This was the controversial website created by Bill Keller. The stated mission of the project exemplifies Keller's view of Islam as an evil force that needs to be defeated. The new owners of this site's domain do not agree with Keller's views, however they have recreated some of the original archived content as well as adding articles exposing and pushing back against the anti-Muslim message the original site espoused as a learning experience for visitors to 911christiancenter.com.
Backgrounder: Bill Keller and LivePrayer
Bill Keller is an evangelical minister who runs an Internet and TV ministry called LivePrayer, based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Keller has a history of anti-Muslim and anti-gay bigotry and has attacked President Obama as "an enemy of God" and compared him to Hitler.
Creating a "9-11 Christian Center" at Ground Zero
Keller's latest initiative is to create a "9-11 Christian Center" at Ground Zero in response to the proposed Islamic Center in the same area. He officially announced the launch of his project in mid-July 2010 and set up an affiliated Web site filled with statements denigrating Islam. On the site, Keller said that the mission of the project was to "combat the lies of this world and Islam with the TRUTH. We will combat the hatred of this world and Islam with LOVE. We will combat the violence of this world and Islam with PEACE. Finally, we will combat eternal death this world and Islam brings with LIFE EVERLASTING!!!"
The stated mission of the project exemplifies Keller's view of Islam as an evil force that needs to be defeated. In a June 30, 2010, sermon on his LivePrayer Web site, Keller tells his followers that he has warned for the past 11 years of "the real showdown that is looming between Islam and Christianity!!!" With the controversy surrounding the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero, Keller appears to have found evidence of the bitter confrontation he had predicted.
In the June 2010 statement, Keller wrote: "This is one reason Liveprayer will be opening the 9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero this September. If the Muslims have the audacity to build a $110 million mosque just blocks from where the World Trade Center towers once stood, I can go to that same hallowed ground where MUSLIMS terrorized this nation and killed 3,000 innocent people, and give people the only Truth there is, God's Word, and the only hope there is, faith in Jesus Christ!"
Keller indicated that he plans to deliver sermons on Sundays starting September 5, 2010, at a hotel near Ground Zero until he secures funding to create the permanent center he envisions. Keller has made numerous appeals via his Web site for help in funding the center.
A History of Anti-Islam Bigotry
On September 18, 2009, Keller said that he had "been warning people for years about the fact Islam desires to turn the United States into an Islamic nation."
In an online sermon dated March 28, 2006, titled, "A False Religion that is about Hate and Death," Keller railed against Islam, calling it a false religion involving "a non-existent god name[d] allah…[who was] dreamed up by a murdering pedophile named Mohammed who wrote a fantasy book called the Koran that mandates death to anyone who rejects their false religion."
In another online sermon dated January 18, 2006, Keller referred to "this false religion called Islam that over 1 billion people on the planet are following straight to hell." In the same posted sermon, Keller wrote, "It is so sad that the largest Christian TV network in the world, for whatever reason, has censored those on their network from telling people the truth about Islam."
Keller is also virulently anti-gay. He has called gay marriage a "perversion" and encouraged his followers to fight against the "the radical homosexual agenda" that he believes President Obama advocates.
Attacks against President Obama
Keller has made numerous statements against President Obama. Before Obama was elected, Keller referred to him as "an enemy of God." Keller has also compared President Obama to Adolf Hitler. When Obama invited Pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration, Keller wrote on his Web site, "For Pastor Rick Warren to bless and give the invocation at the upcoming inauguration of a man who will help insure millions of babies around the world are slaughtered, and force US taxpayers to fund this legalized infanticide, is no different than if Adolph [sic] Hitler had asked him to give the blessing and invocation when he became Chancellor of Germany!!!"
On the homepage of the church's site, there are photographs of President Obama with the caption "God's enemy" and another with Obama superimposed next to a photograph of Hitler, with the caption "false hope."
