Expose of Destiny Church in new book

Next month a book about the life of Bishop Brian Tamaki and his Destiny Church will be published: The Life and Times of a Self-Made Apostle.

It has been written by Massey University’s associate professor of religious history, Peter Lineham. He relies heavily on the accounts of Lynda Stewart, a former financial administrator for the church.

Brian Tamaki’s wife Hannah says Stewart was a member for seven years, but left after Brian Tamaki was anointed bishop in 2005.

Stewart accuses the Tamakis of living an extravagant lifestyle off the backs off their oft-impoverished church members.

Hannah refutes the accusations made by Stewart about her life style and behaviour.

“She is trying to paint me as unethical and that is what people do, but it comes back on them.” She claims Stewart owns part of a gold mine in South Africa and a villa in Italy.

And she rejects some of the claims about her own extravagance. “One of my favourites was that we gave our son Samuel a Corvette. We have never even sat in a Corvette so, no, we didn’t give him one.

“Another was that we bought our daughter a cruise, which we haven’t.”

Recent reports put donations to the church as high as 30 per cent of parishioners’ incomes, but Hannah says this is untrue – the tithe sought, she says, is the traditional 10 per cent. She describes members who in the past would have spent $100 on booze each weekend but now give $60 to the church. “They are saving $40 and getting a lot more for it,” she says.

Claims the poor are forced to tithe are also untrue, she says. “We don’t force people to give and we don’t follow up saying you didn’t tithe last week,” she says. “Other churches tithe and no one questions them on it.”


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News category: New Zealand.

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