St. Matthews Church – Tulsa, OK (Scam)

In recent days, my previous post about St. Matthews Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma (over 2 years ago) has suddenly spiked in hits.  I thought it might be useful to update it a bit.

I’ve not received any more correspondence from them in the 27 months that have elapsed.

You’ve got to read the comments in the first post.  It is incredible how some find value in the scam.

Wikipedia has an article with some more details.

Ripoff Report has many more comments than I’ve ever generated.

Please people.  If you want to connect with God in some way, consider a local congregation.  Yes, it can be awkward at first, but the benefits of engaging with people who can share their story with you is more valuable than sending money to a group that preys on your need.

Pondering Pastor

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28 responses to “St. Matthews Church – Tulsa, OK (Scam)

  1. Thank you for the information!!!!

  2. james campbell

    I have wondered a long time about Saint Matthews Churches, if it’s a real church or just another con-game? And I suppose the only reason I entertained the idea of sending them money in the first place was because I liked their messages. But as always, if we pay attention to the Holy Spirit, it will give us the answers that we are seeking. Thanks for the information.

  3. they have been sending me letters for about 2 months now and i have send them no money because i thought it was a scam…

  4. I’m so confused…But I believe that the people in your local churches are your neighbors and part of your community who is there to support you during trying/difficult times. These envelopes from St. Matthews always have letters asking for specific amounts, like $35 or $65…what’s up there, since God only asks for 10%…how do they know what your offering should be?

  5. I received a St Matthew’s letter several years ago, and didn’t send them a dime. But I did open up the envelope to see what the “prayer blessings” were (even though the instructions in the letter specifically said to mail the check BEFORE opening the envelope). Just a handful of Bible verses about prosperity, as I recall. And I think at least one of them was quoted grossly out of context…
    I too was living in low income housing at the time I received a mailing from these crooks, even though I was a graduate student at the time. It is not at all surprising to me that they target those who live in low income neighborhoods; they are counting on the ignorance of the recipient for the scam to work. Amazing, indeed, that anyone could stick up for them, as several did in the comments on your previous post. Sad…

  6. I decided tonite to look up this church. yes i like the message, but some of u are so right . you shouldn’t have pay for prayer. i will no longer send them money.

  7. Yes I also recieve these letters from this so called church. I sent money then put a stop payment on the check.
    I believe they prey on persons going through hard times. I am recently seperated and after my wife filed for divorce I started getting letters from St Mathews church.
    Now I open the letters and put everything back in the prepaid envelope and send it back.
    What a terrible thing to do to people like me who are having troubles!
    Thanks for the info and God Bless!

  8. Why? Why is this wrong. I have received their letters for about five years. I accepted the Lord Jesus as my savior 38 years ago. I am also educated. I would like to tell you that many times I’ve opened the letters what this was about. However many times I’ve opened the letters and been ministered to. There is no one making anyone give. If I feel led to give I give, and like wise if I don’t feel led to give I don’t. When I give I consider it an offering, since I tithe to my local church. My concern with you saying it is wrong is that many times this ministry has been the one thing that has kept me from giving up. Giving people hope in God is not wrong. Encouraging someone with prayer is not wrong. Telling someone that they matter and that someone cares is not wrong. You know I hope they are getting wealthy, May God bless them for all the times they have blessed me with their words of hope.

  9. I received a letter from St. Matthews Churches one day when I was as at an extremely low period in my life. I responded to the letter by sending in the postage paid card and received another letter a few weeks later. I then received a booklet about the seed harvest plan. To date, I have not been asked to send any money at all, but I must say that the letters and the information is always just what I need to hear at the time. In my particular situation, I cannot say they are a ripoff, but I can say that they are spreading God’s word, and I enjoy receiving their publications as they offer hope in these troubling times.

    • ponderingpastor

      Unfortunately just because it is offering hope and comes at just the right time does not mean that it is spreading God’s word. Hope can come from a lot of places, even from lies.

      • ok pastor and all else who say this is a scam why not trust GOD if someone feels like giving their money what is that to you you sound like the Hireling
        who started work in the early morning that complained to the Lord about the one he hired in the 9th hour supposing he would get more if you are the
        Christlike (Christian) you should know give this over to GOD he will avenge and he will Bless anyone who gives to him out of the LOVE in there Heart if these people are false don’t you trust GOD to punish them do you not make yourself out to be God by saying GOD is not doing it so I will !! God can even use a false Christian for the benefit of his CHILDREN.

      • ponderingpastor

        It is hard to know where to start with your comments.

        What is it to me if someone gives to a scam? I have no personal gain if someone doesn’t give money to “St. Matthew’s Church”. But I do feel an obligation to report fraud when I see it. Give it over to God? OK, but the denomination I’m a part of has a tag line that fits well here. “God’s Work – Our Hands”. God’s actions in the world are usually not separate from the work God’s people do.

        Consider this: You write, “God can even use a false Christian for the benefit of his children.” I agree. The false Christians are St. Matthew’s Church, and the questions people have had about their contributions led them to this blog and the truth about this scam.

