Pro$perity Pu$hers

Every day, all over the world, devout Christians are following the teachings of Jesus by treating others as they wish to be treated themselves.  Church leaders are comforting those who mourn and inspiring the faithful.  Christian institutions are providing safe havens to the downtrodden and a moral compass for their communities.  But in this age of technology, new teaching has emerged known as the “Prosperity Gospel.”  This materialistic and heretical theology is being promoted by celebrities who perform on stages in megachurches across the country.  Through sermons, social media, and TV shows, they teach that God wants you to be rich, but he cannot bless you unless you first send a “seed-faith offering” to whichever televangelist tells you about this scheme.  Did you not receive what you were hoping for?  You must have had too little faith, and you probably did not sow enough.

Anybody that has read the Gospels should know that Jesus never promoted any such thing.  In fact, he explicitly warned his followers to avoid seeking earthly treasure. white7

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Currently, one of the most influential and popular Prosperity Pushers is a woman named Paula White.  She now goes by the name Paula White-Cain after having married for the third time.  She co-founded Without Walls International Church in Tampa, Florida with her second husband, pastor Randy White and now serves as senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida, a non-denominational, multi-cultural megachurch.  She also hosts a television show, Paula White Today.

White’s full name is Paula Michelle Furr White-Cain, and she was born on 4/20/66 (666 / Hitler’s birth) in Tupelo, Mississippi, the daughter of Myra Joanelle and Donald Paul Furr III.  Investigating Paula White’s ancestry wasn’t a very time-intensive endeavor for me since it’s likely that she was conceived in a petri dish. Her mother’s name is Myra Joanelle Furr, maiden name unknown.  Any mention of Myra on the genealogy sites is blocked as “private,” and there is no photographic evidence to confirm her existence.  It’s also convenient that Paula’s father committed suicide in 1971 when she was just five years old.  I could locate no death certificate to confirm his suicide.  Attempting to dig deeper I visited the Social Security Death Master File website.

 

white3white4“Section 203 requires fees sufficient to cover the costs associated with the certification program.”  I was more than willing to pay a fee to access such valuable information, but I soon learned what a silly, naïve boy I am.  First, they direct you to three PDF documents to “make sure you qualify to be certified before you pay the applicable non-refundable fees.”  Then you must submit the LADMF ACAB Firewall Status Application Form.  If approved, you must annually pay a $1,575.00 LADMF Subscriber Certification Processing Form processing fee and complete and submit a LADMF Subscriber Certification Form which must be renewed each year.   You must also pay the $525.00 LADMF ACAB Systems Safeguards Attestation Form processing fee every three years.  There are a few other hoops to jump through before you can submit the appropriate Subscriber Agreement, or Subscriber Agreement Amendment, or Non-Federal Licensee Agreement or Non-Federal Licensee Agreement Amendment.

I’ve lost my will to live just reading the requirements, let alone trying to complete the forms. `So, returning to the information that we’re “allowed” to view, I found Paula’s father at Find-a-grave.   Donald Paul Furr (1899-1974) and Charlie C. Furr (1900-1981) are listed as Donald’s parents, but they are his grandparents.white1Since Paula’s father was Donald Furr III, that would make Donald Jr., Paula’s grandfather.  He is shown here as a 19-year-old in 1940 which would put his birthdate at 1921.  Donald Furr, Jr. was married to a woman named Mary Ruth Sims (Paula White’s grandmother.)  Here is her obituary.

TupeloMary Ruth (Sims) Furr, 93, died Tuesday, April 18, 2017. She was born June 13, 1923, in Guntown to the late John and Anna Barber Sims. She was a longtime and faithful member of First United Methodist Church of Tupelo. Mary Ruth was the owner and operator of Playland Toy Store (Wikipedia tells us that Paula’s parents owned a toy and craft store.)  Survivors include her four grandchildren Mark Furr, Paula Furr Cain, Kelsey Higgins Sneed, and Lexie Higgins Russell.  She is preceded in death by her husband Donald Furr Jr., son Donald Furr III, and daughter Susan Furr Higgins.

Considering that this obituary was written in 2017, why is the “White” in Paula Furr White-Cain’s name excluded?  And why aren’t the family proudly trumpeting White’s accomplishments?  It’s also curious that Paula has never mentioned this grandmother or been photographed with her?  It would seem to be a perfect “human interest” story to feature on “Paula White Today.”

