Lester Sumrall's Grandson: A Spiritual Battle Rages for LeSEA Ministries

Lester Sumrall
Dr. Lester Sumrall (LeSEA Broadcasting)

Lester Sumrall's grandson, also Lester Sumrall, claims his grandfather's legacy is being sullied by LeSEA Broadcasting's current president, Drew Sumrall.  

According to an open letter Lester sent the Christian community, 

Drew Sumrall, the current president of LeSEA Broadcasting Corporation and LeSEA board member has publicly articulated and published his personal philosophy of egalitarianism, atheism and communism in his book "An Essay Toward Universal Revolution." According to the bylaws of LeSEA ministry, Drew's Anti-Christian, Anti-Church beliefs and writings disqualify him from any leadership role. All of this has been deliberately hidden from the loyal friends and donors of LeSEA. Drew's worldview is diametrically opposed to the spiritual foundations of all LeSEA Ministries. Shockingly, in a face-to-face conversation with Drew, he declared to me that our grandfather, Dr. Lester Sumrall, was "a crazy old man with a bunch of crazy ideas."

Furthermore, Lester claims controversy embroils LeSEA. He writes that the Indiana attorney general has opened an investigation into the potential power of attorney fraud as well as the use of funds taken from Rev. James H. Murphy's bank accounts.  

Lester writes:

By 2003, questions were raised regarding the entitlement and private benefit of LeSEA Broadcasting CEO, Peter Sumrall, his wives, his children and others he was in relationship with. The questioned impropriety is directly against IRS rules. Additional questions were raised that he may have committed power of attorney fraud and financial elder abuse by commingling the personal funds of Rev. James H. Murphy into the various LeSEA Ministries for his own benefit. By 2005, these alleged indiscretions entangled the 2/3 majority of the board of directors, Peter Sumrall, and David Ernest Sumrall, Pastor of Cathedral of Praise in Manila, Philippines. The indiscretions pointed to the possibility of corporate malfeasance and gross negligence. This pattern of mismanagement appears to continue to this day, and raises new questions of stewardship as attempts are being made to quickly and quietly liquidate ministry assets. 

Lester says a police report of these incidents has been forwarded on to the FBI White Collar Crimes Division.  

Drew says he and the company are saddened by the claims.  

"LeSEA continues to remain true to its founding principles, the evidence of which is our television and radio signals broadcast across America and around the world," Drew tells Charisma News.   

"Moreover, the ministry of the late Dr. Lester Sumrall is as strong as it has ever been, and we are so very thankful for the opportunity to tell millions of people about the saving of love of Jesus Christ. Along with a local church, a daily feeding program for tens of thousands of children, Bible distribution and more, we are continually looking to expand our vision and outreach. We are grateful for the love and support of numerous members of the Sumrall family. Because there are ongoing legal proceedings, we feel it is inappropriate to comment further or to attempt to influence those proceedings through the media," Drew says.  

The original Lester Sumrall founded LeSEA (Lester Sumrall Evangelistic Association) in 1957. The ministry has now grown into a mammoth broadcasting empire with 11 television stations, a satellite ministry, three FM radio stations, five shortwave stations and a quarterly magazine. 

The LeSEA Global Feed The Hungry Program was launched in 1987. 

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