Sid Roth’s Messianic Vision & It’s Supernatural! Network Continue to Grow, Roth Has No Plans to Retire
Messianic Vision, a ministry founded in 1977 by Sid Roth “dedicated to reaching Jewish people with the Gospel,” has seen steady and substantial financial growth over the last several years.
From 2018 to 2020, the ministry’s revenue increased by over $10 million, more than 50 percent — from $18 million to $29 million.
Most of the growth is attributable to the growth of its digital network, Chief Operating Officer Joel Nori told MinistryWatch.
Roth, whose given name is Sydney Rothbaum, was raised in a Jewish home and says he came to believe in Jesus in 1972. He went on to found the ministry to evangelize other Jews.
Roth, still going strong at 81, hosts “It’s Supernatural!,” a television show he launched in 1996 where he interviews guests who claim “extraordinary healings, miracles and personal encounters with God.” The show generates between 40 and 50 percent of ministry revenue offering products, like books, CDs, and DVDs from its guests.
They don’t solicit donations to the ministry on the air, Nori said.
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Messianic Vision also has an entire network of monetized channels with television programming, called the It’s Supernatural Network (ISN).
The guests featured on Roth’s programs and website cover the theological spectrum. He has well-respected pastors and Bible teachers such as apologist Frank Turek and pastors Charles Stanley and Rick Warren. However, he also has a large number of prosperity gospel preachers, including Benny Hinn, Jesse DuPlantis, Creflo Dollar, and Kenneth Copeland.
Some of the featured hosts are Kevin Zadai, who claims to have died and gone to heaven and back “so he knows that heaven is for real,” and Becky Dvorak who describes herself as a healing evangelist and prophetess to the nations.
Dr. Michael Brown, a well-known Messianic Jewish apologist, says he has known Roth for almost 40 years and has worked with him on various evangelistic projects. He testifies to Roth’s sincere faith and desire to see God’s power demonstrated. Brown said he has cautioned Roth about some of his guests, encouraging him to vet them more carefully, “especially those claiming to have received special revelations from God.”
In 2016, the ministry acquired Middle East Television (METV) based in Cyprus, and uses it to broadcast sports, news, classic movies, evangelistic programs, Nori said.
Messianic Vision also started Project 77 in 2009, aimed at reaching Jewish people in the United States and Canada with evangelistic books. That group solicits donations of $77 “to send evangelistic books to 7 Jewish people in North America.” Nori says they’ve distributed over 3 million books so far.
With its increase in revenue, Messianic Vision has also increased its reserves. In 2020, it claimed over $26 million in assets. More than $17-million of that was in cash. Despite having all that cash on its balance sheet, it applied for $589,600 in Payroll Protection Plan loans. Those loans, plus interest, were ultimately forgiven.
Nori said the ministry is fiscally conservative and uses revenue increases to budget for the subsequent year and fund new projects without taking on debt, like a planned redesign of the studio or creation of new shows.
Right now, a new animated series, “Supernatural Sid” is in production, with the first slated for release in October.
Additionally, METV generates no revenue, according to Nori, so the ministry funds it at $2 million per year.
“We also are looking for opportunities to serve,” he said.
When opportunities arise, Nori says the group has assets it can deploy to serve a good cause, like digging wells in Nigeria with $5 million or building bomb shelters in Israel.
Nori says it often takes projects on in private, only making them known later.
Roth has no plans for retirement, Nori says, despite his age, and in June he plans to go back to Israel.
He says Roth has been undercompensated and “has not gotten rich off the ministry.” However, that claim is impossible to verify, since the ministry does not release its Form 990s to the public. The ministry doesn’t plan to provide Roth, who is independently wealthy from real estate investments through his wife’s side of the family, with a retirement payout of any sort.
Nori said the ministry doesn’t file Form 990s because it was established as a church and “still operates as such” — a practice MinistryWatch discourages. Nori said he believes the Form 990 invites government oversight.
As far as a transition plan away from Roth, Nori said that is the purpose of the networks that feature many programs that don’t involve Roth.
Messianic Vision was a founding member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) and makes its financial statements available. Recently, ECFA made one recommendation that Messianic Vision check any foreign ministries against the Office of Foreign Assets Control list and it readily complied, Nori said.
MinistryWatch gives Messianic Vision a transparency grade of “C” because it does not complete publicly available Form 990s with the Internal Revenue Service.
MinistryWatch gives Messianic Vision a donor confidence score of 55 (out of 100), which means “give with caution.” Nori said the ministry, in contrast with the information recorded by MinistryWatch, has a seven-member board, all of who are non-compensated, disinterested, have term limits, and are unrelated to Roth.” Because the ministry does not release its Form 990 to the public, MinistryWatch was not able to verify that information.