  10. I started receiving these letters about two years ago coincidently around the time i was having money and realtionship problems, everything these letters were saying all made sense,

  11. I did send them money a couple of times because I felt how could someone use God to make money but I guess especially the way the economy is everyone is bound to have similar issues, I actually have one of their prayer letters I was going to send in until now, I decided to look this church up and came across this, I decided to just continue giving to my church and ask for prayers from them i nstead.

  12. I have received several of these letters and, I admit I have sent small donations, though I have had my doubts about the veracity of the organization. This site lets me know that I should have followed my instincts. My God listens to (and answers) my prayers without intercession from these folks.I aqm sure that my regular church will be happy to receive any donations and I know they will be put to good use. Thanks for the info.

  13. “To prove God” that He will keep His promises by “sending $32, $42 to the churches” is abominable for me. We do not bribe God. We do not manipulate God. God loves us unconditionally and to receive His blessings with a monetary counterpart is not right. In the morning, I prayed this morning to the Holy Spirit for enlightenment in everything I do and think of and as I opened their latest envelope, that is the thought that struck my heart. I praise God! Meanwhile, we pray that God’s people open their hearts, their eyes, and their ears to live in the truth.

  14. i have been receiving mail from this church for about 8months. i have send in little donations also. These letters started in January, two days after my best friend ( for eleven years) got killed. At the time i was so amazed that someone in the world, other than my friends and family, knew i was going through a real tough time. i felt the church was lead to me by God. As months as went on, i have received a dozen more letters. i started to question these letters about a month ago. i realized that i was sending money to a p.o box and not the actual church. i thought this could be a scam, but then again why would anyone play with God like that? ? So as of right now i still believe this is not a scam and i hope im right. plus, there is nothing wrong with helping people. I am not here to judge but to understand. Ans if this is a scam God will handle them his self.

  15. I have been sending money to Saint Matthews Church for three yrs. now. I must say every time a got a letter it seem to reflect on what i was going through at the time and helped me get through my struggles. I love the feeling of knowing i had people praying for me in my times of need. I have always believed in them, an for some reason i googled the church today an found this website….what a blow to the stomach!!! Although my family has always told me to investigate where my hard earned money is being used, i just never felt the need. Satin comes in all forms, an in many different ways, and for me to say whether or not i have been scammed is difficult to do. I pray that my money was put to good use an it was not mis-used!!!! I can say i am going to start tithes with my church from now on, at least i know where the money is going! I have paid probally 5,000 in tithes to this church…checks, but mostly cash. Guess i should have been wiser, an this was an eye opener for me. God Bless!!! From the Delta

  16. i have been sending them money for years i hate this this is a hurting thing to find out. no more money from my family

  17. This is the first link I clicked on when I decided to look them up. I too have given money (off and on) for many years. I’m sorry to say that it always seems to be during the stressful periods of my life that I seem to pay more attention to their letters and respond likewise with a donation. I have to agree that they (St. Matthew’s) certainly do seem to send letters prayers (and requests) mostly when I am “down” or during a rough time in life. That aside, I have a question which I was wondering if anyone knows the answer to. Are they a state or federal recognized charitable institution? When we did our taxes for this past year my husband wanted to know why we never received back anything stating we had made a contribution to a non-profit like we do from “Feed the Children” or “Stamp Out Hunger” or St. Judes Hospital, Disabled Vets, etc., etc, etc. Like “From the Delta”, many of my contributions were also cash. Does anyone out there know the answer to this? I only have limited funds and now I’d like to know if I shouldn’t have given more to the above listed charities and none to St. Matthews???? Thanks for reading and listening. Peace and Happiness to everyone in the upcoming holiday season. Mae

    • I don’t know if St. Matthews Church is a recognized 501 (c) 3 organization or not, but not getting acknowledgment of any contributions is a RED FLAG! I discourage anyone from giving to St. Matthews Church for plenty of other reasons, but this alone would be enough! What does St. Matthews Church do other than collect your money and make some kind of vague promise to pray for you. How likely do you think that they actually pray for you if they can’t even acknowledge your gift? Maybe they pray “thank you” when they open the envelope and pull out the money.

  18. Eugene Onumonu

    I am skeptical of this St matthews Church prayer thing.There is no contact phone number for person to person interaction like all the scam group that has besieged me of late .their method of insistence on the definite amount money seed you must sow & their insistence you dont open the so called God”s prophetic solution until you must mailed out money to them, to me is fraudulent I therefore disassociate myself from this St Matthew,s church Tulsa Oklahoma

