DOLLAR A SERVICE . THE KIDS ok
    THIS IS ONLY AN OFFERING THE BLUE ENVELOPE YOU ALL KNOW….
    BROWN ENVELOPE IS ZION OFFERING HELPS OTHER ZIONS??? OK?
    NOW MOST OF THE TIME I WOULD GIVE MINIMUM $10.00 and as much as $20.00
    Now lets say that only 100,000 members give this Amount $10.00 that is
    1,000,000.00 ONE MILLION DOLLARS collected in one SABBATH for BROWN ENVELOPE..NOW
    4 SABBATHS A MONTH THAT NOW IS $4,000,000.000 four MILLION DOLLARS ok NOW NEXT…
    THE TITHE
    Well lets say KIDS don’t work so lets use 100,000 members That work
    Average pay in USA is HIGHER than other Areas so i WILL not USE A LARGE AMOUNT
    100,000 MEMBERS GIVE $50.00 FIFTY DOLLARS HOW MUCH IS THAT????
    5,000,000 FIVE MILLION DOLLARS ON ONE SABBATH ,WELL EACH MONTH HAS 4 SABBATHS
    4 TIMES 5,000,000.00 EQUALS 20,000,000.00 TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS
    NOW LETS ADD
    SO THIS IS WHAT I CAME UP WITH AN I COULD BE OFF BUT THAT IS WHY I DID NOT USE THE
    2,000,000 MILLION MEMBERS
    BLUE 6 MILLION
    BROWN 4 MILLION
    TITHE 20 MILLION
    ADDS UP TO 30 MILLION
    NOW I KNOW PLEASE DONT GET MAD
    THIS IS VERY CONSERVATIVE NUMBERS USED
    YES THERE IS RENT AND MORTGAGES AND PHONE AND INTERNET WATER POWER ETC..
    BUT I KNOW THAT THERE ARE THE FEAST WHERE IT SAYS DEUT. 16VS16
    AND OFFERINGS ARE GIVEN THEN ALSO
    YOU GIVE ACCORDING TO THE WAY THE LORD YOUR GOD HAS BLESSED YOU .
    NO SOME OF YOU DONT KNOW THAT MANY CHURCHES THAT WERE PURCHASED NORMALLY GET PAID OFF
    IN 15 YEARS .. THEN NO MORE MORTGAGE PAYMENT AND YES THIS CAN BE A LARGE NUMBER
    SO THIS IS PART OF MY 2 CENTS
    AND BY THE WAY I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT THERE ARE MANY MEMBERS WHO GAVE OFFERINGS
    OF $10.00 TO $50.00 A SABBATH
    AND TITHE OF OVER $400.00 A SABBATH THESE WERE INDIVIDUALS NOT GROUPS
    SO THAT IS ALL

    • I want to raise a question. Is tithe God’s regulation that should be or shouldn’t be practice in the New covenant? We should, right? Then, Is it a secular material or holy offering? It is a holy offering right? Then why do you treat holy offerings like it is a secular material? Why do you treat offering with contempt? You Phinehas of this age! If thru members faith seen thru their offerings accumulated this amount, what is it to you? Are you jealous? And do you consider the meals of gospel workers everyday? Do you still insist that gospel workers pay for their food everyday? I pity this site. All sources are not credible.

  • I know of single men who are wage earners, making less than $60,000 per year that gave at least $15,000 of their take home pay to the church in one year. Yes, Joseph, your estimate of giving is waaaaay under what the average person gives. I know of two minimum wage earners, married, who gave several thousand last year of their take home pay. They have got to be living in abject poverty to do that. I also know of a guy who was living in his car, lost several jobs, but then continued to live in his car even after he got another job so that he could give money to the church. Does the church leadership care? No, not a bit. They say, “It’s their choice.” Right. It’s their choice to give everything they have and more or they are told they will not make it to heaven, and they believe that. What kind of choice is that? Unfortunately, they are being exploited for the promise of a final reward that will never come.

    • I used a humble amount because I wanted to be fair
      I know how much members gave because the ones who gave gave from the Heart.
      When you read my reply I Only calculated monthly now multiply x 12 months that’s 360,000,000.
      For those I will spell it out
      THREE HUNDRED SIXTY MILLION A YEAR.

      • Well, it’s for your own blessing.
        You will know the result of your deeds in the very last day.

        • You will probably know sooner because most people do figure out that this is a scam to take your money, time, and talents for the use of the leaders of the Wmscog. They are really angry and devastated when they do. I think the depression they experience is profound. I hope my son makes it through all of this when he sees what he has done and that it was all for nothing.

          He hasn’t been blessed. I think the last 7 1/2 years have been the most miserable of his life. Where are all the blessings? I see loss of relationships, loss of finances, loss of career track, and health problems to boot. Yet he has to smile and act happy at the church even when he doesn’t feel that way.

