AF44’s Status in 2010
(Last updated 02/15/2010)
At the time I am posting this, it has been about three and a half years since the 2006 SWBC announcements of the new Angel Flight 44 ministry, and exactly three years since the book Angel Flight 44 was first released to the public at the 2007 KCM Minister’s Conference in Newark, Texas. Now that we have reviewed in detail the promises made during those events by Kenneth Copeland and his ministry, it is time to examine the current status of this promised humanitarian relief entity.
I have prepared a “video tour” below in which we will walk together through the various websites to see what (if anything) is being done today to help hurting people—such as the earthquake victims now suffering in Haiti. However, let’s start by first reviewing the catastrophes that occurred after the ministry was supposedly already launched in 2006-2007, and thus, catch us up to its status in 2010.
This was the first major natural catastrophe that happened after the 2006-2007 Angel Flight 44 ministry commitments made by Kenneth Copeland, KCM, and Glen Hyde. The most intense hurricane of the 2007 season, Hurricane Dean was so ferocious that the World Meteorological Organization permanently retired the name from its list.
After first raging through the Caribbean, it intensified. On August 21st made landfall onto the Yucatán Peninsula of Central America at full Category 5 intensity. It devastated the rural areas of the country of Belize before crossing over into the Bay of Campeche, where it would begin to intensify once again before making landfall in Mexico. Once the major devastation had subsided, the rescue and humanitarian relief operations began. Operation Blessing International (OBI) was one of the first on the scene assessing the damage and establishing logistics to provide for those in need.
According to Glen Hyde’s own account to me: OBI’s president, Bill Horan, phoned AF44 pilot Glen Hyde to inquire what aviation assets were on hand. The rural roads were so devastated that he hoped to repeat the successes of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina missions by interfacing once again with the AF44 aviation team. After all, he was told repeatedly (and read within the pages of the Angel Flight 44 book) that a new permanent Angel Flight 44 aviation ministry would be ready whenever it was needed. Critical supplies needed to be airlifted to the remote areas where thousands of people needed them.
Unfortunately, once he got Glen Hyde on the phone he was told that the only aircraft he had that was suitable for such a mission (due to its fuel range and cargo capacities) was the same Douglas Super DC-3 that he had flown in the Katrina-Rita missions—but it was not legal to fly at that time. The annual inspection had not been done, and FAA regulations forbade its use.
Disappointed but not discouraged, Bill Horan turned elsewhere for the aviation support he needed, and OBI pressed on with their mission.
(NOTE: I mention this incident during the video below, but I could not remember the hurricane’s name when doing the taping; also I mistakenly referred to it as an “earthquake” at first because of the early hour in which I was taping, but I corrected my reference to “hurricane” later in my discussion.)
Exactly two weeks after Dean, Hurricane Felix made landfall at Category 5 strength between the boarders of Nicaragua and Honduras. OBI was once again on the scene. If any avaition assets were needed for their operations, however, I do not know Mr. Horan he bothered calling Glen Hyde to see if any were available. Felix was so close behind Dean that my guess is that he probably did not consider contacting Angel Flight 44 so soon after his last unsatisfactory call. Nevertheless, I do know that the airplane was still not inspected, and still not legal to fly.
And there were others…
Then there were Hurricanes Dolly, Gustav, and Ike in the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season which created major devastation. Regardless of whether any aviation support was needed for those humanitarian relief projects, Angel Flight 44 was still not flying… and thus, no help to anyone.
Moreover, I have only covered the major Atlantic hurricanes so far…and not smaller storms, the Pacific storms, earthquakes, or other disasters to which Kenneth Copeland pledged Angel Flight 44 would be ready to respond to if needed. I have also not bothered to address the various 2009 catastrophes because Angel Flight 44 was STILL not available to help.
In short, Kenneth Copeland Ministries performance regarding their Angel Flight 44 ministry has been insufficient to even maintain the primary aircraft—i.e. Glen Hyde’s Douglas Super-DC3—and to keep it operational and available for these times of need.
