The hairdresser scrapes together $600 of her own money each month to keep up the program because the Prayer Palace – one of Canada's largest evangelical churches – stopped running it five years ago. Other charitable works, like a promised orphanage in Brazil, either dried up or never materialized.
Meanwhile, the three white pastors – Paul Melnichuk and his 40-year-old twin sons, Tim and Tom – lead lavish lives in contrast to the mainly working-class black families that make up the bulk of the church.
Between them, the pastors have amassed a real estate fortune worth about $12 million. Each owns a multi-million-dollar country estate north of Toronto (Tim's is worth as much as $5.5 million), they share a Florida vacation villa, and the pastors and their wives drive luxurious cars – among them a Porsche Cayenne SUV, a Lexus RX 330 SUV and a Mercedes-Benz CLK 320 convertible.
Congregants are largely unaware of the pastors' extravagant lifestyles.
Source: Toronto Star
This is just the tip of the iceberg — the full article details just how extensive the pastors' wealth is in comparison to the poverty of the congregation. I'm not suggesting that this is typical of all churches, but I do think that the elements which helped foster this situation are present in most or all churches. The biggest problem is simply the "faith" of the adherents that their money will be used for good; instead of exercising control over what happens, they surrender their money and faith to religious leaders who may or may not deserve such trust.
You don't normally find such "faith" in secular or public charities because they recognize the importance of careful oversight. This is rather ironic because Christian groups like to proclaim the fact that they know people are sinners whereas others pretend that humans are perfectible; in reality, many Christian groups act as though sin and temptation won't happen to them, their leaders, and their organizations. Secular groups that don't incorporate the notion of "sin" into their ideology or mission do make allowances for problems and make provisions to prevent them from happening.