Saturday, January 06, 2007

Creationist finances: Creation Moments

This is the sixth in a series of posts about the finances of the creationist ministries which were previously reported in Reports of the National Center for Science Education in 2000 in an article by John Cole: the Access Research Network, Answers in Genesis, the Creation Evidences Museum, Creation Illustrated Ministries, Creation Moments, the Creation Research Society, Creation Worldview Ministries, the Institute for Creation Research, the Discovery Institute, and I'll add Walter Brown's Center for Scientific Creation to the list.

I've already commented on Answers in Genesis, Institute for Creation Research, Access Research Network, the Creation Evidence Museum, and Creation Illustrated Ministries. Next up, Creation Moments.

Creation Moments was originally the Bible-Science Association, founded in 1963 by Pastor Walter Lang (not to be confused with the director of "The King and I"). "Creation Moments" was a short radio program and a column in the Bible-Science Newsletter, a monthly periodical published on newsprint that was home to some of the wackier claims of young-earth creationism, which often made for entertaining reading. One regular contributor was Nancy Pearcey, who was played a significant role in the development of "intelligent design," including contributing material previously published in the Bible-Science Newsletter to the book Of Pandas and People. Pandas played a major role in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case, as it was over successive drafts of that book that the words "creationism" and "creation science" transformed into "intelligent design" in later revisions.

Bible-Science Newsletter editor Pastor Paul A. Bartz was Lang's successor, and as "Creation Moments" became more popular than the newsletter, the organization's name was changed accordingly. The Bible-Science Newsletter ceased publication in 1998, but the "Creation Moments" radio program is syndicated on multiple Christian radio networks and is broadcast in both English and Spanish, where it appears daily. Each year the daily scripts are combined into an annual volume of devotionals which the organization sells along with other books and items like calendars and Christmas cards.

The organization is now under the management of Lu Ann Strombeck, its Chief Operating Officer. Canadian creationist Ian T. Taylor, author of "In the Minds of Men: Darwin and the New World Order" is on its board of directors and his organization, TFE Publishing, is occasionally paid by the organization to edit scripts. Taylor is perhaps best known for claiming (along with Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasingh) that Archaeopteryx is a hoaxed fossil created by putting feathers on a true reptile, while other creationists (such as Answers in Genesis) claim that it is a true bird and not a reptile.

Creation Moments, Inc. refers to itself as "CMI," which is the same label used by Creation Ministries International, the organization composed of the Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada groups that split off from Answers in Genesis. Creation Moments is based in Foley, Minnesota.

As usual, the 1998 information from John R. Cole's "Money Floods Anti-Evolutionists' Coffers" in Reports of the National Center for Science Education 20(1-2, 2000):64-65:

1998:
Revenue: $292,318
Expenses: $284,846

And the last three years available through GuideStar.org:

2003 (July 2003-June 2004):
Revenue: $308,506 ($218,240 donations, $49,327 program service revenue which is $48,877 in book sales and $450 in seminar income)
Expenses: $228,679
Net assets at end of year: $120,440
Salary:
Lu Ann Strombeck, COO: $30,900

2004 (July 2004-June 2005):
Revenue: $269,996 ($229,007 in donations, $40,645 in program service revenue which is $40,145 in book sales and $500 in seminar income)
Expenses: $241,860
Net assets at end of year: $149,233
Salary:
Lu Ann Strombeck, COO: $32,471

2005 (July 2005-June 2006):
Revenue: $268,966 ($217,492 in donations, $51,050 in program service revenue which is entirely from book sales)
Expenses: $256,358
Net assets at end of year: $161,184
Salary:
Lu Ann Strombeck, COO: $34,590

Creation Moments has its own building for its offices, and as of June 2006 owes $21,501 on its mortgage, paying $550/mo. The original mortgage was only $35,000; they apparently paid $44,400 for land and $96,166,71 for the building.

Their donations and revenue have grown over the last few years, except for a dip in book sales in 2004.

You can find CM's 2003 Form 990 here, 2004 Form 990 here, and their 2005 Form 990 here.

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