Let me remind you again what Kenneth Copeland said within the pages of the original edition of the book Angel Flight 44:
That is our mission in the future: we will help churches help people. And from this time on, we are still building, we are still gathering, and we are still preparing as if there is a storm on the way—because there is. We just do not know where it is going to hit, but the storm is coming. Jesus said so in His Word.
So, we are preparing for it. We are preparing equipment. We have plans for more airplanes as the Lord provides funds for them—and He will. Great big things that ﬂy into places, and little bitty things that ﬂ y into other places. We need airplanes that haul a lot of stuff, and airplanes that haul a little stuff. We need airplanes that land on the ground, and airplanes that land on the water. We are also believing for helicopters. Now, I have not seen any use for a balloon yet, but I am not ruling that out!
We have plans for acquiring other types of equipment. We have hangars on the drawing board right now in order to be equipped in all areas of ﬂight.
So, that is where we are now. A ministry has been born, and we are going to nurse it and build it and grow it and do our part. Yes, there is a new baby in town, and her name is Angel Flight 44. And she is coming on strong because…the storm is coming. I do not know whether it is a hurricane or a bunch more tornadoes, or what. But we are going to be ready next time. (Pages 212-213)
Personally, I would have been thrilled if he had just kept the Super DC3 operational and some food and water on hand to provide to hurting people…but Kenneth Copeland did not.
A Video Tour:
So now that we are caught up to the present, let me now take you on a tour in the following video of the various websites related to Kenneth Copeland Ministries and Angel Flight 44. This video was created in the early hours of January 16, 2010, nearly four days after the tragic earthquake hit the nation of Haiti—and during the ongoing rescue efforts and humanitarian relief crisis. Christian organizations of all sizes have mobilized to help these victims, while entire nations have begun to pour aid and military assets into the area in a desperate effort to save lives and restore some order to this stricken nation.
Let us now see what Kenneth Copeland Ministries and its promised Angel Flight 44 are doing to help the Haitians…
Disclaimer: This video is offered to the general public world wide for public educational purposes, and may not be used for commercial purposes without the permission of ALL copyright holders represented herein. The copyrighted material of others shown in the video (websites and etc.) belong to their respective copyright holders, and are used herein under the Fair Use provisions of U.S. Copyright law and all applicable international treaties and conventions. The following video represents the sincere and educated opinions of Rev. Rich Vermillion regarding the subject matters discussed; these are provided to the general public as clear expression of Rev. Vermillion’s First Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution in his effort to call Kenneth Copeland and his ministry to public account for possible fraudulent conduct, while also clearing Rev. Vermillion’s own name and reputation from former association with these parties.
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UPDATE 02/02/2010: Though our “video tour” above is very convincing that the Angel Flight 44 ministry did not exist at the time the video was produced, KCM’s January, 26, 2010 response to our allegations made it CONCLUSIVE that they had abandoned the project and replaced it with their “Disaster Relief Fund.”
However, my detailed post concerning their rebuttal must have increased their anxiety about these issues tremendously (and I DO know that they monitor this website). We believe this because Christian Today published an article today which reports that KCM is now “believing God” for a “fleet” of airplanes for such purposes. Further, Glen Hyde is apparently trying to get his Super-DC3 airplane operational again so he can make humanitarian flights to Haiti. It would seem that KennethCopelandBlog.com (and the growing media coverage thereof) is finally getting their attention—now that the Haitian earthquake disaster is going into its second month.
However, here is the really interesting thing about all of this: They absolutely REFUSE to refer to these RECENT efforts as “Angel Flight 44” in ANY way. Why? Simple: By acknowledging that name, they also acknowledge their broken promises from before…and they confirm everything we have said here on this website. Plus, they just do not want to draw attention to the person who wrote the book by that same name (i.e. Rich Vermillion) because people might want to find out what I have to say on this and other issues concerning them.
So…KCM’s “Damage Control” is in full swing now with the media picking up on our story. But, alas! We do NOT yet see any true signs of bona fide repentance since they will not even acknowledge AF44 by name, or me. Moreover, they apparently cannot refute any of our allegations with verifiable evidence.
