Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

Don Stewart “Ministries”: Fraud in the Philippines


I was recently watching late night TV when I ran across Don Stewart “Ministries.” It only took a minute for me to figure this guy out—a complete fake who is after people’s money. Like others that have appeared on late-night USA TV (Robert Tilton, etc), he promises money and miracles to those who send money to him. His show looks more like a “get rich quick” scheme than a religious program. Don ads a little trinket to his message: a green handkerchief. I want to explain why this guy is a false teacher and why people should be warned about him.

Holy Hanky?

I decided to call the telephone number just to see what would happen. When the show was on TV (midnight) the lines were busy. This is quite sad, since it means people are falling for this con. I called the next day and got an answer. The staff member asked for my phone number (which I refused to give—don’t need more telephone solicitors) and my address (which I did give). Within a few days the magic hanky came (it was about a six-inch square cloth, which can be made very cheaply here). The letter said I’m supposed to write how much money I need then put the hanky on my wallet.

I’ll tell you more about the letter’s other instructions later. Let’s first talk about the holy hanky and the Bible verse that Don uses to support the practice. It is true that handkerchiefs and aprons which touched Paul did heal the sick (Acts 19:11-12). But Don’s use of this Scripture is wrong for several reasons:

*This is only mentioned once in the New Testament. We never read that this practice was intended to be passed on to others. Jesus, for example, healed a man by spitting in the ground and putting the mud in his eyes (John 9:6). Why not mail out spit-mud pies to everyone?

*Paul never asked money from or promised money to those who received handkerchiefs. You cannot find one New Testament example of Paul promising money or “financial miracles” in the way Don describes. You will find plenty of warnings about the worship of money, which Don conveniently ignores (along with the gospel itself).

*The New Testament emphasis is on God’s power, not any object or method of healing. Watch Don’s show and you’ll see people holding on to the hankies as if they are the Holy Grail. This is idolatry, not to mention that the before-mentioned people look like complete idiots.

*Don claims that the handkerchief is a “point of contact” with him, as if we need him for miracles. I do not believe that he ever even sees any of these hankies in the Philippines. It is simply a ploy to make more profit.

Miracles for Sale?

The first letter I received offered suggestions as to how much I should contribute. Amounts ranged from 200-500p. If this is not bad enough, I received another letter within a week. Suggested contribution ranged from 270-7,770p (along with a promise of seven miracles). Inflation must be affecting the price of miracles! The organization calls it a “miracle faith seed,” but the point is obvious: send us money and we promise a miracle.

I can think of one New Testament example of someone who wanted God’s power in exchange for money. His name was Simon the Sorcerer:

When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power. “Let me have this power, too,” he exclaimed, “so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!”
But Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought! You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God. Repent of your wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive your evil thoughts, for I can see that you are full of bitter jealousy and are held captive by sin.”

“Pray to the Lord for me,” Simon exclaimed, “that these terrible things you’ve said won’t happen to me!”
-Acts 8:18-24

God’s message to those who want to buy miracles: repent! Simon was smart enough to repent. I hope anyone who reads this will show the same wisdom.

Warnings in the Bible

Consider some of the following warnings regarding false religious teachers. We should be careful who we listen to!

Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.
-Matthew 7:15

Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be severely punished.
-Luke 20:47

Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.

-1st Timothy 4:1-2

I’m completely ashamed that one of my own countrymen is exploiting Filipinos in this manner. This guy even has the audacity to call himself an apostle!

Here’s my open challenge for anyone who reads this blog:
*I challenge all to warn their friends about this deceitful man and organization.

*I challenge the Philippine-based staff of Don Stewart “ministries” to repent of prostituting the gospel and extorting others for money. Repent and resign immediately, in light of the fact that one day you will stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

*I challenge people of courage and conviction (journalists, etc) to investigate this organization and expose its evil deeds. I am sure of one thing: someone is making money off of this television program. I would like to know who.

*I challenge all Philippine channels to stop airing this program, which exploits the Filipino people of their hard-earned money. Those who are most vulnerable are those who can least afford to give away their money.

44 Comments

  1. i haven’t seen this particular “religious minister” but i know that anybody who disguises themselves as prophets and “miracle-deliverers” and ask money from believers in return are all frauds!!! may God forgive their souls

  2. These so-called TV evangelists, are an embarrassment to the Kingdom. Benny Hinn is probably the most egregious one currently operating, and he dwarfs Don Stewart.
    Why don’t these people engage in discernment and read/study their Bibles? Has anyone ever seen one of these fakes ever heal a blind person, or one suffering from dementia? No, these are screened out and never get to the platform. Please wake up and stop supporting guys like Hinn and Stewart!