Keller also promotes the "birther" conspiracy theory that claims that President Obama was not born in the United States. In a September 2009 segment of his online TV show, Keller featured an infomercial questioning President Obama's origins. On the show, Keller asserts, "The man was not born in Hawaii as he claims. He is not legally the president."
Founding of Bill Keller Ministries
Bill Keller runs his "online" church, under the auspices of Bill Keller Ministries, based in St. Petersburg, Florida. Keller says he was raised in the United Methodist Church, but became an evangelical preacher in 1992 upon his release from federal prison, where he spent two and a half years for insider trading.
According to Keller's LivePrayer Web site, he received his ministry credentials through an independent group of ministers, Spiritual Life Concepts in Largo, Florida, and is a member of a non-denominational church in Palm Harbor Florida.
For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:6
LivePrayer 9/11 Christian Center at Ground Zero in New York.
***I AM ASKING YOU TO PLEASE FORWARD THIS CRITICAL DEVOTIONAL TO EVERY PERSON YOU KNOW. POST IT ON EVERY MESSAGE BOARD, BLOG, AND CHATROOM YOU CAN FIND ON THE INTERNET. IF YOU OR ON FACEBOOK, MYSPACE, TWITTER, OR ANY OTHER SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE, POST IT FOR ALL TO SEE. PLEASE PRINT IT OUT AT TAKE IT TO YOUR CHURCH SO THEY CAN GET INVOLVED. WE HAVE MADE OUR INITIAL MOVES OVER THE PAST 2 YEARS TO LEAD THIS NATION BACK TO GOD AND HIS TRUTH. THIS IS OUR FINAL PUSH! NOW IS THE TIME, THIS IS THE MOMENT, IT IS OUR TURN TO STAND FOR CHRIST! THE SOUL OF THIS NATION HANGS IN THE BALANCE!!!
How do you battle the darkness? With the LIGHT! I watched in disbelief a few weeks ago as they announced the Muslims would be building a $110 million mosque just a few blocks from where their Muslim brothers perpetrated the greatest act of terror on US soil in history, deliberately flying planes into the World Trade Center towers, knocking them down and killing 3,000 innocent souls in the process. The gall, the arrogance, the audacity of this false relgion of violence, hate, and death to build their temple to satan just blocks from that hallowed ground.
Islam is a 1400-year-old lie from hell, dreamed up by Mohammed after being visited by angels of satan in his sleep. "Allah" is an imaginary god that is actually a black rock and is NOT the God of the Bible! Islam has advanced this false relgion for 1400 years through violence, hatred, and death. The greatest difference between Christianity and Islam is that you are born into Islam, or threatened with death to become a Muslim. You become a Christian
by making the free-will choice to accept Jesus Christ by faith!
After I got over being angry, I got on my knees in prayer. I knew God was calling me to do something, but what? After many hours, I realized it would not be another "big event," that just hours after it was over people would be back to their lives and nothing would have been accomplished. We have all been to and seen "big events," and nothing ever changes. No, this had to be more than an event, but an ongoing mission to combat this new evil being constructed near ground zero which would bring people the Truth of God's Word and the love and hope of Jesus Christ.
I am excited to announce today the birth of the "9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero" on Sunday, September 5th. The mission is simple. Have a place at ground zero where people can come to hear the real uncompromised Truth right from God's Word, and find the only true hope there is, faith in Jesus Christ!!! We will combat the lies of this world and Islam with the TRUTH. We will combat the hatred of this world and Islam with LOVE. We will combat the violence of this world and Islam with PEACE. Finally, we will combat eternal death this world and Islam brings with LIFE EVERLASTING!!!
The new internet site for the 9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero is up, and will be updated regularly to inform people about the Center as well as the truth about what Islam really believes and teaches, along with news from here in the United States and around the world how this "relgion of peace" really operates. You can visit the new website at: www.911christiancenter.com
The new 9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero will unfold in two phases. Phase one. We will hold services every Sunday at 11am at the Embassy Suites New York, located at 102 North End Avenue (less than a block from ground zero), in their ballroom starting Sunday, September 5th through Sunday, December 26th. Phase two. As of January 1st, we will move into a permanent facility within a block of ground zero. There will be services 7 days a week plus a "9-11 Memorial Prayer Room" for the many visitors who come to ground zero each day to stop in and pray.
