Evangelicals fight in court over $3.3M raised for Holocaust survivors

Evans is accusing Franklin of withholding $3.3 million of the $4.5 million raised. Franklin, who heads the 14,000-member Free Chapel church of Gainesville, Georgia, denies the accusations.

Friends of Zion founder Dr. Mike Evans at the Srugim Conference on Monday.  (photo credit: DAVID SAAD)
Friends of Zion founder Dr. Mike Evans at the Srugim Conference on Monday.
(photo credit: DAVID SAAD)
Two prominent evangelical figures are fighting in court over millions of dollars raised for Holocaust survivors.
Mike Evans, a Christian Zionist from Texas, last summer sued Georgia pastor Jentezen Franklin in connection with a fundraising campaign they launched in 2017 to benefit Israeli Holocaust survivors, the Washington Post reported last month.
Evans is accusing Franklin of withholding $3.3 million of the $4.5 million raised. Franklin, who heads the 14,000-member Free Chapel church of Gainesville, Georgia, denies the accusations.
The lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, accuses Evans of fraud and conspiracy.
Both men belong to an informal group of evangelicals that advises President Donald Trump on religious matters, according to the Post. Franklin’s son, Drake, works as faith outreach director for the Trump campaign.
The dispute erupted after Evans received a list of campaign donors from Franklin’s office that reported $3.3 million more in donations than Evans thought had been raised, the Post reported.
Franklin says the men had a verbal agreement stipulating that Evans would get $1 million dollars for causes of his choosing, while the rest would remain with Franklin to promote his own causes and pay for expenses. Franklin says he gave Evans $1.2 million as a gesture of goodwill.
Pastor Jentezen Franklin dedicates his life to charity, justice, and doing good world-wide and in Israel. In this framework, Pastor Franklin donated significant funds and resources to children who are terror-victims in the Gaza boarder and supplied food, equipment and medicines to Holocaust survivors in Israel while working with a variety of charity and other foundations.
As part of Pastor Jentezen Franklin’s activities in Israel, and after being approached by Mr. Mike Evans with a request for his generous support, Pastor Franklin transferred to Mr. Evans and his organizations a donation in the total of amount of $1.2 million for the benefit of Holocaust survivors.
It should be noted that no agreement has been signed between Pastor Franklin and Mr. Evans or the organizations they represent, and therefore Mr. Evans’s lawsuit is groundless and meritless.
Pastor Jentezen Franklin never had any improper use in funds designated to Holocaust survivors or people in need, and all of his being and actions are solely designed to do justice and good.
We regret that instead of working together towards the noble cause of helping Holocaust survivors in their final years, Mr. Evans is choosing a way of division and conflict, with the sole intention to harm the impeccable reputation and positive deeds of Pastor Franklin, and is even asking for funds he does not deserve.   
Pastor Franklin will continue to work for the benefit of Holocaust survivors in Israel, for children in need in conflict and peripheral zones, for the weak and for justice around the world including in Israel. Pastor Franklin will not allow a meritless lawsuit to divert him from his important mission for Israel and the world.
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this response.