Reply to a missionary who wants help in legally organizing a ministry in the United States

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LETTERS AND QUESTIONS FROM PASTORS AND OTHERS ANSWERED

Inquiry from missionary (my reply follows below):

On Monday, July 1, 2019, 11:49:14 AM CDT, _________________________ wrote:

Greetings Mr. Finney,

My name is ______________ and my wife is ________________.  We have been missionaries all of our lives in ___________________________.
As you might have heard, _______________ was hit with [natural disaster}.  [W]e lost everything and eventually had to move to the U.S.
We are presently establishing ourselves in ________________ and we need some guidance as to how we can “give unto Cesar what is Cesar’s and unto God what is God’s”.
I heard of your existence through Marck Taylor’s interview on YouTube and I feel that our ministry needs your expertise so we can legally operate here in the U.S., as well as keep out of the 501C-3.
Our ministry does not conform to any one State or Federal Government guidelines.  We consider ourselves as part of God’s army and His Heavenly Government!
To know more about us, you may check out our website, or watch our “live broadcasts” that my wife and I do in the evenings.  [Y]ou can search our ministry at:   _________________
So you may also contact us directly, our ministry’s phone number is: ____________________________
and my direct e-mail is: _______________________
We hope to hear from you soon and may you stay BLESSED.
[NAME OF MISSIONARY REMOVED]

My Reply

Dear Ross,

I help churches who wish to organize under Christ and Christ alone. I do not help “ministries.”

That said, I will address your concerns about 501(c)(3). The only way you can come under 501(c)(3) is to apply for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. Churches (but not “ministries”) are automatically tax exempt under 508 if they claim the status; this means, for example, that  If they choose to claim 508 status, they will have to give out IRS Acknowledgements for contributions, they will be subject to the rules that come with 501(c)(3), and those who give to the church can deduct their gifts on their income tax filing. See the following article for information on 508 status for churches (not “ministries”): Church Internal Revenue Code § 508 Tax Exempt Status.

Please feel free to call me. If you get a VM, leave a message and I will return your call as soon as I can.

God bless you and yours.

Jerald Finney


JERALD C. FINNEY

BAB, HB, BBA, JD
801 Elgin St.
Amarillo, TX 79118
Phone : (512) 785-8445
E-MAIL: jerald.finney@sbcglobal.net

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