North Texas televangelist Kenneth Copeland is not budging, more than six months after a senator began asking for his financial records and those of five other ministers nationwide.
His ministry has launched a Web site — BelieversStandUnited.com — to fight back against the inquiry by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, into the lavish lifestyles of six televangelists.
"Senator Grassley's investigation threatens to trespass upon all of our religious liberties and strike down the First Amendment rights of the Church — rights that are protected by long-standing IRS procedures that allow the IRS to obtain answers to the Senator's questions while respecting the Church's constitutional rights," according to Copeland's Web site.
Meanwhile, Grassley is still working with the ministries to get financial information, spokeswoman Jill Kozney said.
"He's seeking voluntary compliance by everybody," she said.
Copeland, whose ministry is based in Newark, near Eagle Mountain Lake, isn't expected to make it easy.
Earlier this year, he said he wouldn't turn financial documents over to Grassley, saying "it's not yours, it's God's and you're not going to get it." In April, Kenneth Copeland Ministries asked the Internal Revenue Service to perform a church tax inquiry on the ministry rather than give documents to Grassley. By May, the ministry launched the Web site to counter Grassley's efforts.