Pastor preaches virtue of wealth, property - 2007-03-05
The junior pastor at one of the country's largest evangelical churches preached the virtues of wealth and smart investment to his working-class congregation yesterday.
It was the same morning the Toronto Star published an investigation into how Paul Melnichuk, patriarch of the Prayer Palace, and his twin sons, Tim and Tom, have amassed a fleet of fine cars and a pricey portfolio of fancy homes while doing little of the charity work their church claims to do.
The Star exposé, part of an ongoing series on Canadian charities, documented the Melnichuk family's lavish lifestyle, including about $12 million in personal real estate north of Toronto and in Florida, in contrast to the bulk of their congregation. Most church members faithfully give 10 per cent of their income.
"You see, you weren't designed to live in a apartment building. You were designed to own the apartment building you're living in," Tom Melnichuk said, calling for his followers to think positive. "If you don't watch it, you'll be eating at Denny's for the rest of your entire life."