In a desperate fundraising plea Tuesday, pastor Rod Parsley of World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio, said his ministry is facing the most "demonically inspired financial attacks" he has seen in 30 years.
During an episode of Breakthrough With Rod Parsley, Parsley said "everything is at stake" and that he needs donations by Dec. 31.
"In the natural, I'm facing the greatest financial attack of years," he told viewers. "There is nothing more that the enemy would love to do than silence this voice."
In a statement to the Columbus Dispatch, the church attributed its financial woes to the sagging economy. "The recession caused a decline in member giving in 2009, which has led to a fourth-quarter deficit of $3 million despite a 30 percent reduction in the budget," it said.
This year, the church also settled a lawsuit for $3.1 million with Michael and Lacey Faieta. The couple's child was reportedly spanked by a substitute teacher at the church's day care center in 2006, causing the boy to suffer welts and abrasions on his buttocks and legs.
Although the church acknowledged that "the Faieta decision imposed against us earlier this year has made our circumstances more serious," it has no plans to shut down Breakthrough Ministries, World Harvest Bible College or any other ministry in the coming year.
In an online message titled "Crisis-Urgent," Parsley said ministry friends have agreed to match the first $500,000 in donations.
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