  3. I completely agree – I also sent for one of these “hankies” out of curiosity as I thought just maybe he didnt ask for any money – wrong!
    The whole accompanying letter must have been composed by top salesmen in financial institutions – I was absolutey disgusted

  4. If you give because he asked in the name of God, then God may bless you for giving in His name; but then the Bible says ‘be not deceived, for God is not Mocked for whatsoever a man shall sow that shall he reap’. So if Don is fake then God will deal with him.

  5. I agree that God will judge him.

  6. I have a friend that believes in Don Stewart. How do I convence her that he is a false prophet. Pray that God will give me or somrone else thewords to convince her to stop sending him money

  7. Maybe you can ask her to read my article.

    This can be difficult–some people choose to be blind.

  8. I completely agree with your views on Don Stewart. The first time I saw him, for like 5 minutes, I thought
    Wow! This guy is a FAKE! I try not to judge people but I was new in my faith and I think God was trying to keep me from buying into this guy. I immediately KNEW without a shadow of a doubt he’s out for money. Obviously, all his show talks about is how so and so got this much money on this date… that’s NOT WHAT GOD IS ABOUT!!! WHO CARES about money? Yeah, enough to live on is necessary, but “prosperity” means SPIRITUALLY, NOT MONETARY.

  9. My mom has been a follower of his for several years now and I am worried that she is so far under his spell that there is no convincing her otherwise. She is a widow on a very limited income yet she sends him money. She told me that she sends him money instead of giving to her church ministry. She tells me that he calls her (personally) on the phone late at night and talks. He tells her that she is one of his chosen few members he calls to witness about Jesus. Of course he always asks for money in some form (usually after sending the hanky and asking how many miracles she needs and how much money she needs to pay off all her bills, etc. Any insights on how I can break her free of this hypnotist??

  10. I’m very sorry to hear about this. Maybe you can show her my article and some of your research. But it is very difficult to convince someone if they are brainwashed.

  11. This ministry has been harassing my parent with endless phone calls for money. My poor mother is just beside herself with angst over these calls. We have tried to call them and ask them to stop but to no avail!

  12. Depending on where you live, you should be able to take legal action.

  13. hi kuya kevin,
    i just want to know what you think about the ministry of Morris Cerullo and Benny Hinn?

  14. I don’t know Cerullo.

    I think Benny Hinn is a fake who lives a lavish lifestyle–private jet, etc.

  15. I saw his TV programme and wrote him. I received one of the prayer cloth but I started wondering about these constant letters requesting money which I don’t have. I have sent contributions to him thinking I was helping God’s ministry then I decided to check blogs on him and saw this. Thanks for the info.

  16. oh my! the lure of money is deadly, especially when God’s name is used to get it. so sad to hear about sincere mothers and loved ones supporting this kind of ministry. thanks, kevin, for writing about this.

  17. WHAT ABOUT JOEL OSTEEN?

  18. Amy,
    I’m not a big fan of Osteen, but I haven’t seen him on Filipino TV begging for money and passing out holy hankeys.

  19. a big thank you for informing us…

    I dont want to judge people but through my experiences, I just don’t know.

    We first saw it showing on tv, at first why not so we tried it. the first 1 that i noticed is that they said it is free, but as you said they keep on asking for amount with different steps. And later on, what i disgusted about is that they don’t return the handkerchief. They said it was first be anointed with oil,. But the oil nd handkerchief did not returned. I tried to call the office but they said they will check but as of now it didnt came back. I dont know if they are trying to check or trying to ignore.

    What i bother most is that comments like this are shown on the computer which was not able to see by ordinary people, compared to the programs which are showing on national tv.

    I dare the network. If they are concern about the programs of the station, then they should investigate if this is good or just a tactic.

    the people who are watching simple programs like this, majority of them belong to lower class which needed much money for basic needs are then later fooled by this.

    They are using the word of GOD from the first to the last. They should be afraid of what they are doing for fooling such innocent people. God is just up there watching. The act and word of God is much more powerful than this fraud. Shamed on them for acting such.

  20. I encourage everyone to ask for the green prayer hanky from his website, and then wait for about a month. You will receive about 4 letters from Don during this time, after which u can stuff the letters chock full of his material, trash, whatever [the heavier the letter the more it costs], and then seal the envelopes and send back to him [his *ministry* pays the postage]. This way you are actually assisting the U.S. economy while simultaneously making an obvious charlatan poorer, by transferring his ill gotten gains [however small] to the U.S. Postal Service.

