Toronto Star on the Prayer Palace

kinnon —  March 5, 2007 — 17 Comments

What do the latest luxury cars, multi-million dollar real-estate holdings, fine Florida vacation properties and the ministry have in common – a lot according to this Toronto Star article, Houses of the Holy. (I had television business dealings with the subjects of the article in the ’80’s. I wish I was shocked.)

In his sermons, Pastor Paul (Melnichuk) works hard to convey to his flock the notion that he and his family are simple people who shop at discount stores. However, the Star found that the three pastors’ houses are extravagantly appointed. Tim’s King City house boasts nine-metre ceilings, a state-of-the-art, nine-seat home cinema, Italian onyx floors and a five-car garage, and was recently put on the market for $5.5 million.

What’s more, Pastor Paul and his twins (Tim and Tom Melnichuk) fly to family reunions in a helicopter, and they frequently travel to their Florida vacation villa, which was built last year.

‘Twould seem even the church in Canada can be a fabulous business to be in. Perhaps I missed my calling.

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kinnon

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

17 responses to Toronto Star on the Prayer Palace

  1. Yep!
    Reverend Ike used to say that you don’t need to be poor to love God.
    Devotion as a percentage of income has been around forever in tithing.
    Of course folks who monetize their faith, are missing the point. But then this is not limited to faith alone.

  2. It is a moral disgrace.
    The church is a big plantation. It has always reminded me of the Jim Jones Cult. The Melnichuk family ripped my family to shreds, robbed us of thousands and treated me so horribly. In front of my fathers’ coffin Tim and Tom interrogated me because I got away. They treat their congregation like slaves. A white family on the stage and a congregation of working poor blacks. Many of them are widows and single mothers. The IRS and Revenue Cda should audit/investigate. This should be illegal. They are fake and worse, snobs. There is a place in hell for people that lie, cheat, steal and belittle the poor in the name of Christ.

  3. ALL THIS ATTENTION ON THE PRAYER PALACE IS RIDICULOUS! TRUE CHRISTIANS SHOULD BE ON THIER KNEES PRAYING FOR THIS CHURCH INSTEAD OF ON THE PHONE AND WEB GOSSIPING ABOUT THEM. PEOPLE NEED TO LEARN TO SHUT THEIR MOUTHS AND SPEAK TO GOD INSTEAD OF OTHERS. THE TRUTH HERE IS THAT IF THEY ARE INDEED STEALING FROM THE CONGREGATION THEN GOD WILL JUDGE THEM AND WE AS CHRISTIANS NEED TO KEEP THEM IN PRAYER. GOD OS OUR JUDGE NOT EACH OTHER. THATS THE PROBLEM THESE DAYS PEOPLE ARE TOO BUSY CHATTING RATHER THEN PRAYING. PASTOR PAUL AND HIS FAMILY ARE THE HARDEST WORKING PASTORS/FAMILY I HAVE SEEN. THEY ARE THERE AFTER EVERY SERVICE AND RHOUGH THE WEEK HELPING CLEAN THAT CHURCH AND ARE SO INVOLVED IN IT BUT NO YOU DON’T HEAR ABOUT IT DO YOU. I THINK ITS NOW TIME THAT WE STOP JUDGING THEM AND RUNNING OUR MOUTHS AND JUST GET ON OUR KNEES AND PRAY. GOD WILL REVEAL THE TRUTH IF THERE IS ANY! HE IS A JUST GOD. ALL OF THIS IS SICKENING AS IT IS SO RACIST LIKE OH THE BLACK PEOPLE THIS AND THAT LISTEN COLOUR DON’T MATTER TO GOD THERE ARE POOR PEOPLE EVERYONE WHITE.BLACK CHINEESE EVERYTHING SO STOP MAKING IT A RACE ISSUE. I USE TO ATTEND THAT CHURCH AND TRUST ME MAJORITY OF THAT CONGREGATION IS FAR FROM POOR. THE MORAL OF ALL THIS DRAMA IS SHUT YOUR MOUTHS AND GET ON YOUR KNEES!!!!

  4. Hey Ash,

    Thanks for dropping by. Just a couple of points.