Paula White’s childhood provides the typical sob story that we encounter time and time again with these promoted puppets.  Her parent’s separation and father’s suicide plunged the family into poverty causing Paula’s mother to turn to alcohol.  Between the ages of six and thirteen Paula claims to have been sexually and physically abused causing her to suffer from bulimia.  Despite being an alcoholic and living in poverty, Paula’s “mother” remarried to a two-star admiral in the US Navy when White was nine years old.  Her family moved to the Washington, D.C. area when her (unnamed) stepfather became stationed at the National Naval Medical Center.  White graduated from Seneca Valley High School at the very same time that the Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps unit at the school was established (1983).

“When I was just eighteen years old (1984), the Lord gave me a vision that every time I opened my mouth and declared the Word of the Lord, there was a manifestation of His Spirit where people were either healed, delivered, or saved. When I shut my mouth, they fell off into utter darkness, and God spoke to me and said, ‘I called you to preach the gospel”. 

During this time, White was married to her first husband and had a newborn baby (her only child.)  This marriage ended soon after.  We are told that she met her second husband, the pastor Randy White when he visited the church where Paula volunteered as a janitor.  I suppose that’s how she was able clean up her act and sweep him off his feet.  Cleanliness is Godliness.

white99999Randy White’s father was also a pastor who just happened to have served in the US Navy.  He was born and died in Frederick, MD (45 miles north of Washington D.C) just like his father and grandfathers before him.  Randy White’s mother’s name was Darlene Masser, and she was also born in Frederick, but her family history is unknown.  There are only two prominent people named Masser listed on Wikipedia.  One of them was songwriter Michael Masser who was Jewish.  Perhaps that’s why we are denied Randy White’s mother’s ancestors.

Randy White’s daughter died of cancer at the age of 30 prompting him to found “The Kristen Renee Foundation” which is engaged in a legal battle against Fort Detrick Army Base over mishandling of toxic materials.  It’s impossible to know if the work of this foundation is legitimate or just another money grab.  Kristen’s mother also died of cancer, so perhaps their deaths were fake, and this tussle with the Army is just a ruse to garner contributions to support a pre-determined court case.  It’s difficult to believe Randy White when he states, “As a man of God, I think integrity is a must.  I think honor will be earned and trust will be earned.”  He made that statement in 2012 when his ministry was $22 million in debt due to a public divorce from Paula White, a U.S. Senate inquiry into church finances, media scrutiny for the couple’s jet-setting lifestyle, his addiction to prescription drugs and a stroke.

Some of the White’s lavish lifestyle included a $2.1 million waterfront mansion and a $3.5 million Trump Tower condo in New York.white999999Paula White-Cain now serves as Donald Trump’s spiritual adviser.  Since White preaches the “Prosperity Gospel,” this makes perfect sense.  Did Trump choose her because she’s an easy-on-the-eyes blonde woman that he discovered while watching television?  That also makes sense.  The following is from an article written by Nicola Menzie, founder of Faithfully magazine, which reports on Christians of color:

How Paula White, Donald Trump’s Spiritual Adviser, Harms Christians of Color Paula White is the Florida preacher, who has been called President-elect Donald Trump’s “God whisperer” due to their longtime relationship and her puzzling insistence that he is a born-again Christian.   I’ve been getting regular emails from White’s ministry for two-three years now, and 99% of them involve an appeal for financial donations, sometimes in exchange for a book, DVD set or some other teaching product. This isn’t unusual — plenty of nonprofits, religious or otherwise, solicit donations in exchange for gifts.  Paula White’s email appeals for financial donations, however, are different.

In a newsletter emailed to supporters this week, Florida pastor Paula White claims that God has shown her that “this is a season of victory for His people.” The Christian minister also reveals a strong feeling “that a seed of $229 in accordance with 1 Chronicles 22:9 is a breakthrough seed for the month of July,” and declares to recipients of her newsletter, “Do not hesitate to follow a prophetic instruction! 

Longtime televangelist and senior Pastor of New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida, Paula White offered her followers an Easter Sunday deliverance from a spiritual death sentence for a $1,144 “resurrection seed” she says was set by God. Preaching the story of Lazarus who Jesus resurrected from the dead in John 11:38–44, White promised believers in a video appeal that if they would sow the seed and have faith, she believed deliverance would come.

Folks are, naturally, free to believe whatever they want about the Bible. But I can guarantee you, the holy word of God was never meant to be used as a numbers game to fatten pockets.

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One of the more curious things about the rise of Paula White is her popularity with African-Americans.  For a time, she was even a regular guest as a life coach on supermodel Tyra Banks’ talk show.  She was the “personal pastor” for baseball player Daryl Strawberry following his release from prison for cocaine possession.  White often punctuates her sermons with urban slang like, “slap somebody upside their weave,” “grab their nappy hair,” and asking, “can you help a sistah out?”  I suppose that the reason those words coming out of that face don’t seem ridiculous to black audiences is because White gained credibility with the endorsement of “Bishop” T.D. Jakes, another prosperity scoundrel.white9999999White considers T.D. Jakes her spiritual father. Jakes invited her to speak at his “Woman Thou Art Loosed” conference in 2000.  She also participated in the Mega Fest, hosted by Jakes in Atlanta, in 2004, 2005, and 2008.