During phase one, I have made the commitment to travel from Florida to NYC each weekend to personally conduct the Sunday services. After January 1st, I will oversee the operations of the 9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero and we will have pastors and evangelists in the NYC area conducting the daily services.
I AM STARTING NOT ANOTHER CHURCH! Our services will be like the old time evangelistic meetings conducted by DL Moody, Billy Sunday, and others who weren't interested in seeker/purpose driven/emerging church marketing strategies to fill buildings with warm bodies, but in simply preaching the uncompromised Truth of the Bible and leading the lost to faith in Jesus Christ!
*SPECIAL MEETINGS FOR THE 9-11 CHRISTIAN CENTER WILL BE HELD THIS SATURDAY, JULY 17th IN NEW YORK CITY AND NORWALK, CT!!! I WILL BE FLYING INTO NEW YORK THIS WEEKEND TO HOLD SPECIAL PRAYER AND INFORMATIONAL MEETINGS FOR THE NEW 9-11 CHRISTIAN CENTER AT GROUND ZERO THIS COMING SATURDAY, JULY 17th.
WE WILL MEET AT THE EMBASSY SUITES NEW YORK, 102 NORTH END AVENUE, IN THEIR
WALL STREET ROOM AT 11AM. I WILL ALSO BE CONDUCTING A PRAYER AND INFORMATIONAL MEETING AT THE HOME OF DAN AND KIM GALLO,130 N. SEIR HILL RD, NORWALK, CT. AT 3PM. THE MEETINGS SHOULD LAST APX 1 HOUR. IF YOU ARE WITHIN A FEW HOURS OF EITHER OF THESE LOCATIONS, PLEASE PRAY ABOUT ATTENDING AND SEEING HOW THE LORD MIGHT USE YOU IN THIS INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY!
God has shown me that the new 9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero is going to be the catalyst, the final piece to the many ministries of Liveprayer to not only continue impacting millions of lives for Christ each day, but exponentially expand all of our existing efforts to not just bring God's Truth to the national marketplace in a bold and visible way, not just see souls won for Christ, but have the ability to turn the spritual course of this nation and lead our great land back to God and His Truth!!!
Financially, between now and the end of the year, we will be raising $8,410,000 for this new effort. That is less than 8% of what the Muslims will spend to build their temple to satan that will be used to lead souls to hell through the lies of Islam and teach this and future generations of Muslims that their ultimate goal is to turn the United States and all nations into Islamic countries. If you don't think this is true, you have never read the Qu'ran and you certainly are not paying attention to what is happening in our country and around the world!
We will need to raise $10,000 immediately to cover our initial costs prior to opening September 5th. By the end of August, we need to raise $400,000. $100,000 of that will cover the weekly services of the 9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero from September through the end of the year. $300,000 will be used to air the Liveprayer TV program each day in the New York City TV
market on a major secular station. As we have learned over the years, the TV program is a critical element to keep the daily flow of God's Truth regarding the issues of the day, to minister to people's needs, to bring the lost to faith in Christ, to promote the 9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero, but will also help to attract financial support for this effort.
From September through the end of the year, we will need to raise the $8 million needed to operate at full capacity during 2011. $1 million of that will go towards the operations expenses of the 9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero during 2011, $1 million will cover the years TV budget in the local New York market during 2011, and the other $6 million will allow the program to be aired nationally on a major secular network during 2011. If the Muslims can raise $110 million dollars to construct their temple of death and help lead souls to the fires of hell for all eternity, can we not raise just $8,410,000 for a place people can come to find Truth and salvation, while having the national platform in the marketplace to lead this nation back to God and Biblcial Truth???
