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Monday, December 11, 2017

As they plump for more tax exemptions, Charlotte megachurches are surprisingly stingy when it comes to how much they rake in and what they do with it.

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In the end, only three churches provided audited financial statements: Elevation Church, Forest Hill Church and Transformation Church.

Two churches provided us with basic financial details, including their total revenue: St. Matthew Catholic Church and Freedom House.

Six churches declined to provide any financial information, saying it was available to members only: The Park Church, Central Church of God, St. Paul Baptist Church, Calvary Church, Mecklenburg Community Church and Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.

Hickory Grove Baptist Church was the only organization that completely refused to even speak with Channel 9 about our transparency survey. Hickory Grove leaders declined to return phone calls and emails from WSOC-TV over the span of two months. Investigative reporter Paul Boyd reached out to multiple staff members and also visited the church office to engage in a conversation one day but no one was available to talk.

The headline details from the survey include the following:

An estimated 82,000 people attend these 12 churches on average every week and are likely donors.

The five churches that disclosed their financial information generated a combined $88,018,092 in revenue last year.

None of the churches would disclose the individual compensation of their leadership or senior pastor.

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