On December 31, 2011, the board of New Destiny Christian Church in Apopka, Florida, announced they had appointed White to succeed Zachery Tims, as the new senior pastor. New Destiny Christian Center had been searching for his replacement since Tims’ death.white99999999Zachery Tims was found on the floor of a room in New York City’s W Hotel in Times Square on Aug. 12, 2011. News reports indicate Tims, who died at the age of 42, had a plastic bag filled with white powder in his pocket, leading many to believe his death was associated with a drug overdose (his mother is reportedly suppressing the autopsy results.)   Riva Tims, the former wife of the late Florida megachurch pastor, opened up to a magazine about her ex-husband 1 1/2 years after he died.  “I thought that was stuff in the past. I didn’t realize it was still current. I found out for sure about the affairs and substance abuse at the same time. I had no idea it was so much. I’ll put it this way: It’s one thing to have a struggle; it’s another thing to have a lifestyle.

In an article titled “When Blackface Enters the Pulpit” D. Danyelle Thomas wrote “(White) has built her brand and bank account on the backs of Black audiences.  (She’s) embodied performative Black worship through her intonation and fluency in Black vernacular and colloquialisms.  And for some reason, we eat it up. We continue to allow (her) in our pulpits, to lead our churches, and to rob us blind in Jesus’ name.  We dance, shout, cry, and sow our seeds to (her) ministry while refusing to hold (her) accountable…When her ex-husband died, Riva (Tims) was denied the opportunity to lead the church she co-founded.  The selection and voting committee at the time cited a stipulation that the senior pastor should be married – even though Tims was divorced at the time of his death.  White, who eventually won their vote, was not remarried until 2015.

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On April 27, 2015, Paula White married rock musician Jonathan Cain.  Cain was born Jonathan Leonard Friga.  His name choice of Cain indicates an affinity for the Biblical originator of evil, violence, and greed.  Jonathan Cain is best known for his work with the rock groups The Babys, Bad English, and Journey.  His first wife was Tane McClure, the daughter of Hollywood actor Doug McClure.  Tane McClure starred in more than two dozen sexploitation films.

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Paula White and Husband promote Porn in Marriage

In a January 5, 2017, CNN interview, White responded to some of the criticism saying “I have been called a heretic, an apostate, an adulterer, a charlatan, and an addict. It has been falsely reported that I once filed for bankruptcy and — my personal favorite — that I deny the Trinity!” During her interview, she also said in her defense “My life and my decisions have been nowhere near perfect, though nothing like what has been falsely conveyed in recent days.”

White has also been criticized for being introduced or claiming to have a doctoral degree when she has no college or seminary degree and she has been denounced by rapper and Christian pastor Shai Linne in a song titled Fal$e Teacher$.

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Fal$e Teacher$ by Shai Linne

Ministries headed by Prosperity Pushers necessarily perform some good works.  Similarly, McDonald’s sells oatmeal and apple slices, but no one would mistake it for a health food restaurant.

14 thoughts on “Pro$perity Pu$hers

  1. Very interesting article. The only “prosperity preacher” I know of is Joel Osteen and I can’t stand to look at his smarmy face. For the life of me, I can’t understand why people are taken in by this nonsense. This woman definitely looks like a “sex kitten”, not an evangelist.
    I also don’t understand the draw of “faith healers”. I have an uncle (he is in his mid-70’s) that has endured several serious heart attacks in the past couple of years, the last one almost killed him and it was in March of this year. He is a good man, took care of my grandmother until her death around 15 years ago, she was 96. For several years he has been taking care of a lady that is currently 97. She was still quite spry until she broke her ankle in a fall about 6 months ago. She was not properly treated in the emergency room and her ankle has not healed correctly. Doctors won’t perform any corrective surgery due to her age. She is now confined and unable to get around like she used to. Sorry for the long story…but he is preparing the embark on a 1500 mile trip so she can be “prayed” for by a faith healer. He was a big Leroy Jenkins fan, but since Jenkins died last year, I have no idea what faith healer he is currently planning this 1500 mile trip to see. It’s lunacy as far as I am concerned.

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  2. Brilliant work, Kevin! But if you are going to get into the realm of televangelists/prosperity preachers/fundamentalists as psyops, you will have your hands full for years. It has long seemed to me that these folks are all operatives for some hidden interest, going back to John Calvin (from Latin Calvinus from French Cauvin … from Hebrew Cohen?). Their successes (and disgraces) seem like part of a long plan to paint all Christianity as idiocy and corruption. I hope you keep going!

