Posted by: Damon Whitsell | February 3, 2010

KENNETH COPELAND REPENTANCE UPDATE: Rich Vermillion says Copeland statements are not yet evidence of true biblical repentance

Christian Today Reports on AF44 Controversy


Advocates of our redemptive project will be thrilled to know (as we are) that we are making tremendous progress in holding the Copeland family and ministry to a biblical standard of conduct and financial integrity. Here is the latest…

Christian Today, an online Christian news service, has posted a report concerning the AF44 controversy today on their website. Though I was never contacted personally, the reporter, Lillian Kwon of the Christian Post, obviously spent some time investigating the content of and has taken our allegations quite seriously. She also obtained new statements from KCM representatives—statements which have radically altered in some regards since their January 26th rebuttal to our charges. Most notable are:

  • KCM has finally reported actual figures “received” as earmarked specifically for the AF44 project. Two notes:
    • Their figures cannot be independently verified since KCM is not accountable to any third-party financial integrity organization such as the Evangelical Counsel for Financial Accountability; the Christian ministry of Wall Watcher’s has given them a transparency grade of “F” for their deplorable fiscal secrecy.
    • KCM’s public statement did NOT address the issues we raised within our post Angel Flight 44, The Money, regarding the FACT that their many AF44-ministry announcements were tied to offerings and donor (“partner”) recruitment, and that their Angel Flight 44 book give away project netted them a financial return several times larger than their “gift” expenditures. Thus, they do not address the KCM’s general fund financial windfalls at all.
  • KCM finally gave an answer as to what they did with the designated money. (Again, their account cannot be independently verified, but this public statement is surely better than the nearly four-year silence regarding those funds since the 2006 SWBC AF44 announcements.)
  • KCM seemed to mention the Beechcraft-18 aircraft they accidentally ended up with, after an effort to give it to an African missionary went sour. Note their statement, “KCM has purchased an aircraft but it ‘currently has structural issues’ and is still ‘not in airworthy condition.’” They give the impression, however, that this aircraft was purchased specifically for AF44 which—if it is the Beech-18 I show below—would not really be the case. Note pilot Glen Hyde standing on the right side of the men posing for the picture, which I took prior to its delivery to KCM:

KCM's Beechcraft-18 airplane
KCM’s Beechcraft-18 airplane, with pilot Glen Hyde standing on the far right.
  • KCM now says that they are once again wanting to get back into the humanitarian aviation ministry. Note Swisher’s comment, “…it is our desire to have an aircraft to fly assistance during disaster relief efforts… We are believing God for the finances to have a fleet of aircraft to use during such instances.” Compare that stated position with KCM’s from January 26th when they seemed to imply a complete abandonment of the project: “[KCM] investigated the possibility of providing such assistance for future disasters. The ministry decided that the best use of resources would be to start a disaster relief fund, and to determine the best course of action on a case by case basis.”
  • KCM suddenly announces that Glen Hyde is gearing up for Haiti flight missions—about a month AFTER the earthquake hit. The article states that KCM informed the reporter that “Glenn [sic] Hyde, who is preparing an ‘imminent flight to Haiti.’ They also have plans to help fly medical supplies and food into Haiti, but ‘it is difficult with the current backlog of flights at this time.’ Let me make four additional notes:
    • If the AF44 ministry had been at least maintained at the level of readiness it possessed at the end of the hurricanes Katrina and Rita missions, they would have likely been able to have AF44 relief flights in process in as little as 24-hours after the earthquake struck (and certainly within a few days).
    • If the AF44 ministry had been developed as Kenneth Copeland had promised, there would have also been an amphibious aircraft capable of providing humanitarian aid along the ocean front, and they would not have been restricted to the limitations of Haiti’s heavily damaged airport.
    • There was absolutely NO MENTION of any aviation relief efforts to be made by Glen Hyde or KCM until after the project brought this issue out so strongly into the public forum.
    • KCM seems to be trying to avoid mentioning the name “Angel Flight 44″ in all their public statements to date, showing obvious preference for simply generic references only. A very interesting behavior, which I discuss more fully in my new post, Analysis: Where is Kenneth Copeland?, here on this website.

Thus, unfortunately, we cannot say with confidence that these statements and reversals by KCM are yet evidence of true biblical repentance on their part. Given the errors and omissions within their January 26 statement, and their seemingly reluctant public reversals on several key points, it would seem that their efforts are geared mainly toward counteracting their public embarrassment regarding these issues. Until today’s Christian Today article, the overwhelming evidence presented here on—and even that which was coming out of KCM—indicated that they had done NOTHING regarding Copeland’s promised Angel Flight 44 ministry.

Nevertheless, we are excited that we are having an effect on KCM’s behavior. If nothing else, they seem to be taking these issues seriously now rather than simply ignoring our many pleas, as we have made to them over nearly three years.

Keep in mind also: If Kenneth Copeland and Glen Hyde—or at least a representative of KCM’s executive team—had taken the time to work with us to clear these matters up back years ago, we would NOT have had to launch this public “loving rebuke” effort with regard to these particular allegations. Even today, they have never made any attempt to contact us, though we have stated many times on this site and elsewhere that we would alter this site’s content to reflect any verifiable information that they could provide that showed KCM in a better light.

In closing, let us note again that the Angel Flight 44 issue is not the ONLY sin of which we are aware. There are others already documented here on this site and elsewhere (e.g. Copeland’s refusal to accept Kenneth E. Hagin’s correction towards him for his errant “prosperity” doctrines, Copeland’s and KCM’s blatant distortions of facts and unchristian behavior concerning the Senate Finance Committee investigation of the six televangelists, KCM’s lack of financial integrity and biblical transparency, & etc.).

However, the AF44 issue is certainly one of the most clear examples of the Copeland family’s and ministry’s unbiblical arrogance and lack of integrity that can be documented easily and publicly (though certainly not the most glaring example of their doctrinal errors). Thus, we are thrilled that our redemptive project has caused them to re-evaluate their conduct on at least a few issues; we yet remain hopeful that this public shame and embarrassment will result in the godly sorrow that “leads to repentance”:

Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter. (2 Corinthians 7:9-11, NKJV)

If it eventually does (and KCM’s willingness to talk with us about our concerns would certainly help toward that objective) then we will be able to alter to become a testimony of God’s grace as manifested through their proven repentance. Thus, my family and I, and our growing numbers of advocates in this redemptive cause, are still calling on Kenneth Copeland, his family, and his ministry…to simply repent.

Click here to view the first page of the Christian Today report regarding our AF44 allegations and KCM’s response.

Always in Christ,

-Rich Vermillion



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