We will be unleashing a national public relations and fundraising campaign later this week to let everyone in the nation and around the world know about the new 9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero, as well as reach out to people across this land and around the world who know the Lord to help us meet our financial deadlines. As word of this new work of God at ground zero spreads, I know people will be eager to make the financial sacrifce to support it. For a fraction of what some ministries pay for their private jets, or their state-of-the-art buildings, we could literally turn the spritual tide of this nation back to God and His Truth and see a great harvest of souls won to Christ! The support of people across the nation and around the world for the new 9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero is going to allow us to raise those funds we need!
I am asking you today to simply pray about what God may be calling you to do to help me with this effort. I am also asking you to please forward this to every person you know, personally reach out to those who God has blessed with financial resources and encourage them to support this new work, and share this email with your pastor and ask him to pray about having your church make a special missions gift towards this effort. I will keep you posted how we are doing with our financial goals over the coming weeks and months.
To make a special gift to the 9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero, you can send your gift to Liveprayer on your major credit card at our website www.liveprayer.com under the "Donation" button, or you can give from your PayPal account by using my email address, firstname.lastname@example.org , or you can mail it to: Liveprayer, 6660 46th Avenue North, St. Petersburg, Florida 33709. One the credit card or PayPal form after your name simply mark
(9-11). Also, in the notes section of your check mark (9-11). This will insure all of the gifts towards this special projects go to that cause. All gifts to Liveprayer are 100% tax deductible.
I love you and care about you so much. I am asking you to do 4 things for me today. First pray for this effort. Trust me, we will be battling the forces of satan on this one every step of the way, but "greater is he that is in us!" Second, please forward this to every person you know. I need everyone's prayers and support in this effort. Third, please pray about coming to the special prayer and informational meetings this weekend in NYC and CT. Also, make the pilgrimage to come to our Sunday services in NYC once we begin on September 5th. Fourth, seek the Lord about what He may be asking you to sacrifice towards this special project.
I am always challenged by the disciples of Jesus and how these few men, sold out for Christ with little money, no fame or reputation, just a desire to serve their Lord, literally turned the world of their day upside down and laid the very foundation of faith we enjoy today. Over these past 2,000 years of Christendom, many have sacrificed all they had for the cause of Christ. I have given my very life, all of my time, talent, and treasure to bring His Truth to this lost and dying world, and the eternal hope all men have through faith in Christ.
When this brief journey through life is over, what do we have to show for it? The only lasting legacy we have are those things we did for the Lord. have taken my stand and will proclaim His truth with my dying breath. Today, I am asking you to pray about joining me!
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
'Ground Zero church': A 'bigoted' Christian response?
The Week Staff
August 31, 2010
There's a new twist in the controversy over the 'Ground Zero mosque.' This Sunday, Bill Keller, a Christian preacher from Florida, is inaugurating his own "9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero," holding services at a Marriott Hotel two blocks from the World Trade Center site. This "bigoted" provocateur, says Salon's Justin Elliott, is virulently opposed not just to Islam (a religion of "hate and death" for hell-bound "pedophiles"), but also Mormons, gays, and President Obama. Should those who oppose the Park51 Islamic center also consider Keller's "Ground Zero church" an affront to the victims of 9/11? (Watch Keller rant about Islam)
Keller's calling the Park51 opponents' bluff: Critics of the "Ground Zero mosque" swear they're "not motivated by anti-Muslim animus," says Steve Benen in Washington Monthly. Well, here's their chance to prove it. Keller is, after all, a "radical figure, who's lashed out wildly at Americans" — plus, who knows who's funding his $8 million "Ground Zero church," or what type of "zealotry" it will unleash? Denouncing both centers seems a "no-brainer."
"Waiting patiently for the 'Ground Zero church' outrage"
What does Keller have to do with 9/11? "I must have missed something in the news," says Kevin D. Williamson in National Review. Keller's proposed church may be unsavory, but I don't recall that "a bunch of kook, Mormon-hating, tacky, gay-baiting, send-me-your-money televangelist wackos murdered 3,000 people in downtown Manhattan" nine years ago.