    May God bless America!

  21. way back before i heard my father,always kept saying about his abservation bout the u.s dollars it is said..”in God we trust”,printed in the money,so thats why it is obvious.money is the God….is it?

  22. “For the love of money is the root of all evil”

    Sadly, the devil is exploiting the gullible followers’ love of money through his soldier of evil, Don Stewart. Through his false promises of prosperity, Don bastardizes the true principles of Christianity and transforms it into a “money worshipping” religion.”

  23. Who I blame in part for schysters like Stewart, Popoff, Hinn and Tilton running around are the networks who broadcast their shows. (ex. BET)

    I know that televangelists must pay for airtime, and the networks get the money, but are they really so starved for programming that they have to resort broadcast this garbage.

    And by the way,, I have watched these programs and have YET to hear one clear presentation of the gospel (how to accept Christ).

    These clowns may know the Roman’s Road, but maybe have never walked it.

  24. Dear Kevin,

    Thanks for preparing, presenting, and posting this article.

    Here is another scripture verse regarding false prophets. It is from the Old Testament. I am normally a KJV man, but I really like this translation from “The Message”.

    Deuteronomy 18:17-22
    And God said to me, “They’re right; they’ve spoken the truth. I’ll raise up for them a prophet like you from their kinsmen. I’ll tell him what to say and he will pass on to them everything I command him. And anyone who won’t listen to my words spoken by him, I will personally hold responsible.

    “But any prophet who fakes it, who claims to speak in my name something I haven’t commanded him to say, or speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die.”

    You may be wondering among yourselves, “How can we tell the difference, whether it was God who spoke or not?” Here’s how: If what the prophet spoke in God’s name doesn’t happen, then obviously God wasn’t behind it; the prophet made it up. Forget about him.

    God bless you and your ministry.

    Rev. Christopher Adams
    The Singing Chaplain

  25. Thanks for dropping by, brother.

  26. I happen to know Don and his family. I met them through some relatives and hung out with them for a few days. I lived a very modest life as a preacher’s daughter and it wasn’t easy. I was SHOCKED to see Don, his home and his wife. Don and his wife were getting ready the next week to get “new teeth”. Don’s cost was $60,000 and Brenda’s (his wife) was $40,000. At the time they were building a new home worth millions. Some of the things she accessorized her home with was outragous. $10,000 for rhinestone mirror for example. Things like this make me angry but I have to remember that God knows…

  27. Anonymous….
    Thanks to all of you who have posted the comments for people like me who are non christian and was thinking to follow Christianity by watching Don . Even though I am not a Christian, I do love Jusus and hope someone can stop him and others who are out to get innocent peoples money.

  28. Anonymous,

    Feel free to email me (kuyakevin at gmail) if you’d like some help finding a good church. I can help you find some people who will love you and teach you about Jesus–HONEST people.

  29. The harvest is right but the laborers are few.We as believers need to stand up and take authority over everything we are facing. The kingdom of GOD suffer’s violence and the violent take it by force! We have authority that has been given us by CHRIST JESUS to pray that every manner of disease and wickedness be exposed. we all have to pray for discernment. Let’s pray and stay focus on our calling and thats winning souls to christ! Remember the word.. Many will say Lord,Lord din’t i cast out demons in your name, and the Lord’s response will be” I NEVER KNEW YOU DEPART FROM ME YOU WORKER OF INIQUITY”
    EVERYONE BE BLESS AND PRAY FOR DISCERNMENT.

  30. This man is living in luxery whilst demanding money from those who truly need it. This really hurts to hear and see, and unfortunately I see a lot of other examples of this on television. Could the Better Business Bureau do anything about this? I mean, it is a business Don Stewart is running here, correct? Television channels running these ‘Christianmercials’ hold just as much blame, because they have received dirty money as well.

