‘Apostolic’ Glory of Zion Ministry Near Dallas Has One of Highest Paid Christian Ministry Leaders in the Country
Glory of Zion International Ministries, an apostolic ministry led by Chuck Pierce, has seen significant growth over the last few years, not only in its revenue but also in the salaries it pays its executives.
According to financial information obtained by MinistryWatch, Glory of Zion had revenue of nearly $23 million in 2021, up from $11.3 million in 2017, the lion’s share of which came from contributions.
But the ministry has also increased its assets to $19 million, most of which is fixed. It also has over $5 million in cash assets.
MinistryWatch reached out to Glory of Zion several times to learn of its plans for the cash assets but received no response.
Pierce, president of Glory of Zion International Ministries, is one of the highest paid Christian ministry executives in the country. His salary from all the affiliated ministries in which he is involved totals $1.7 million.
According to the ministry’s Form 990 filed with the Internal Revenue Service, Pierce receives a base salary of $84,000 from an affiliated ministry and another $1.58 million from “bonus and incentive compensation.”
The form explains, “[Glory of Zion International Ministries] receives revenues from the sales of books, CDs, and DVDs authored by the ministers. Royalties and bonuses are subsequently paid to the respective ministers.”
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The Glory of Zion webstore has books, music, jewelry and apparel, CDs and DVDs available with prices varying from $5 to $50.
When a non-profit organization pays an executive more than $1 million, the organization generally relies upon a compensation study to justify it. The salary would then be approved by the board, according to the Trinity Foundation, a group calling for transparency, accountability, and stewardship among Christian ministries.
At Glory of Zion Ministries, three of eight voting board members are from the Pierce family, the Trinity Foundation said.
Furthermore, executives of nonprofits who serve as ministers or are paid as independent contractors are not subject to an excise tax on compensation of more than $1 million.
By operating as a ministry, the Trinity Foundation believes Glory of Zion International is exploiting a loophole in the tax code.
Other highly compensated executives include John Mark Pierce, director of special projects, who is paid $769,648, and the pastor’s travel assistant Chad Foxworth, who receives $513,505 in annual compensation.
Executive compensation accounts for 26.2%, or $4.6 million, of the ministry’s expenses.
While Glory of Zion doesn’t report any professional fundraising fees, it sends out multiple emails per week to its list of recipients. They often include a message about giving, such as “If you would like to sow an ‘unlocking offering’ to initiate your new journey, you can donate…”
One of the ministry’s “core expressions” of belief is giving God our “firstfruits.”
“When we choose to give Him the first of our time and increase, He sanctifies both our time and our finances. We also position ourselves to hear the revelation and receive the blessings that the LORD prepared for this time frame,” the website states.
Located in Corinth, Texas—a town about 30 miles north of Dallas—Glory of Zion International Ministries was formed in 1990 and aligned with the world prayer movement of Peter and Doris Wagner.
Pierce later received a doctor of ministry from the Wagner Leadership Institute, formed by Wagner in 1998 as “an international network of apostolic training centers established to equip the saints for kingdom ministry.”
Wagner, who died in 2016, and Pierce are leaders in the “New Apostolic Reformation” movement. The movement has been criticized by leaders like Costi Hinn for its problematic theology and “prosperity gospel.”
Got Questions describes it as “emphasiz[ing] experience over Scripture, mysticism over doctrine, and modern-day ‘apostles’ over the plain text of the Bible.”
MinistryWatch gives Glory of Zion International Ministries a donor confidence score of 53, meaning donors should “give with caution.” It also has a transparency grade of “D” because it is not a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and it does not provide audited financial statements of its records.
Main photo: Chuck Pierce / YouTube screenshot