"Ground Zero mosque, Ground Zero church"
Tolerance works both ways: Freedom of religion means that Keller and his crew "have a right to set up shop near Ground Zero, too," says Joe Klein in Time. And if they do, let's hope they "actually get to meet some of their Muslim brothers and sisters," and "commence interfaith Kumbaya-singing festivals." The "insidious cosmopolitan" melting-pot of New York has been known to "encourage such behavior. Instead of the true gold rings of inclusive faith, this looks too much like glittery fake, but still shiny and coveted designer cubic zirconia rings that fool nobody but those already fooled."
Sunday The leader of LivePrayer.com an internet ministry that has over 2.4 million subscribers worldwide reading his Daily Devotional, will be preaching at the inaugural service of his new 9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero this Sunday.
Contact: Bill Keller, 727-420-7005, email@example.com; www.911christiancenter.com
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Aug. 30 /Christian Newswire/ -- Bill Keller, leader of the world's largest interactive Christian website for 11 years, Liveprayer.com, will be holding the inaugural service of his new 9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero this Sunday, September 5th. Services will be held in the ballroom of the New York Marriott, 85 West Street, every Sunday through the end of the year. They will move into their permanent facility on January 1st, where there will be evangelistic services 7 days a week and a special 9-11 Memorial Prayer Room for the many visitors who come to ground zero.
Keller states, "The 9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero is a bold, visible, ongoing response to the victory mosque the Muslims are building at ground zero and plan to callously open on the 10th anniversary of 9/11" He goes on, "Rather than holding a protest that people will forget an hour after it is over, or filing meaningless lawsuits for publicity, I wanted to have a proactive, ongoing, and meaningful Christian response to the mosque."
Keller stated that he sees this as an incredible opportunity to take a stand for Christ within a block of the hallowed ground where the World Trade Center Towers once stood, and give people a place where they can come to pray and find true peace and hope at a time when so many lives are in turmoil.
Keller is no stranger to conflict with Islam. In 2007, under pressure from the extremist Muslim group CAIR, Keller's highly rated nightly TV program that ran for 4 1/2 years on a CBS owned station in Tampa, Florida, was cancelled by CBS because he refused to stop telling his viewers that "according to the Bible Islam is a 1400-year-old lie from hell, and that history clearly shows Mohammed was a murdering pedophile who propagated his false religion through hatred, violence, and death."
Keller also has numerous fatwas (sentences of death) issued against him for a video he sent in 2006 to Osama Bin Laden that was played worldwide in which Keller encouraged Bin Laden to "renounce the lies of Islam" and come to faith in Jesus Christ.
In asking Keller about what he hopes to accomplish with the new 9-11 Christian Center, he said, "If the Muslims can without conscience build a mosque to propagate their religion of violence and hated a block away from where their Muslim brothers perpetrated the greatest act of terror on US soil, killing 3,000 innocent souls in the process, we can open a place where people can come to hear the truth of the Bible and learn about the peace, love, and saving grace of Jesus Christ"
Bill Keller is the internets premiere evangelist. Through the Internet and his TV program only airing on major secular TV stations, he has emerged as one of the leading Christian leaders in the nation. In August, 1999 Bill Keller launched LivePrayer.com; it has gone on to become the most successful online faith ministry in the history of the internet. LivePrayer is now providing a daily devotional written by Bill Keller for its over two million e-mail subscribers.
Diane Vera Blog Post
Thoughts by an Azazelian polytheistic Satanist in New York City
Bill Keller and his “9/11 Christian Center at Ground Zero”
July 14, 2010
EarlierI commented briefly on the nonsensical protests against the construction of a mosque several blocks from Ground Zero. Now, according to a post today by Richard Bartholomew, a Controversial Preacher Seeks to Establish “Outreach Center” Near Ground Zero. The controversial preacher is Bill Keller, who is planning to build an anti-Muslim “9/11 Christian Center at Ground Zero.”