The most it seems that KCM can do is to proclaim that “somebody” out there is saying “misleading things” about them…but also that everyone just needs to take THEIR word for it that these allegations are “not true” because they cannot (or will not) provide verifiable evidence that refutes them. (END 02/02/2010 UPDATE.)
Update 02/15/2010: In an obvious response to our drawing attention to the issues mentioned above and elsewhere on KennethCopelandBlog.com, KCM has now begun to use the name “Angel Flight 44” and its abbreviation “AF44” once again—in conjunction with their new (and rather quickly assembled) Haitian flight mission. Read more about this latest development within our post, The Miraculous ‘Reappearance’ of AF44. (End 02/15/2010 Update.)
It is clear from our little video tour above that the only thing that remains of the promised AF44 ministry is an outdated AngelFlight44.com website making the same promises it has since early 2007—though it is still directing moneys towards Kenneth Copeland Ministries. We also discovered that the KCM.org main website of Kenneth Copeland Ministries—as well as the BelieversStandUnited.com and “the official” at KennethCopelandMinistries.org blog—are all strangely silent regarding the topic of the Angel Flight 44 ministry. It is as if Kenneth Copeland had NEVER said such a ministry had ALREADY been formed, nor had repeatedly promised that such an aviation support ministry would be further developed and ready for disasters—such as that which just occurred in Haiti a few days ago.
Of course, a disaster as large as the one in Haiti is far more than any one ministry or humanitarian aid organization can handle. That is why entire nations have sent to Haiti personnel and military assets to distribute the food, water and medicine the Haitians so badly need. Nevertheless, one has to wonder where Copeland and his Angel Flight 44 ministry were during those early days of the disaster when their services were so badly needed. If Copeland had prepared beforehand as he had pledged, there would have been supplies flowing into Haiti within 24 hours after that earthquake. Instead, the people had to suffer and wait until other groups arrived, and that seems almost criminal in my opinion.
In lieu of keeping their promises, however, Kenneth Copeland Ministries did create a generic “Disaster Relief Fund” on their website where donors can send funds. This brings several key points to mind:
- A generic “relief fund” is a far cry from a fully operational disaster-relief aviation ministry. Thus, it is a poor substitute for KCM keeping its promises.
- KCM makes a commitment to send the disaster relief funds to “partners” providing aid (which I know to be primarily Operation Blessing International). Why do donors need a middleman? Can’t they just send the funds directly to OBI, or the Red Cross, or someone who will actually be doing relief work?
- KCM has already broken its promises regarding the formation of the AF44 ministry, and have never even bothered to explain why. So why should anybody trust them with disaster relief funds, based merely upon their commitment to send pass it along to those doing the relief work?
- There has never been an open accounting or explanation given regarding the AF44-earmarked funds given to date. Thus, nobody outside of KCM really knows what KCM might be doing with these so-called “Disaster Relief Funds.”
In truth, it is my opinion that nobody should consider Kenneth Copeland Ministries a safe or “fertile ground” for donations. The track record of that ministry is absolutely deplorable with regard to stewardship of donated funds:
- They are being investigated by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee (SFC) for possible tax-law fraud, and have refused to cooperate and prove their own good stewardship of donor funds.
- SFC findings to date suggest that they may have misused donor funds as far back as the 1980s with their “Wisdom Heights” development that was never manifest, nor was ever explained.
- The Christian watchdog group, Wall Watchers, gives Kenneth Copeland Ministries a financial transparency grade of “F” in their MinistryWatch.com accountability report and has placed KCM on their donor alert list for 2009.
Thus, I have concluded that KCM is not worthy to be trusted with any money designated for disaster relief; and by extension, I do not consider them trustworthy with any financial donations at all. As I will explain further within my subsequent posts, my experience with Kenneth Copeland, his family, and his ministry, has given me the regrettable opinion that they may be nothing more than religious frauds. Consequently, that is why we are calling on them to simply repent.
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