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October 28, 2019

Where Does $100 to Oral Roberts Ministries Go?

by Anne Paddock

The Oral Roberts Ministries is legally known as the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association (OREA) – a Tulsa, Oklahoma based non-profit 501 (c) (3) whose “evangelistic mission is to pray for healing of the whole man.”  Established in 1947 by Oral Roberts, a televangelist, OREA is now run by Oral’s son, Richard Roberts, along with his wife, Linda Salem Roberts who also appears to be known as Lindsay Roberts.

According to the most recent Form 990 (2016 for the year ending April 30, 2017):

OREA has been spending more than they raise with the result being OREA is in a negative net asset position (-2.5 million). Liabilities that may shed light on this debt include $1.4 million due to an unnamed affiliate and $750,000 due to Traco Advertising, an affiliate organization.

OREA has 3 highly compensated employees, two of whom are Richard Roberts and his wife, Linda Salem Roberts, who were compensated $643,464 collectively.  Richard Roberts received $450,587 ($330,987 from OREA and $119,600 from an unnamed affiliate organization) while Linda Salem Roberts received $182,877 ($82,002 from OREA and $100,875 from an unnamed affiliate organization). D. Michael Bernard, a VP/Secretary was compensated $176,021.

OREA reported total revenue of $6.6 million (a $500,000 decrease from the prior year), almost all of which came from contributions, gifts, and grants.

Expenses totaled $7.5 million and were concentrated in three areas and 4 smaller categories:

  • $3.3 million (50% of revenue): Compensation
  • $1.3 million (20% of revenue):  Media Time and Broadcasting
  • $1.3 million (20% of revenue): Printing and Publications, Postage and shipping
  • $0.4 million (6% of revenue):  Other Expenses (no detail provided), travel, depreciation, interest, advertising, etc)
  • $0.4 million (6% of revenue):  Fees for Services (primarily other with no detail provided, legal, and accounting)
  • $0.4 million (6% of revenue:  Office Expenses
  • $0.4 million (6% of revenue):  Food and Clothing and Grants

As illustrated above, compensation is the largest expense for OREA. 116 employees were compensated $3.3 million which equates to an average compensation of $28,500. 4 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation including Richard Roberts and his wife, Linda Salem Roberts.

Using the above information, $100 in revenue was spent as follows:

$100:  Revenue

-$ 50:  Compensation

-$ 20:  Media Time and Broadcasting

-$ 20:  Printing and Publications, Postage and Shipping

-$  4:  Other Expenses

-$  4:  Fees for Services

-$  4:  Office Expenses

-$  4:  Food, Clothing, and Grants

-$106: Total Expenses

-$  6:  Amount Overspent

As illustrated above, OREA spent $106 for every $100 in revenue reported.  $90 out of every $100 went towards compensation, media time, and broadcasting, and printing and publications, postage and shipping.

So, if you donated $100 to the Oral Roberts Ministry or OREA, half of your donation ($50) went to pay staff, $40 went to pay for media time, broadcasting, printing, publications, postage and shipping, and the remainder on other expenses, fees, office expenses, and grants and relief gifts.

To read the IRS Form 990 (2016 for the year ending April 30, 2017), click here.

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