St. Matthew's Churches started writing to me many years ago, but I don't recall exactly when. Then they stopped for a while. They have been writing to me this second time around for over four years now. They go much further in my letters than sending prayer request rugs, coins, crosses, pictures of Jesus, felt numbers, gold cloths, etc., though. They constantly tell me how much money to send them and "offer" me three amounts that I can "choose" from. The amounts are always relatively high, such as $33, $66, or a "triple portion for a hundredfold blessing" of $132, say, no matter how many times I respond that I don't have any money! It got to be so obvious what they were up to that I just finally began to lay their letters aside without opening them. However, there is a pattern.
They claim that they receive "thousands of testimonials" of prayers answered and money received by the people requesting prayer. They make claims of people acquiring homes, cars, trucks, motels, businesses, apartment houses and public parking garages (the latter for no money down-- foreclosure mess, anyone??). The only problem is, in the many years they have been writing to me, they have continued to reiterate the same ten or so miraculous claims of answered prayer!
They tell people to send money even if they don't have any, that one is "to put God first," that God will answer one's prayers and needs, and supply one with all the money and abundance they can use, "many times over."
I have gotten disgusted with them several times, writing back to them and asking them why, if they claim so many answered prayers, they continue to use the same few examples ad nauseum and ad infinitum! I finally--just about a week ago--wrote them a four-page letter telling them to cease and desist and to never write to me again. I have written in the past threatening them with both the Oklahoma State Attorney General's Office and the Texas Attorney General's Office, since they claim to be based in both places. I have asked them how they got ahold of my name and address, why they suddenly started writing to me out of the blue, etc. Of course they never respond to any of that.
I see from looking at the Internet tonight that actually the IRS has taken these people to court, challenging their nonprofit status, and that they waged a 17-yr. court battle against them, which the guy behind all of this actually won! There are several reports that people can read just by Googling St. Matthew's Churches. Apparently it all stems back to one man who actually lives in California and is mega-wealthy (and no wonder!).
I've always wondered how they could write such creative letters, as they make the claim that the author of them is an "old church bishop," that they are a "61-year-old church that has been praying for people since 1951," that their prayer group consists of "praying grandparents and parents," that they pray for people five times a day, and they even give you the times that they pray. Oh, and they use "prophets from other areas" as well! They also claim to hold huge church revival meetings in many cities, but as far as I know, they've never come to my city! Obviously, that must be just another one of their bogus claims.
I was very gratified to see how many people have written to the Ripoff Report about this group! How do they get people's names and information? I read they get them from Census reports in depressed areas of the country... so I guess that is the way they find people to contact. It seems weird that the U.S. Census gives out this information.
This group seems so sincere, except for the part about money. They do say, however, that you "never have to send them a dime," that you can send them prayer requests forever, and they will continue to write to you. However, my prayers have never been answered, so that is the lesson learned. God apparently doesn't put ANY stock at all in "St. Matthew's Churches," and neither should anyone else, it appears!
I am waiting to see if they ever send me anything again. I hope not, or I too will carry out my threat to bundle up ALL the many letters I have received from them and will send them to the Oklahoma State Attorney General's office. I DO WISH that someone would start a class action suit against this man who has been in this "business" for years and years. Someone should be able to put him away, I would think! So many people are suffering from lost jobs, lost homes, this down economy, the big banks and investment firms squandering and gambling away their investors' savings, etc. It is horrible that this outfit preys on those who have been hit hard by all the other white-collar crooks and scoundrels that abound in this nation right now!
I am sad that God has not answered my prayers, but I pray now with a friend at a local church one evening a week. I find it hard to believe in God at all, given the world situation. The hardest thing to take is the number of children who are dying of starvation, in war-torn countries, and from diseases that are easily curable today. It does make me doubt that God even exists.