  • Yes, I know you are trying to be fair, and it is very hard to estimate without more information. It really is impossible at this time to know how much is given. All I know is that from the many many people I know who were former members or who are still members, I believe that your estimate, even though it is in the hundreds of millions per year, is way under what the take from the Wms actually is. If the take averaged only $200-$300 per month from all members (That is way under what I hear they give, even the poorest) and they have only half the membership they claim, they would still make half a billion per month. Per month. As opposed to $360,000,000 per year, which is also an outrageous amount for something that is so obviously a scam, in my opinion. All that money while their members undergo financial hardship in most cases, and life and career path derailment in many. And what did they donate to Haiti for a photo op? There is a picture of Joo Cheol Kim handing over a check for $100,000. Ok, but that is only to satisfy their members and recruit others. If they have multi millions and claim they use it for natural disasters, why give what amounts to a pittance of their take to Haitians, who underwent the most monumental of natural disasters of the decade? The answer is simple: they gain plausible deniability in the eyes of those who don’t question how the finances are being used.

  • We still to pray for you in order God continue to do a miracles of his church. Amen.God bless.

  • I will pray for you too, Alexandre. I know that the members of the Wms are mostly good people who simply have been completely deceived by this group, and this could happen to anyone who is vulnerable. It is unfortunate, but most eventually see the lies and leave the Wms. I just hope that it is in time before too much of their lives are wasted there.

  • Alexandre – Friend, WAKE UP. You came here for a reason…probably because of some questions. Questioninf the obvious doesnt mean you lack faith..its a basic honest component if normalcy.

  • My Son has been in this cult for five years now and my heart breaks every day…….

    • I just want to say that your son was surely thinking of you and want you to be saved. If there’s something wrong in the WMSCOG then your son will not stay there for that long. I’m a member of the church but all of the assertions through media about the church of God is actually not true. please listen to the truth, God will never be pleased if you will just going to listen to the off base accusation in media about our church.

      • My Son can’t even pay his bills due to tithing which he says is between him and God so therefore he can’t explain to the church why he can’t tithe, he does it anyway even though his bills suffer and his credit is getting wrecked. Most of you are good people who are being deceived so that your deceptive leaders (not good people) can reap financial rewards for their own personal gain. The church has a way of putting fear into you in a way that takes you away from your family on holidays, etc. You are told not to listen to your family because we are the ones that don’t know. They know what they are doing. I am basing my opinion off of my own observations not the media. I feel sorry for you that you are in this church. It would be one thing if they weren’t taking everyone’s money but they do for several things: tithes/offerings/special events/etc. Take care and may God be with you.

      • April, with all do respect, its not the media portrayal of things, its what happens that is fact. I will commend you because you have approached this with way more humility than other members, but the things I have witnessed, my 4years a member, were alarming. I initially after leaving, tried to just move on, but as I told my story (Racial comments from a leader, rudeness, ostracizing members and on and on) I was labeled “Slanderer”, and “Your saying bad things against God”. You can’t be a slanderer when stating testimony, or your story. Ive even told members that they often inaccurately use the term by definition, and I would get the same response. If members say (like you) that THEIR experience has been good…Im ok with that. But when there is a blind eye turned and then the finger is pointed towards concerned EX members, its a problem.

      • I was there for eight years. I believed the “truth” as explained by the cult but I started having problems when prophecies were being manipulated and the cult began openly lying and calling it a test or prophecy.

        And said that it never predicted the end would come in 2012 but we went to see mother in Korea she told us not to make any long term plans because the end would be come soon. All of these were lies! god cannot live there because god does not lie. But mother lies all the time! And if the end is really coming why are they gathering all this money?

    • It took me eight years before I left, and still others after a decade. My family was very patient and never said I told you so after I came out. Hang in there there’s plenty of people to talk to on the forum who understand exactly what you’re going through.

  • Rent – paid by members own special contributions
    Utilities – paid by members own contributions
    Events – paid for by members own contributions
    Food – paid for by members own contributions
    Furniture – paid for by members own contributions
    Cleaning supplies – paid for by members own contributions
    Other goods – paid for by members own contributions

    Tithes and offerings are NOT used for what is above. Everything I mentioned is a separate contribution. Former member now bankrupt and trying to get my career back and go back to school…since I had to quit due to too much time invested. Seriously – in order to be a gospel worker you are needed 7 days a week. Any less then something is spiritually wrong or you have an idol in your heart.

