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May 27, 2022

Where Does $100 to Oral Roberts Ministries Go (2020)?

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.

There are 9 voting members (trustees) of the governing body, 8 of whom are independent; 7 of whom are male, 2 of whom are female.

According to the most recent Form 990 (2019 for the year ending April 30, 2020):

OREA reported total revenue of $6.3 million in 2020 (compared to $7.9 million in 2019 and $7.3 million in 2018), almost all of which came from contributions, gifts, and grants.  Expenses totaled $5.8 million (91% of revenue) and can be categorized as follows:

  • $2.4 million (38% of revenue):  Compensation
  • $1.0 million: (16% of revenue):  Media Time and Broadcasting
  • $0.9 million (14% of revenue):  Printing and Publications, Postage and Shipping
  • $0.5 million (8% of revenue):  Other Expenses (primarily other with no detail provided)
  • $0.4 million (6% of revenue):  Office-Related Expenses
  • $0.4 million (6% of revenue):  Grants (i.e. for preaching the gospel and ministry)
  • $0.2 million (3% of revenue):  Fees for Services

Compensation is the largest expense for OREA.  58 employees received $2.4 million in compensation which equates to an average compensation of $41,400.  OREO reports 4 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation but 5 employees are listed on the Form 990, Part VII, Section A:

  • $425,316:  Richard Roberts, CEO
  • $181,696:  Linda Salem Roberts, Program Host
  • $176,940:  Michael Bernard, VP, Secretary
  • $136,717:  Colleen Barker, VP
  • $101,175:  Diane Peterson, Staff

It is important to point out that Richard Roberts and Linda Salem Roberts and married. Collectively, the couple’s compensation totaled $607,012.  

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

 $100:  Revenue

-$ 38:  Compensation

-$  8:  Other Expenses

-$  6:  Office-Related Expenses

-$  3:  Fees for Services (primarily mailing services and health insurance)

-$ 55: Subtotal:  Compensation, Office, Fees, and Other Expenses

 $ 45:  Revenue Remaining

-$ 16:  Media Time and Broadcasting

-$ 14:  Printing and Publications, Shipping and Postage

-$  6:  Grants (primarily preaching and ministry)

-$ 36:  Subtotal: Media, Broadcasting, Printing, Publications, shipping, and Grants

$  9:  Revenue Remaining:  To General Fund

As illustrated above, OREA spent $55 out of every $100 on staff and organization expenses.  $36 out of every $100 was spent on media time and broadcasting, printing and publications, shipping, and grants that were primarily for preaching and ministry.  $9 out of Every $100 was not spent and added to the general fund.

It is important to point out that OREA has $2.6 million in federal taxes payable, a rather large liability for a small non-profit organization.  OREA has $4 million in assets (of which $2.6 million is in publicly traded securities and $700,000 is in cash).  Net assets at year-end were reported to be $600,000.  So, if OREA sold the publicly traded securities (that came from previous donations), then the organization could pay off their $2.6 million federal taxes payable.  But, the big question is why does OREA, a tax-exempt non-profit organization owe $2.6 million to the federal government?

To read the IRS Form 990 (2019 for the year ending April 30, 2020), click here.

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