    First, it’s much easier to read and comprehend your argument if you don’t WRITE ALL IN CAPS. You unfortunately come across like some of the people who yelled at the Star reporters. (You weren’t one of them, were you?)

    Secondly, do you think it just might be possible that God HAS used the Toronto Star to reveal the issues with PP. If he was willing to use Balaam’s Ass, then I don’t have a problem with him using the TorStar.

    By the way, if you return with an ALL CAPS comment, I will delete it. So don’t waste your time.

  5. I think this is a complete disgrace. While I may not agree with the religious views of many people out there I certainly do respect the many individuals that sacrifice so much to do good work for the community at large. Those pastors, clergy and other leaders that minister to the sick and infirm, those that do not ask for money, fame or wordly things in retun.

    Then for a ministry and it’s leaders to ask their congregation for donations, totalling 3 million or so, and only return $10,000 or so through community work. So that they can live in luxury – somehow I don’t think anyone can really explain how that benefits the community/congregation. To me that kinda sounds like stealing…and I thought that was one of those 10 rules we’re all supposed to follow.

  6. carlton Larmond March 14, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    Hey Ash,
    Can you imagine if people like Martin Luther King had kept silent and inactive how different some of us lives would be. As you probably know God’s work is done through us, so we have to be proactive and stand up for whats right especially when it comes to people using the name of the Lord to gain wealth on the back of the poor. sure they have to take care of their money tree, so cleaning is not the same as helping the community, which i hope you are doing and not just sitting up in your fancy church.Yes i was there last Sunday bringing awareness and i will be there this Sunday. Oh one more thing do you remember the wall of jericho?

  7. Is the media judge, jury & executioner? As far as the media is concerned the players are guilty.
    Look, I’m no fan of these pseudo christians who sell GOD for their personal profit. Once I heard a minister said he would not die poor like his predecessor.

    Give a man a chance to defend himself

  8. Previewing your Comment
    Thank God for the Toronto Star. God always have a way of showing up the false profits. As an ex-member of that church I was ashame for myself (as an African-Canadian)and the congregation which is 90% black. This prove one thing that most of us still have the slave mentallity. We have been taken for a ride and we are so blind even when the truth hit us in the face most of us cry and said “Lord we are under attack by the enemy” We need to wake up from the coma. Could this happen in any other community I really don’t think so. What pastor Melnichuk is doing is so wrong. God bless his people but he is a fair God he do not take from the poor and give it to the rich. Jesus words are “It is better for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than a rich man to enter heaven.” If we take a look at inside of any one of the jails in Ontario two out of five are black men or women likly their parents are from the carribean and their parents also attend The Prayer Palace. Can we just imagine if we have just invest half of that money in education for extra lesson for our children we would have a rich and bright neighbourhood to call our own. But instead we give it to Pastor Melnichuk and his son so his children are well edicated, out of jail and live in the nice neighbour-hood. I am not saying Pastor melnichuk is the reason for the problems in the black community or his falt our children are behind bars but what did he do to help the community? This is a wake up call for him from God because I strongly believe with God power. If God didn’t want him to be exposed no power on earth could exposed him. God is a God of forgiveness and inorder for God to forgive us we need to confess and sin no more. So pastor Melnichuk if you read this here are some recommendations. Open the church for youth after school programs, collabrate with the school in the community and help at risk children, initiat programs to help members who is out of job and cannot pay their bills. Make a list of all the members who is unemploy and assist as much as possiable. There was days when I was a member at your church I could not pay my bills.

    Posted by: LOVETTE at Mar 21, 2007 1:59:53 AM

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  9. My famely and I useto go to Prayer Palace and i just loved it until wee were ask 1.000.oo to be members of the church. I see Pastor Paul and his sons a the grocery store in Aurora Ont.and they do not want to be botherd by no one.its just a shame for them.

  10. I believe what the pastors are doing in that church is wrong.How could someone with so much power to do good in a place of worship do so much evil. It really disgust me that the pastors are doing such things in that church. Why would you need ATM machines in your church. If they claim to be normal people why do they live in an estate where it cost more than $300 000.00. Why would you need to fly to places in some type of air craft. This is Ridiculous they are taking people’s money and they are putting it into their pockets and that is very wrong.

  11. Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, ” ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers’.

    Perhaps God spoke to the Star. Great article. Bad church.

