Fraud In Ministries: Real Examples, Red Flags

In religion, a false prophet is one who falsely claims the gift of prophecy or divine inspiration, or to speak for God, or who makes such claims for evil ends.

Often someone who is considered a “true prophet” by some people is simultaneously considered a “false prophet” by others, even within the same religion as the “prophet” in question.

In a wider sense, it is anyone who, without having it, claims a special connection to the Deity and sets himself up as a source of spirituality, as an authority, preacher, or teacher.

According to research, many of unemployed youths have looked for means of making quick money and hence started up churches, connived with friends to Fraudulently perform fake miracles with intent to swin­dle unsuspecting members of the public.

In Uganda, Prosperity pastors preach and live the prosperity gospel, but Mbonye takes it to another level. Every week, Zoe Fellowship spends Shs 54m on the venue, tents, stage, and lighting. He drives a BMW X6 and his dress style is expensive; his gold ring looks worth five months rent of a house in good neighbourhood.

Mbonye does not credit any Ugandan pastor with mentoring him, saying he was mentored through the books of Kenneth Hagin and he only respects Rick Joyner and the late Kim Clement.”
The 43-year-old prophet  loves comedies and detective thrillers.

Recently, he was attacked by Pastor Martin Ssempa of Makerere Community Church who dared Prophet Elvis Mbonye of Zoe Ministries to spiritually make his deputy, a one Simon Ssenyonga, pass his law diploma exams.

His tweet was prompted by a story, where one of Mbonye’s followers had miraculously graduated yet she had three missing marks.

The lady only identified as Sheba allegedly had missing marks in three papers and initially, her name was not on the graduation list.

Quoting a tweet from Sheba’s friend, Mary Frances, stated that the “Lord told Prophet Elvis Mbonye to write her name on the grad list, in the spirit. He did, and her name supernaturally appeared on the list after that and she graduated.”

This irked Ssempa who accused Mbonye of taking advantage of the gullible students and duping them.

“Hey @Prophet_elvis if you really have the powers of helping people pass Univ exams by superpowers, why have you not used the same to help your top Deputy #SimonSenyonga who has failed his #LDC law papers twice? If you have such ability, prove them on this serial retaker! 1/3.”

He then went ahead to reveal the papers Ssenyonga purportedly failed and even attached evidence of names of those who failed the special and supplementary final exams for the postgraduate bar course.

“Simon failed 4 papers, 2 times; Land Transactions, Corporate and Commercial Practice, Civil Litigation and Criminal Proceedings. So Mbonye is it that your powers fail in Law Development Center or is this antic to dupe gullible people?”

Further, Pastor Moses Musinguzi, a man ‘Prophet’ Mbonye founded with Zoe Ministries in 2010 claims that his colleague is no longer “following the Lord”.

In his testimony in church, Musinguzi, who was until recently Mbonye’s right hand man said it started with a dream.

“In July 2017, I started getting dreams that Elvis – my one-time best friend, a man I was best man to, a man I and my church always gave our tithes to – had departed from the Lord and was operating from the demonic realm. I was not the only one having these dreams; countless others who dearly loved Elvis also started getting these revelations from the Lord. Furthermore, these dreams were not limited to people in my church; many more people from different congregations received them, and they continue to,” he testified.

Church fraud characteristically takes place over a long period of time-seven years on average-and involves small sums stolen intermittently. For that reason, it can be difficult to detect.

To make matters worse, many churches lack the internal financial controls necessary to expose-and prevent-fraud. To help your ministry with this, we’ve developed a list of prevention steps you can take below.

Furthermore, when fraud is discovered, leaders may fail to report it to their insurance company or local authorities. Unfortunately, this sets the stage for future occurrences.

Mbonye’s Background

Born in 1977

Age: 43

Born to Leo and Teddy Ntiru of Bugolobi

Has six siblings

Attended Mbuya nursery school and Kiswa primary school, Went to Kigezi College Butobere for O-level Standard High School in Zana for A-level.

2004: Awarded a bachelor of arts degree in Development Studies from Makerere University.

Married to businesswoman Harriet Mbonye. Harriet is rarely seen in Mbonye’s fellowships.

Arsenal FC fan
Hobbies: watching thriller, detective and comic movies.

1998: Got born again during his first year at university.

Previously hated “things of God” and mocked her sisters during their prayer meetings.

According to Mbonye, he had encounter during one of the sessions, started speaking in tongues and prophesying
First prophesied to family members and friends.

He first prayed at Victory City Church
The Lord later ‘directed him’ to start his own ministry after serious of private meetings with God on hills.

Author of books including ‘Testing The Powers Of Ages To Come’ (2012)
2012: Started Tuesday fellowships in Kamwokya.

Has no church but holds fellowships in hotels. Plans to construct a permanent ministry home, not a church.

2014: Mbonye started quarterly fellowships at Hotel Triangle in Kampala

2015: Zoe fellowship moved to Open House near Watoto church, later to Theatre La Bonita and Imperial Royale hotel.

2016: Moved to Aya Group Hotel for Tuesday Zoe fellowship meetings
From 100s his fellowships are now packed beyond capacity.

Current venue costs over Shs 50m every Tuesday

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