Bartholomew quotes a news story in the Pentecostal/Charismatic magazine Charisma, Christian Center to Open Near Proposed Ground Zero Mosque by Adrienne S. Gaines, Tuesday, July 13, 2010, That news story is followed by a bunch of comments, including the following from New Yorkers:
by Derek Jager:
As I New Yorker, I have to wonder what people are “afraid of”–are they worried that future tourists to the WTC site will accidentally wander into the mosque and become radicalized Islamic terrorists?
And as for Keller’s desire for a Christian center near Ground Zero, there IS already a famous Christian Chapel literally across the street from the WTC site — it is the oldest surviving church building in New York. The church itself is a couple blocks away on Wall Street.
And Keller’s church name– “The 9/11 Christian Center at Ground Zero,” which is very distasteful.
by Connie Dobbs:
As a new yorker, I just have to ask: which one is worse? Answer: Neither. Sharia law and the biblical law that these fundamentalists practice are pretty much one and the same, except for one of the two allows pork to be eaten (actually, it doesn’t, but the christians like bacon too much)
At least they’ll be down near ground zero where the only people around that the christians and muslims can bother will be tourists, stockbrokers, and each other.
from Derek Jager again, replying to Connie Dobbs:
LOL–that’s so true! Every time I make eye contact with a tourist holding a map, they ALWAYS ask, “Where is Ground Zero.”
Which is sort of sad–it was the World Trade Center site.
Bill Keller, described by Barotholomew as “an old-school fundamentalist fire-and-brimstone man,” runs an online ministry called Live Prayer. He also has a new website, full of anti-Muslim hysteria-mongering, devoted to his new 9/11 Christian Center at Ground Zero.
Richard Bartholomew concludes by saying:
Of course, Keller is a clownish publicity-seeker, and most people will find his attempt to associate himself with Ground Zero (expressed with incredible vulgarity as “THIS INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY!”) to be profoundly distasteful – after all, he must believe that most of those who died in the attack are now in Hell.
One wonders what those who have put so much energy into trying to persuade us that the proposed Islamic Centre should be banned as a place of hate will have to say…
Via Google, I also found the following: Birther pastor: “9/11 Christian Center” not confrontational to “the Muslims” by Justin Elliot, Salon, July 14, 2010:
Internet pastor Bill Keller doesn’t have a location for his proposed “9/11 Christian Center at Ground Zero.” He doesn’t have a staff. A Floridian, he admits he doesn’t even know anyone in New York.
But, Keller told Salon today, he intends to have the new church — his answer to the planned Muslim community center derided by some right-wingers as the “Ground Zero Mosque”– up and running by Jan. 1.
… Keller is eager to get started, so he claims he will travel to New York from Florida once a week starting in September and preach at the Embassy Suites hotel in lower Manhattan, until he finds a permanent home — or, perhaps more likely, the project fizzles.
The above post also refers to an earlier Salon post, Top Birther wants to build church to fight “Ground Zero Mosque” by Justin Elliot, Tuesday, July 13, 2010.
I also found Televangelist Counters Ground Zero Mosque with Christian Center by Nathan Black, Christian Post, reprinted in the Australian edition of the evangelical magazine Christianity Today, as Mosque near 9/11 site to be opposed by Christian centre. Nathan Black notes that “not all Christians are on the same boat as Keller,” and quotes an un-named Sojourners magazine article by Julie Clawson, author of Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices.
Meanwhile, some more posts about the fight over building the Cordoba House mosque near Ground Zero:
Ground Zero Islamophobia by Mark Silk, BeliefNet, Wednesday July 14, 2010
With hearings underway, Internet pastor plans Christian alternative to “Ground Zero Mosque” by Alex Pareene, Salon, Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Cordoba House Poll: New Yorkers Oppose, Staten Islanders REALLY Oppose Mosque Near Ground Zero by Steven Thrasher, Village Voice, Thursday, July 1, 2010.