    • Sorry to hear that John. We also spent alot of money towards thus cult. I’ve watched members in labor, what a contractor could charge hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  • So i left this church and i feel so lost. I feel like spiritually i have no where to go someone please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Samantha, please take some time. Part of what you’re feeling right now is part of the programming from a control group. The more time you spend away the less lost and confused you will feel. If you had a church family that was supportive before I would suggest that you go there and try and get a feel for if they are welcoming or not. It’s going to be hard and confusing at first. All of the stuff you have been studying are going to conflict at times with what you hear now. While you were still involved with the WMS you were taught how to believe, what to believe, and how to disconnect from people that didn’t share the same views. It’s a lot to overcome but God blesses the overcomer. (Your going to have to read those verses again with open eyes and in the context that it is written in.) Please keep posting here. It will help you to open up about your experiences with people that understand where you’re coming from. Not many people will understand what you went through or how you got involved but we do.

    • only God can help you Samantha, you knew that 🙂 thanks to Father and Mother, they allow you to discover the WMSOG to help you. Please think wise Samantha and go back to the truth establish by Father Christ Ahnsahnghong.

      • But why are you on this site when i remeber very clearly that sisters were not allowed to google anything about the church because satan controled the internet…. appearently webistes like these are eating out of the knowledge of good and evil and according to mother we should refrain from the internet because it dangerous and can blind you from the “truth” yet here you are on this site…. so im kinda confused as to why you would go against mothers words or deacons/ deaconess order… akwward moment….

        • I think you misunderstood what Mother what to tell us. there’s a reason why you must not open the sites but there are reasons that you must open the sites.
          and you remember very clearly the message but still here you are, you still open this site without knowing the reasons.

      • God is calling you! Come back into Mother’s arms! <3

        • So funny members such as yourself come on here and leave a vague short message and then disappear. Whenever I ask a tough question or ask them to explain or actually think about something they disappear and NEVER answer.

          I hope some, at least, think about the question that I present and eventually look for an answer. You will discover a lot on your own if you use the critical thinking skills the wms tries so hard to remove from your head.

  • I’m crying as we speak because before I found you guys I really felt alone. No one understands the pain I’m going through because they didn’t experience WMSCOG. My sister tells me to get over it but I can’t because the church really has had such a negative impact. Im always paranoid and feel like the world is ending today. I’m scared to go to other churches because of the fear the church has put in my heart. I don’t understand m. My reality rrreally feels like a nightmare and at one point I remember the sisters said they wanted to just die soon because they wanted to go to heaven. And soon I was thinking that way really hating the world and the Gentiles who not “Chosen”. How long did it take to get over the constant fear?. Does anyone ever wonder why we had to go through this? Because i wish I never ever went. who is Satan if the pope isn’t and is Jesus going to Come again to seek and save the lost? These are questions I always ask myself. I’m so thankful to have you guys even if I don’t know you. I was in the “truth” for a year and everything that could possibly go wrong has when I was baptized. I do not wish this experience to anyone

    • Samantha it did take some time. First please understand, Your feelings are normal because yourr coming out of their way of thinking. When I first came out, I was having anxiety, I was worrying if members were going to come to my house etc. Its mind control. When a woman leaves her mentally abusive spouse, he has drilled in her mind, “You’ll be nothing without me”. So when he/she leaves she thinks can’t make it. Just know you’ll be fine! Your going to survive. They have lied to exmembers.

    • My mom recommended that I see a therapist after coming out of the cult and it helped tremendously. I was diagnosed with severe depression and a a form of PTSD, it wasn’t easy initially but this forum did go a long way to help, there’s also YouTube videos from former members you can watch. Even though I’m still not 100% but it does get better with time. I was there for eight years.

    • is that “feeling” of yours is true? i wonder who control you!

    • Samantha, the purpose of this site is to attack God’s coming in the flesh. Nowhere in this site tells you that Sabbath is wrong, Passover is wrong, 7 Feasts are wrong. All the prophecies that we have studied, all the regulations of the new covenant are flawless. After coming to this site, please ask yourself what is the purpose of this site. Is it to kill or to save? After slandering Father and Mother, do these people in this site teach you the way to salvation? Do they teach you to keep the new covenant? No right. They lead you to confusion and dont tell you where to go because all of these people are those who practicr lawlessness. Please get back on your senses

  • Hi Samantha , you are not alone many of suffered many losses in our life , but God must have a plan as why we ended up there and we should be thankful and get some good out of it , I was there almost since the beginning
    I want to reach out to any of you that I could somehow help.
    I know the feeling now begin the time of God’s festivals and we want to obey him , honor
    Him let us all pray to him and ask for guidance that he will lead us to the right place where we won’t question things because we will know that we are in the right place .
    Let us rejoice and give all thanks to the Almighty Christ JESUS

  • Correction to the page cited about tithing in the book “My Sheep Listen to my Voice”, its page 151, not 297.