  31. This is to express appreciation to the person who said he/she knows Don Stewart and his lavish lifestyle. I have never really met him personally, but read his autobiography of the healing he had from a crippling disease in his youth. I first got to know him back in the early 60s when he was about 20 years old. He was working with A. A. Allen as an assistant. I remember him sweeping the platform between services under Allen’s tent back in about 1961. I believe he had been a student at Miracle Valley Bible College in Arizona. At some point he married Kathy Rogers, daughter of Kent Rogers, who was Allen’s song leader, afternoon speaker and second in command to Allen. By the mid 60s Don had become Allen’s morning speaker and the third member of Allen’s board, Secretary-treasurer I believe. Upon Allen’s death in June of 1970, Don Stewart became president of A. A. Allen Revivals, Inc. For a time, he continued the tent ministry before changing the name to Don Stewart Evangelistic Association. It became clear after a time that he could not keep Allen’s momentum going and discontinued the tent circuit in 1974. He moved his headquarters of Phoenix and sold much of the Miracle Valley property for millions and ordered Allen’s books dumped and buried. I don’t know when he and Kathy divorced, but Brenda is certainly not his first and only wife. Anyone who donates to him is not getting much for their money. A contribution to a local church would be money that actually has a chance of doing some real good.

  32. Greetings! I completely agree with you about this. I just watched Don Stewart’s program and I am really troubled because he is teaching things that are contrary to the Bible. I visited your facebook page and I might be one of your fans. I have to read all your entries here first and hopefully I can find your Statement of Faith here. Then, I will decide if I will be a fan of yours in facebook. 🙂

  33. Thank goodness I read my blog feeds today and discovered this disgusting news. May be Don Stewart is the likes of many (not all) self-appointed prophets, bishops, pastors, preying on TBN Network asking for people to sow their “seed” money. Can I re-post your articles on my blog Kuya Kevin, of course with the proper acknowledgment and links? My site is behindcrossroads.blogspot.com

  34. Not so familiar with him. thank you very much for the info. He went here in the Philippines? I really don’t know when was that.

  35. I’m not sure if he has ever visited the Philippines–he just has some sort of office here operating the scam.

  36. Just want to make one correction in this article, Don Stewart does not live in a million dollar mansion, he currently lives in a $2.5 million Paradise Valley, Arizona mansion.

  37. Thank God I have read this site! I was a little bit puzzled by the letters the he keeps sending me the past few weeks and the letters keep getting weirder and weirder every week and some of them are being aggressive about giving tights/contributions and he stressed the the chain should not be broken and stuff and if it is broken, bad things will happen to me… then it came to me that he is a “fraud” cause God never wanted us to get hurt or any bad things happen to us, right? I was on a tight budget that time that’s why I just tried to call the hotline cause they say it’s free and it won’t hurt to try right? It never occurred to me that it would be so bothersome and frustrating to get the succeeding letters from him. So thank you that now I have confirmed that he is indeed a fraud. The chinese Fei Hua ministries should not be associated with him…

  38. Kuya kevin thanks for posting this blog, surely I will spread this to my friends and family, you know I was a victim of this don stewart fraud ministry way back 2004, you know I’m laughing when I saw those pictures because I recall all of it and your story are the same as mine 8 years ago,Praise God I am in the truth now, and I am equipped with the Gospel’s power, with God’s power to discern foolish things like don stewart’s foolish ministry.

  39. hi everyone.today as i got up from bed,it was playing on my mind that don stuart,s letter from last week i was almost demanded to send 28 pounds..i thought i best send it online.Then i saw a message don stuart is a scam.i have been sending into his ministries for over 3 year on and off.what i noticed is he sends a letter with prayer,also asking questions about myself or loved ones..then the next letter come,s then he asks that same question back,ie: is there someone in your family with back pains.or a weight problem..then i say lord he asked that question last letter now he is asking me the question,after i already stated in my last reply…many of time i thought is this don stuart real prophet or not.Well i have not recived and large blessings as he always stated in his prayer sheets.stateing a message from God.i have been planting money in his ministry over 3 years but to day i stopped..where can i plant my seed ,it looks like most pastors are doing the same thing……..I KNOW I WILL PRAY…LOL i could tell you more if you wish to hear more….God bless you all.

  40. hi.alsp notice,don ,never dates any of his letters.

  41. i believe in malachi 3;10 so i sent money for the hanky. my business flourished for several years. wow! after a devastating typhoon, i sent my tithes to the victims. my business floundered. i tried reviving my connection w/ them but nothing happened. my business now had slumped for more than 5 years. what happened?

  42. Your business success and slump has nothing to do with whether or not you gave to Don Stewart. We should give for the joy of giving and helping–not because we are expecting God to “repay” us.

  43. Bulaang propeta talaga yan …halata naman talaga kundi pera lang habol nila.

    Curse upon that false preacher!!!!!!!!!!

  44. People like Don Stewart are not concerned about taking money from others because they know the US Government cannot do much to stop them. But when the day comes and the US Constitution is done away with, then you will hear their crying because they wont be receiving anymore tax free money.

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