Editor's Note: This story has been updated with a statement from VOE/Perry Stone Ministries. For further updates, see "Perry Stone Speaks Out About Secular Media: 'Information Can Be Twisted by the God of This World" and "VOE Board Clarifies Newspaper Reports on Perry Stone."
In April of 2020, televangelist Perry Stone of Voice of Evangelism in Cleveland, Tennessee, was placed on a forced leave of absence due to allegations of misconduct and deviation from "the biblical standards set in place for VOE leadership," as reported by Charisma News. Now, additional allegations of misconduct, including a report that the FBI is investigating his ministry, have surfaced against Stone through a Dec. 25 report in the Chattanooga Times Free Press—but VOE says the reports contain nothing new.
Charisma News reached out to VOE, which released the following statement:
Perry Stone Ministries continues to focus on spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ. The recent news article against the ministry bears no new information or allegations. We ask that friends and supporters operate by Scripture in Luke 6:43-45, "For every tree is known by the fruit it bears." Recently doors opened for thousands to receive Christ through the lens of a camera. The ministry is experiencing record-setting growth and outreach internationally. Thank you for your prayers and agreement with us for God's continued blessing.
Stone, 62, founded VOE in 1979, hosts the Manna-fest TV program and preaches to thousands around the world. He has also written dozens of books and recorded more than 100 DVDs and CDs, the Times Free Press reports.
In placing Stone on leave in 2020, the VOE board of directors said he was "on sabbatical for rest and restoration," noting that "a couple" of employees had met with the board to address concerns of "inappropriate words and actions" on Stone's part. At the time, Stone issued an audio apology to God, his wife and "those who are hurt or offended by my actions," adding that "the remaining days of my life I have a lot of days, I'm going to set up very strong and unmovable boundaries to ensure that my personal and spiritual life are held completely accountable every day to men who surround me in ministry and above all accountability every day to the love of my life Pam," per the Times Free Press.
However, the Times Free Press now reports that at least seven people connected to VOE, including some couples, have shared information that FBI investigators sought about sexual misconduct allegations against Stone as well as his connections to Bradley County law enforcement, according to five people with direct knowledge of the interactions.
An FBI spokesperson told the Times Free Press that Department of Justice policy "prohibits us from confirming or denying the existence or non-existence of FBI investigations."
The Times Free Press gathered information about Stone from 19 people, more than a dozen of whom said they are "becoming more concerned about the perceived lack of accountability for the internationally known spiritual leader" a year and a half after the original allegations were made public.
Stone noted in a Facebook update on his ministry trip that he had sent a voice file of a message he received from the Holy Spirit to three Arab friends. He says all three sent back the same translation: "One part was a warning for me personally, from the Lord, exposing some people who were plotting and making war against me and the ministry."
The evangelist also posted a Dec. 27 video openly critical of the secular media on his YouTube channel, noting how "negative reporting" influences newspaper income, adding that "When there is an abundance of idleness, there will always be the ability of the enemy to do things that he wants to do."
John Rodriguez, an outside spokesperson for VOE, defended the board's handling of the allegations and characterized the internal investigation as "appropriate and intensive."
"The conclusions reached and actions taken by the board were determined by the board to be reasonable and appropriate and in the best interests of Voice of Evangelism, its supporters and even its detractors," Rodriguez said in a statement to the Times Free Press.
Rodriguez also said the board of directors "does not believe that it is appropriate to further characterize the nature and content of any allegations against Perry Stone."
Please join our staff in praying for Stone and his family as well as other potentially affected individuals during this time.
Follow breaking news like this on our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.