You Ask, We Answer – St. Matthew’s Churches Are Despicable Con Artists Preying on the Elderly
“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy …” 2 Timothy 3:2
When we asked for your ideas about what we should look into in 2014, MinistryWatch.com was asked by one reader about a ministry which now goes by the name of Saint Matthew’s Churches. We can unfortunately confirm our reader was correct to be very concerned about this group. It is run by a sketchy individual named James Ewing who has used his experience as a direct mail fund raiser to bilk what likely amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars over many years from primarily elderly recipients of his highly emotional pleas for donations, promising answered prayers in return. Ewing apparently lives the high life in Beverly Hills, CA while fleecing the elderly with promises he knows are false. While the IRS was able to overcome Ewing after years of legal battles in the early 1990s and remove his charitable designation, Ewing simply reformed his organization as a church, where it is much more difficult for the IRS to withhold its charitable designation. From what we can tell, the organization actually acquired two churches in order to justify its claim that it is an actual church. Still, it is really just a post office box located in Tulsa, Oklahoma collecting cash from unsuspecting and naive donors. If you have an elderly relative, be on the lookout for mailings from Saint Matthew’s Churches and do your best to explain to them that this organization is essentially a fraud stealing money from them.