  19. I think we all know that Jesus described these types of people in the Bible as “Money Changers.” If you go to their website they do not accept e-mails. They have two phone numbers – if you call the first #, the message just reads bible verses on and on, there is no way to talk to anyone or leave a message and pressing 0 and all the other #’s did nothing. If you call the “EMERGENCY prayer line”, you again get a LONG message and eventually they give you about 20 seconds to leave a message. There is NO way to talk to, contact or interact with this “church”. I believe that the way they conduct business is the OPPOSITE of what GOD or JESUS would want. Prayers are FREE, you can talk to god for FREE. In this economy for someone to scam people out of $ in the name of god and prayers – they should be disgusted with themselves. How do they sleep at night? God is not smiling down on these people and I can assure you that god isn’t listening to their greedy prayers. If you need help, go to a local church or take a few minutes throughout your day as things get difficult and say a prayer, I think you will receive the fulfillment you are looking for when you have a direct relationship with god – he listens to everyone equally – regardless of race, class, good and bad – he loves and listens to everyone. Church should be a social place where you interact with like minded people and this is not a church. Can you believe these people aren’t paying taxes because they are a “church.” They hire someone with a direct mail list who does all the work, they don’t spend time doing anything for you or with you. They are ROLLING in YOUR $$ all the way to the bank and you get NOTHING for your time and money except a lower bank account balance and a heavy heart.

  20. Thanks you guys I read all the post, i was planning on mailing back the letter and post cards minus the funds, now i’m a little skeptical…

  21. I must be honest I am not a religious person. My world runs on logic and reason, cause and effect etc. I too received an envelope from this church and I examined the enclosed information. According to the information, you were to look upon a piece of paper, they called it a prayer rug, which had an image of Christ on it. The image had closed eyes and you were instructed to stare at the closed eyes to see if the eyes opened after a while. If you stared at it long enough the eyes appeared to be open. If this occurred you were instructed to write your prayer request down on an enclosed form and mail the image, prayer request and a seed donation to the church. They were to pray for your request and then mail the image you sent to someone else. So I looked at the eyes on the image of Christ closely, under strong light, and noticed that there were slightly darkened areas in the form of circles in the closed eyes. The darkened areas, when stared at for some time, become more visible and the darkened areas begin to look like pupils so it appears to the observer that the eyes are open. In my opinion it is a deliberately contrived illusion to make you think you are seeing a miracle. This scam was well thought out and if you send money to this organization it is as good as throwing it away. You do indeed have a right to throw your money away if you want. When you break it down it is still someone trying to make you believe that you are getting a large return on a small investment, when in reality what they really want is your investment. I don’t know why I posted this, it will probably be my first and last post on a religious site.

  22. I really appreciate this site. For years I have been in a battle and St. Matthews have been sending me letters. It usually fit with what I needed at the time, however they always ask for specific amounts of money as a seed faith offering. Usually upwards towards the $100.00-$150.00 range. It’s usually for a weird amount like $84.00, $92.00 or $102.00. It seems like every week I get another letter. Do you realize that they ask you what your 3 most urgent prayers are? When you give them that information they can form a response to fit EVERYBODIES needs at the same time. I learned this in my psychology class. The professor ask 6 of us to volunteer to have our personalities read. He only asked for general information such as sex gender, age and hobbies. The next day he handed out our personality reviews. I was amazed as well as the other 5 people that he knew our personalities to a T. We all had the exact SAME review. He told us some people do that. I think St. Matthews does that. They know what you NEED to hear because you told them in the last letter. They keep sending letters that build on the last. Occassionally I have sent them a very small amount of money. But I quit because I always had an uneasy feeling. Last year I sent them a letter telling them I didn’t want anymore of their mailings and take me off their list. I told them if they were really an honest church to have the bishop write to me. Needless to say I have not received a personal letter and I keep getting their mass mailings. Several of the people in my neighborhood get the exact same letters at the exact same time I do. As far as the taxes go, I’ve also wrote to them telling them I need a tax form to no avail. That was 2 years ago and I am still waiting. Do I think it’s a scam? Oh yeah! And even I could pull sayings out of the bible and attatch them with some emotions for someone who is distraught and have them believe I was rallying on your side. However, I will never do that. If I pray for you it will be for free, from my heart straight to the Lord’s spirit. I like to say you do not have to pay to pray and you can still have your prayers answered. Jesus already paid for you. God does tell us to give, and that’s what we should do. But we need to give the money to God for his work. For me and my house, we will follow the Lord but I will not give money to St. Matthews.

  23. I, too, received mailings from them when I moved into an apartment. They seem to target that demographic. Here is an article with some more information about them: http://www.trinityfi.org/press/tulsaworld01.html

    A tax return from 1999 showed they make millions of dollars per year, spending most of it not on charity — but on postage expenses, which they claim as deductions. Most of the rest goes to compensation of their executives and employees. Here is the tax return: http://images.bimedia.net/documents/StMatthews_1999TaxReturn.PDF

    It’s more difficult to find more recent information, since in 2002 the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, a charity watchdog group, reported that Saint Matthew’s Churches refused to provide current information about its finances, programs or governance.

    This means it is most likely not doing anything but lining peoples’ pockets! Please, people, if you want to sew the seeds of faith and charitable contributions, choose a legitimate organization that actually exists to help people!

  24. Apparently the founder, James Eugene Ewing, passed away earlier this year: http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=James-Ewing&lc=4493&pid=156217848&mid=5017163

    I just hope the mailings stop!

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