There is probably nothing of recent date that has captured more attention within our denomination’s life than the sale of radio station KFSG. Though some may wonder about the absence of any broad discussions preceding this decision, a vast majority believes the changing scene in today’s media industry recommends the sale was a wise decision. The $250 million sale is the highest sum ever paid for a radio facility in the United States, and reason argues that these monies might do more for global evangelism as now released than could be done through a single, local radio station.
The concept of establishing a foundation to steward funds from the sale of the station was and is sound. Under the auspices and authority of the international board–a board consisting entirely of Foursquare pastors and leaders–a foundation board has been appointed to bring this entity to functionality.
At convention, open sessions for inquiry regarding the foundation were arranged, and extended opportunity for discussion was given in business meetings. It was clear that considerable concern exists, and for very understandable reasons. First, the upheaval that included the loss of over $15 million in distressed investments was troubling. The loss was not the cause of, but was a part of, the climate in which a presidential resignation took place. Second, the absence of communication (until convention) regarding details about the foundation contributed to sincerely prompted misgivings. Among these details is the fact that confusion existed as to what portion of the $250 million was to be used to establish the foundation.
I have asked for the privilege of framing this brief in hopes of clearing the air and setting in place a simple report that will allow us to move forward without confusion – with a beginning point for restoring comfort and trust among us all. I have asked questions and sought for answers that are easily grasped by the majority unaccustomed to the language of CPAs, and I offer the following to you. My purpose is to provide you with four facts that essentially summarize an answer to the dual questions: “What happened to the $250 million?” and “What will be the corpus (i.e., the actual amount of cash deposited) to establish the foundation?”
1. I am told that, from the inception of the concept to establish the foundation, there never was an intention of using more than $200 million of the funds from the radio station sale for this purpose. What follows will reveal that these monies are essentially on hand, notwithstanding the losses and other distributions. They are banked and protected, and they will be transferred into the foundation before the end of 2004, when the board has confirmed that the foundation is fully ready to function.
2. Approximately $17 million was invested in property acquisitions, parking development, building restoration, and ministry-center developments related to Life Pacific College and Angelus Temple, Angelus Temple being the original owner of KSFG. These monies are not only releasing ministry and making way for the future of our founding church but also serving denominational mission. For example, these funds facilitated the development of the WorldBase missions training facility we now have, through the transformation of former dormitories, as well as the servicing of facilities that include Angelus Bible Institute, so strategic to our training leaders to minister in the Latin world.
3. A second $17 million has been placed in the Foursquare loan fund. It is at work, serving the funding of church property acquisition, construction and improvement across the entire United States. The “serving our churches” stewardship of these funds is apparent.
4. Approximately $15.2 million was lost in the distressed investments. This was fully reported and dealt with at the San Francisco convention. There is a slight chance that a small portion of these funds may be recovered. Should this happen, it will be reported to you.
The above figures total approximately $250 million: (a) $200 million being accrued for the founding corpus of the foundation; (b) $17 million expended to serve Life Pacific College as well as the ministry surrounding Angelus Temple–the original owner of the radio station; (c) $17 million in the Foursquare loan fund, and (d) $15.2 million–the loss which shocked and stunned us all.
These are essentially the facts, simplified for the sake of summary. The complexity of the whole matter may be reported in a far more technical way, but the purpose of this simple approach is to enable us to gain a grasp of a basic resulting fact.
The foundation is moving toward its readiness to open the way to invite application for grants from any of our leaders and churches. Within the coming year, first distributions will begin to be made as, in a spiritually sensitive and businesslike way, the monies are released to extend the Gospel and advance the discipling of leaders to do the same.
Please be assured of this: The foundation is YOURS–it is ours, together. Following the convention, commitment to full evaluation and clarification of the foundation, its mission, its plan and methods for the distribution of funds, its accountability to the international board, are all being confirmed by the Foursquare cabinet. Those serving on the foundation board are unselfishly pursuing their task with a ministry mindset we will all be able to trust.