Contrary to popular opinion, Muslims and mosques okay in Downtown by Aline Reynolds, Downtown Express, July 2 – 8, 2010.
P.S., July 16, 2010:
The Gothamist has a tongue-in-cheek story 9/11 Christian Center to Balance Out Ground Zero Mosque by John Del Signore, July 15, 2010. Earlier, the Gothamist published another tongue-in-cheek story, Watch the Anti-Mosque Ad That’s Too Hot for Networks to Air by y John Del Signore, July 14, 2010; Ground Zero Mosque Circus Rolls Over Landmark Commission, by Briana Parker, July 14, 2010; and It’s a Great Day to Rant About That Mosque Near Ground Zero! by John Del Signore, July 13, 2010
9/11 Christian Center in financial disarray?
An extremist pastor’s ground zero church, created as a response to Park51, is now facing a big budget shortfall
Justin Elliott09.20.2010•12:40 PM
We've been keeping a close eye on the 9/11 Christian Church at ground zero, Internet pastor Bill Keller's anti-Muslim, anti-Mormon answer to the planned Park51 Islamic community center.
The church had its inaugural services in a ballroom of the Marriott just south of ground zero on Sept. 5 to a crowd of about 25 people plus 25 journalists. But now the bill for that event is due, and Keller appears to be shifting into crisis mode, making an appeal to the readers of his daily Internet devotional to wire him $34,000 to help him get out of the hole and to ensure the continued operations of the 9/11 Christian Center.
(Keep in mind here that Keller, who turned to Christianity after being imprisoned for insider trading in the late 1980s, has been involved in schemes in the past to get people to send him jewelry and to make money off of a Birther informercial.)
Here's the emergency appeal that was appended to Keller's daily prayer e-mail on Friday (emphasis ours):
***As we wind down the last 13 days of the month, we still have $35,000 to cover the balance of our September budget, plus it is critical we pay off the last $20,000 of our 2009 shortfall. In addition, we still need to cover the $7,000 for last weeks 9-11 Christian Center operations and the $7,000 for this week and next. So that is $76,000 we need to raise over these last 13 days. I am praying for 4 specific people to step up TODAY to help me cover $34,000 that is critical, and will count on a collection of everyone else giving as they are able to make up the last $42,000. Eveyone can pray, and most everyone can sacrifce something to help me insure these needs are met!
SPECIFICALLY, I AM ASKING GOD TO SEND ME 4 SPECIAL PEOPLE TODAY. FIRST, I NEED ONE PERSON WHO IS ABLE TO WIRE TRANSFER OF FEDEX $15,000 TODAY. THIS COVERS $15,000 OF THAT $20,000 WE STILL OWE FROM 2009 AND NEEDED TO BE PAID LAST FRIDAY. SECOND, I NEED ONE PERSON WHO IS ABLE TO WIRE TRANSFER OR FED EX THE $7,000 FOR THE 9-11 CHRISTIAN CENTER OPERATIONS LAST WEEKEND. THIRD, I NEED ONE PERSON WHO CAN COVER THE LAST $5,000 OF THE $20,000 FROM 2009. FOURTH, I NEED ONE PERSON WHO CAN COVER THE $7,000 FOR THIS WEEKENDS 9-11 CHRISTIAN CENTER OPERATIONS. I HAVE BEEN ON MY KNEES PRAYING TONIGHT FOR THE LORD TO SPEAK TO 4 HEARTS, AND FOR THOSE 4 PEOPLE TO BE OBEDIENT. IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE FOUR, CONTACT ME AT: firstname.lastname@example.org AND I WILL GET YOU THE BANK WIRE OR FEDEX INFO YOU NEED. THANK YOU!
Reached by Salon, Keller insisted that the church "will keep going until the end of the year." Regarding the fundraising plea, Keller said in an e-mail: "We obviously want to raise the funds for the weekly services above and beyond the monthly budget ... but will move $$ around as we need to cover everything.