  12. I was one of the many construction workers who worked on the Prayer Palace.The drawings for the job had the dimentions in metric.I needed to convert them to feet and inches to order my materials.I needed to know the circomferance of the sanctuary as it is a circle….to our surprise, it has a circomferance of 666.666666666666 feet..I think the architects had a sense of humour.

  13. i’m a proud member of the prayer palace church. it saddens me that people who are non-believers have so much to say when it comes to the negativity about the word of GOD. the prayer palace is a great church and very inspiring.if you believe that pastor PAUL is stealing from the Church, then surely he will be judged accordingly. but mind you keep in mind that WHO GOD HAS BLESSED NO MAN CAN CURSE. pastor Paul has been with the church many many years, if you were all aware of how the church became the type of church it is today, you will know that GOD has definately blessed the CHURCH. and because of Pastor Paul’s commitment to the growth of the church, God has blessed him and will continue to bless him and his family abundently! any how, if the church was to still be the way it was years ago.. then i would understand if people begin to question it as to how this church is not progressing and where is the money going. but now that it has become what it is, it still doesnt seem to satisfy you people. but then again what do you expect from people.people hate what they can’t conquor. people even hated JESUS the son of GOD. but rather than all these accusations.if you strongly believe all this none-sense then pray for the church. AND ALSO to the people who claim that they were asked to deposit 1000.00to become members of the church, is a complete lie. for in the bible it says do not bare false witness against your neigbour.to end this off, TOYING AROUND WITH GOD’S CHURCH MEANS SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES.LEAVE GOD’S CHURCH ALONE.(for if you are not a believer what buisness is it to you what the church does?)

  14. I used to attend The Prayer Palace on a regular basis. I gave up my weekends freely and was content in doing it. Now it’s a different story. Christians that still attend that church or decide to visit PPM I have a challenge for you: When you enter the building, compare the amount of signs that uplift Christ to the amount of signs that uplift The Prayer Palace and the Melnichucks. I found that there are NO signs whatsoever uplifting God without direct relation to either the Melnichucks or PPM. Most signs flat-out uplifted PPM & the Melnichucks.
    I decided to leave that church after an incident with a staff member, E. Coar. Someone had told her that I was “committing immoral acts in one of the THREE chapels.” She then found me watching a movie with my girlfriend and proceded to call me a sinner and her a whore. She refused to let me talk and refused to let me enter the church from that point after. Thing is, it isn’t her church nor her right to kick out anyone from “God’s church.”
    You’d be surprised to know how much of the life in PPM revolves around money and liability. No way will after school programs eer be instituted there. The Melnichucks take kids off the street? Never gonna happen. They hussle the children out of the integrated school wing at 3:30. The Melnichucks have been corrupted by money.
    There was a time when they were good people, and I cannot hate on every melnichuck; Tim Melnichuck (the one without the moustache) left the church because he saw what road the church was walking down. I have great respect for that man and forever will. HE is the last remaining icon symbolizing how a TRUE church should act

  15. carlton larmond November 3, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    It surely amazed me to return to this site and see new posting. regarding an issue that was brought to light over a year ago.money and the church will forever be in the spotlight,because they both played important role in almost everyone lives.I still have very strong feeling and concerned regarding anyone who uses the cover of the church to gain personal wealth. I must say I was really hearten by a conversation I had recently with someone.In her views she knows there is rotten apples in the bunch but not enough to make her stop believing in the good of others.She also spoke of the inner strength and guidance gained from her faith in believing in God.Thanks to all those who are doing good in the name of God,more power to you all. And surely we have to continue to exposed the bad or rotten ones.

  16. I have read this article and I must say that may the truth come into the light. I used to attend Prayer Palace myself, but the last straw for me is when the pastor says that you are cursed by God if you are not paying your 10%. I find it goes against the grace god freely gives and that Christ has redeemed us from law’s curse.

    I was so gung ho, and thanks to friends and through other faith communities realize that the Christian faith community is much larger than the confines of the church. When I read the article I was shocked and confirmed my reasons for not being in the boat any longer.

    For those that have been hurt, (I’ll tell you some stories that makes you wanna holla) find true healing and peace in Christ. Don’t lose your faith over a few bad apples.

What do you think?