Global televangelists to launch new TV station

(RNS) Two prominent televangelists are launching a new television channel despite a federal investigation.

Pastor Benny Hinn leads a service on Jan. 27, 2014.  Photo courtesy of House of Praise/Creative Commons

(RNS) Two prominent televangelists, Chris Oyakhilome and Benny Hinn, are launching a 24-hour TV channel, “LoveWorld USA,” which will be available in July to Spectrum cable subscribers.

This announcement Thursday (June 1) during an online news conference comes five weeks after IRS agents raided the Benny Hinn Ministries headquarters in North Texas.

According to reports, agents directed a two-day investigation there. While the IRS criminal investigations unit refused to comment on the matter, an agent at the scene in April told media they were “conducting a search warrant on the premises.”

Hinn, who was in Paris at the time, released a statement on Facebook immediately after the raid saying he was “confident that there will again be a positive and speedy outcome” to the investigation. He has made no further statements.

Oyakhilome made news in the African media earlier this year when Central Real Estate sued his Christ Embassy Church, which is in Nigeria, for unpaid rental costs. He has made no official statement regarding the lawsuit.

Despite their respective legal problems, Hinn and Oyakhilome began developing their channel earlier this year after “direct instruction from the Lord to them” during a prayer session, said executive director of Christ Embassy Believers LoveWorld Pastor Deola Phillips.

Christ Embassy Church already runs five international satellite TV stations, while Hinn’s TV show, “This Is Your Day,” airs on a variety of global networks. This new station, based in California, will feature the pastors in joint and separate programming, as well as guest pastors, children’s programming and news content.

Phillips quoted Oyakhilome, who reportedly said, “We don’t want another boring network. We want a network that showcases the power of God on a daily basis.”

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