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    1. I’m currently researching Ecumenism and the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy of the early 1900’s. While I’m researching the heavier topics, I’ve decided to pick off some easy targets.

      I do plan to keep going. Thanks for the encouraging words.

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  3. Greetings: Didn’t the most recent incarnation of this perversion of Christianity emerge with the “Prayer of Jebez” (otherwise known as “The Gimme Prayer”) in the early 2000s? The “resurrection seed” mentioned above sounds like Oral Roberts and the “God is going to call me home if I don’t raise $(fill in the blank) for my ministry/school/church, etc.” game – slightly newer version. He was a “faith healer”, too, as was (is?) Peter Popov who is back with new versions of the same old scams – no shame whatsoever. The list of scoundrels is endless. Didn’t you do a paper on faith healers for Mr. Taos?

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    1. As Maarten suggests above, this deception/manipulation of Christianity has been going on for a very long time. I’m glad that you mentioned Oral Roberts since he is my next target. And yes, the list of scoundrels is endless.

      The Faith Dealer article was my last contribution to the MMC (of which this is an offshoot.) There is a lot of good information in that piece, but I no longer subscribe to that method of genealogical research.

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      1. Unfortunately I’ve encountered many people in my life who believe in this bull honkery. You can’t talk to them. They’ve fallen for the okie doke and they don’t seem to be of sound mind. And even though it’s very easy to look at people who fall for prosperity preachers, or televangelism or religion in general, with a good amount of contempt, in some ways it’s very sad.

        I think that all religion is just a slick way to get people to snap into line. I know that might seem a pretty simplistic interpretation, but you start to wonder how people are supposed to conform based on religion. My best semi-educated guess is it’s just meant to organize labor. Sometimes a pay check isn’t enough to motivate people to endure the drudgery work. And neither is the threat of poverty. People have a need to feel like they’re contributing to something epic and wondrous. Even if their doing the most boring, or horrible job ever. Hence religion.

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      2. I don’t recall seeing that article (but my visits to that particular site have been sporadic over the past year or so)….I hate to visit the site, but will so I can read your work.

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    2. MOODYDEB, I don’t consider the Prayer of Jabez teachings (as espoused by author Bruce Wilkinson) to be a perversion at all. I do believe that many of the usual suspects latched onto that teaching and perhaps understood it to mean something different than what was intended by Mr. Wilkinson and the verse that those teachings are based on (I Chronicles 4:10). For those who have actually read the book, it’s not even remotely a “Gimmie Prayer” at all. (It’s actually the opposite, if you can believe that.)

      While I have a hard time with the Prosperity Gospel types, they are like everyone else…in need of a little love and understanding.

      This reminds me of one of my favorite memes: “Don’t judge someone just because their sin is different from yours.”

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      1. Greetings, Lofcaudio: A number of years ago, I got religious mailings referencing the “Prayer of Jebez” (sic), including a “prayer rug” that I was supposed to” kneel on, ask for whatever I wanted and return it with $4.10 seed money”; these came out of Philadelphia, NYC and LA.

        I worked in home health at the time and had older clients who’d received the same mailings. Several followed instructions and were immediately inundated with additional “prayer” items and requests for “seed money” from multiple “religious” organizations. Some of my clients were in financial binds and could ill afford even the few dollars they sent…but they were all hoping for that “miracle check to arrive in the mail” or “the miracle money to appear in their bank accounts”. My attempts to explain that I thought they were being swindled were often met with disbelief and, occasionally, anger.

        I have a very hard time either loving or understanding those who steal from those who can least afford it. Yes, perhaps they’re too gullible for their own good; however, I find it difficult to justify someone dying of heart disease because instead of buying heart medicine, they were sending that money to a prosperity preacher (couldn’t afford to do both…). Sorry.

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  4. All organized religion is engaged in the sale of tickets to an “afterlife” at a cost: $$$ and spiritual death and loss of life itself. Mind control is the weapon of choice in the realm of corporate church and corporate state, working hand-and-glove to rob man of all that is real in nature. We have man-made substitutes for everything, including the God of your choice. It’s always about choice, so choose wisely.

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  5. The thing that intrigues me to no end is the splintering and perversion of Christ’s message practically from the get-go. In the 1st century Christianity was already divided into: Jewish Christianity, Pauline Christianity, and Gnostic Christianity.

    Despite the fact that the subject is so overwhelming, I’m going to attempt to present a “Christianity for Dummies” series of articles. I’m going to avoid theology (as much as possible) and do it ‘Joe Friday’ style. According to the “facts” that “his-story” tells us anyway.

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